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DGDC’s Streetscape Project: A Huge Positive Impact For Goldsboro and Wayne County! By Dan Wroblewski

In my opinion, a recent article and editorial in the News-Argus seems to have shed a negative light over the DGDC’s Streetscape project. From the art placement, to the trees, to the cost, to who’s making decisions, just to name a few, it seems nothing has been done right. In an editorial on October 18th it was stated that “there are quite a few people upset.” My question is, “Why all the negativity?”

As with anything there is always going to be a “few” people that disagree over something. Different points of view enrich all of our lives. It would be chilling to live in a society where we all thought the same. Here at the Buzz, I have received “quite a few” phone calls and emails in support of the new Center Street Streetscape project with many stating how it brings the old and the new together to move Downtown Goldsboro into the 21st century. The great majority of our contacts are very happy with the final results!

The final decision on whether Streetscape is a success will ultimately be made by the citizens of Goldsboro and Wayne County, and not by any newspaper. When you get a chance in the near future, go shopping or eat out at some of the restaurants and enjoy the new beauty of Downtown. And don’t forget to go Downtown and attend the many upcoming Holiday events. You’ll be glad you did!

With that said, here are a few of the many comments received:

We are Denny and Wendy Town. We are business owners, and property owners downtown. We also purchased one of the first houses through PNC in the historic property revitalization project, in 2005. We also joined a group of concerned "downtowner's" to form an LLC and raise money, as well as all of us investing our own money, to buy a property to restore and sell saving another historic property. That property has been restored and is up for sale now. Yes, we are advocates for downtown; we put our money where our mouth is.

We would like to address the editorial in the News-Argus regarding the renovations downtown, as well as other previous articles that portrayed downtown in a poor light.

Besides a great many inaccuracies in the article, it never took into consideration the enormous private investments from people like us who bought and either restored or are in the process of restoring the historic buildings downtown, solely because of the streetscape project.

As merchants, this year has proved challenging, it's true, but we were always behind it 100%. We cannot tell you the number of people we have had in the store who have told us they have not been downtown in 10 or 20 years, but came downtown, because they heard about all that was going on. I'm sure the streetscape project kept people from coming downtown, but fears of the old downtown kept as many away, if not more.

We are also quite puzzled that the editorial spoke about the merchants, as though, she was speaking for us. I know this was never brought up at any of our merchants meetings, so we have to ask whom she was speaking for? She wasn't speaking for us, who was she speaking for? Maybe they don't exist, and if so, it's very irresponsible.

This project is not going to appeal to everyone, the art isn't going to appeal to everyone, if people are laughing at it, which I certainly haven't seen, at least, their getting some response from it. Let’s all stand behind our downtown, the people who have worked hard to get it to this point, and all the people who have made private investments to make this a great downtown. The downtown is the heart of the city, and the people who love downtown understand that. Otherwise we're just a bunch of shopping malls and suburbs. This is a true investment in our country, our state and our city.

Give it time, as you'll see how much this project will boost downtown. We see it every day.

Denny and Wendy Town

Town's Antiques

It will come as no surprise to anyone who's met me, that I am a huge supporter of the revitalization of Downtown. I bought my building, renovated her and started my shop. Like so many people have in the last few years because of what Goldsboro was getting ready to do. All the people that complain about America investing in every country but herself, let's talk about the Tiger V Grant where every component down to the last washer between the last nut and the last bolt had to be made in America. American money going right back into American garages and kitchens. Thank you Federal Government and DOT for doing what we've been asking for so long. Reinvest in America!!

America's small towns, OUR small cities all across this nation are getting assistance through these grants to rebuild this nations infrastructure the "hearts" of our metropolises and in doing so give small business, start-ups and "mom and pops" an opportunity within these new (up to code water, plumbing, electrical ect settings) a chance to rebuild the building blocks of this nation Small TOWN USA!

I don't suspect our allies across the seas will say any time soon; "Thanks for building up our countries for the last scores of decades. Here's some money. Go fix yourself up." Now we are doing it and still people complained. You can't have it both ways. Our federal government invests in us or no one will.

If this city had not invested in herself, I seriously doubt the people I know myself included would have purchased any type of property in downtown or the surrounding areas. But they did! A lot of them. Because of it Goldsboro has a shot at a come-back. She has a new vitality a new heartbeat! And a new generation is seeing her the way your parents and grandparents did, when she was a tremendous place to shop and buy ice cream, get a soda, get your hair done, buy new clothes get new shoes, get fit walking to all the stores, eat lunch, and looking at the beautiful buildings! And now you can do every bit of that again and so much more! Take in everything there was and then, take in everything that's new!! Buildings are being brought back to life, restored to their former glory whenever possible!! And the people, moving in and re-opening them with new and amazing businesses side by side with those venerable wonderful businesses that have never lost faith in Downtown!!!

New flats are getting fitted out as we speak above several of these newly restored buildings and many more are in the planning stages pushed no doubt by the waiting list of people wanting to move into this both historic and edgy new city.

Every single day I hear the joy in people about how downtown is coming back to life and how grateful they are because they love this city. Their city, and she's been sleeping for quite some time. Hanging on but about gone. And now, "SHE'S BACK!" and if "she" has her way she'll see transit service from Raleigh and more and more shops and art and progress and people moving here to enjoy this town and her genuine hard working, caring citizenry who would not let her die and took huge steps to ensure her future for their children's children, our children's children!

It is a "tunneled" vision that cannot see the "scope" of this project. Can anyone seriously believe that this isn't already having huge economic impact? Would anyone care to surmise the impact of leaving things status quo?

Does it not make sense to blend the old and the new to appeal to both the young and the old? Is anyone or anything so perfect that they (or it) should never be spruced up or should ever stop learning or growing? Goldsboro has been selected to host the NC Main Street Conference 2016. An honor, and obviously, a body of your peers believes well deserved! I agree!

Ruth Glisson

As a business owner downtown for nearly 9 years and a property owner on Center St, I am in full support of the great things our City of Goldsboro, City Council, DGDC and all others involved have done for our downtown! While the Streetscape construction has been a negative for businesses, employees and people who live downtown, the end goal will be such a positively huge impact for decades, not just downtown but the city as a whole. Thank You ALL for the tireless work and efforts to make this project a great success!

Wayne Turner The Flying Shamrock Co-Chairman Downtown Merchant's Assoc

Prior to my retirement from Sprint almost twenty years ago, I averaged moving every four years for thirty-seven years with the telephone company. I have lived in several towns in Eastern North Carolina. There is not one town that I have lived in that has done as much to restore downtown as Goldsboro has.

Since I worked with Sprint, I was never stationed in Goldsboro. My wife and I discussed where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives and it was Goldsboro. We moved here two years before my retirement and have never regretted the move. I am very proud of our city and appreciate all that is being done to bring life back into downtown.

Bill Edgerton

This hits close to my core. This project to update the downtown and save the houses in the surrounding neighborhoods and the train station has been in the works for years. Have these “people" or I wonder if this is just the newspaper been under a rock all this time. As adult members of Goldsboro or better yet Wayne County you have the right and duty to get involved with all that is being done in your community. It is not the responsibility of government to come and get you out of your house to be at the meetings. We elected our council members and mayor and they are the ones who vote on all the issues that came up in improving the city. Don't stand back and say rotten stuff about the people that have worked for years to modernized and update our historical city.

Art and fountains are just a small part of this project. I ask why so narrow-minded. We now have hundreds of trees and flower borders everwhere, lighting that makes a beautiful streetscape as you look around and the center walk that opens up to charming seating as gatherings stop to sit and enjoy the beautiful Downtown. Because of this work on Center Street we have more buildings re-hab'd and new businesses are opening every month due to the work of your city and the DGDC staff and the volunteers.

As I know you have heard this most of your life but it is worth repeating, " if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all" until you give it a chance! We should be proud of the city!

Amy Bauer

The editorial published by the Goldsboro News Argus regarding the new Streetscape Downtown was so incredibly biased and off-base. The beautiful traffic circles, the fountain, the artwork, the benches, and the landscape are all just stunning when put together.

While the city has needed a serious facelift for a long time, this one is a wonderful one. So much revitalization has gone on in so many of the buildings downtown, so to now have the Streetscape in support of the facade improvements is wonderful. People have been enjoying the restaurants and shops for some time now, but this will simply add to the desire for others to see what is happening in our city. Businesses are thriving. More businesses want to join the momentum. It is truly a gift.

Thanks to all involved in the decision-making and the beautiful choices that were made. As new building owners downtown, we can't wait to have businesses open in our renovated spaces and watch the magic work!

Betty Duncan

I have recently heard of the News Argus' review of Downtown's art and I am not happy about it. I am one of the owners of Dancing Butterfly. I have a full time job in Clayton as a scientist but opened Dancing Butterfly because I live in Goldsboro, and grew up in the Paramount (pre-fire). I love where we are at and the customers we serve. Here was my response when I was alerted to what was said:

Here's what I have to say, if it matters...this past weekend (Friday night) I had to pleasure to attend a few downtown night activities. I do not usually get a chance to do so, and that was when I realized how great this has become. The crowd was a modern crowd and was moving from the paramount, to the terrace room, to Ed's and to the Railhouse. We danced and enjoyed the lights on the fountain and lining the downtown street. I took pictures because I felt that this is the new historic downtown. This is the historic downtown my children will know. It had a roaring 20s feel to it, like the dawn of new era of growth and innovation.

On Sunday, as I took the promo photos for my Thriller event on the 30th, my little zombies ran into a couple sitting at the Railhouse, outside, enjoying the scenery. Then we ran into a mother with 3 great kids, about 9-12, who were there to take pictures in front of the new art. They were dressed nicely, specifically for their photos. We used them all in our zombie photos and they were super excited. I used the new art as backdrop to my photos as well. It worked nicely.

On Tuesday, after my photos were posted over the weekend, I noticed that a friend of mine had taken her daughter downtown dressed in 1940s wear to take pictures. She also used Downtown as her backdrop. We are dawning an age of social media and everything is about appearance and appeal. These new pieces, whether you love them or hate them, are stirring the social media generation, and are making their appearances online in a positive way. As bad as I hate it, I never saw the News Argus article because, that is not where I get my information anymore. All I saw was positivity from my friends online, and from the people I met over the weekend. You cannot please everyone, our city is beautiful in so many different places, and we are on the right track. Keep up the good work DGDC!


Dancing Butterfly

I just wanted to respond to the negativity about the Downtown revitalization project. As a manager of a downtown business and a lover of our city, I think that the revitalization project was and is a brilliant idea. I have customers coming in all of the time saying how much they love the new look and how they love coming Downtown.

Just a few years ago, people would never say that! The revitalization has brought people to support local businesses, and that right there is what makes it all worthwhile! And I think people should get the facts straight about the project before negatively responding to it.

Jessica Figueroa Budine

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