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Spillover Effect From Revitalization Lifting Downtown Economy

November 6, 2017

The revitalization of downtown Winston-Salem — with more than $1.5 billion spent since 2000 — is nearing a critical mass tipping point. Expansion in one area, say housing and hotels, is having a spillover effect into other areas, such as retail, restaurants and amenities. Some downtown observers have said for years they believe revitalization will have arrived once a grocery-store chain opens an outlet to serve the 3,837 housing units. Publix made such an announcement Thursday for downtown Raleigh as part of a multipurpose project. “Downtown Winston-Salem has become a very attractive place to live and do business,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities with a focus on the N.C. economy. “The arrival of new hotels and restaurants has provided the critical mass needed to get the region noticed by prospective new employers. “Businesses are increasingly looking for locations that have a certain charm and buzz to them, particularly if it enhances the ability to attract and retain younger college-educated workers.”

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