Greenville City Council consider “virtual building” to attract business

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Greenville City Council considered creating a “virtual building” concept to better attract businesses to the area during its annual planning retreat on Friday.

Economic development manager Roger Johnson suggested the idea.

“70 percent of the time, communities are eliminated [by companies] based off of their initial impressions of the data that they see,” Johnson said.

He said one piece of data for Greenville that doesn’t look good is the lack of large, vacant industrial and commercial buildings.

He said this prevents the city from competing for certain employers.

To solve the issue, he wants to create a virtual building as an option for businesses.

It’s a blueprint of an industrial building already designed by the city that a company can use to speed up the construction process.

He said it’s cheaper for the city and is just as attractive for companies.

Greenville resident Nancy Colville frequently goes to city council meetings and liked the ideas discussed at the retreat.

“I’m excited,” Colville said. “I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

It’s a direction possibly leading to more companies coming to Greenville which means more jobs and higher salaries.

“We’ll be a more attractive community for those types of Trader Joe’s and/or Cheesecake Factory and other retail places that this community has expressed a desire for,” Johnson said.

The council’s retreat will continue Saturday at 8:30 a.m. in the city hall gallery.

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