GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Red Robin, Starbucks and Chipotle plan to open up new locations in Greenville.
Construction began on the “Shoppes on Memorial” across from Pitt Community College on Memorial Drive between Sheetz and McDonald’s.
Its property manager, The Shopping Center Group, said on its website the development will include a Starbucks and a Chipotle.
The city’s also reviewing plans for the family restaurant Red Robin to build between the Greenville Grande and Texas Roadhouse.
“I think it’s going to be an awesome opportunity for people to get jobs,” shopper Spain Keys said.
Butt commercial real estate broker Michael Overton of The Overton Group said the city could do much better.
“Will Greenville grow? Yes.” he said. “Are we growing to our potential? I don’t think so.”
He explained Greenville and Pitt County do not have enough high-paying jobs which retailers want to see before they come to Greenville.
Overton said the company Costco didn’t yet want to come to Greenville because it required at least 300,000 people in the county and a median income of $78,000.
Greenville and Pitt County as a whole fall well short.
“So we’re below what they need,” he said. “However, I know and most people around here know, if they came, they would be widely successful because of the number of people that would come outside the county.”
Overton tries to teach the mentality of Greenville being a regional hub to big retailers to cover up the fact it does not yet have the target numbers.
He said another way to bring jobs is to quickly hire a new economic director for the city.
The position’s been vacant since april when Carl Rees left for a job with ElectriCities.
City community development director Merrill Flood took over the job’s duties.
He said the city has some projects in the works, but he couldn’t get into specifics.