Despite vacant storefronts, future of Uptown Greenville remains bright

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – If you drive through Uptown Greenville, it’s not difficult to see empty storefronts. There are at least six vacant businesses within a two block radius of each other.

Two of which are within the Super Block, which opened up two years ago and was the centerpiece of revitalization in Uptown.

“We always hate to see small businesses close, especially those that were a part of a major redevelopment project,” said Uptown Greenville Director Bianca Shoneman.

She said there will always be some turnover with small businesses. However, despite some closing, Shoneman said there’s a net gain of businesses each year in Uptown.

To improve the area further, Uptown Greenville hired a retail strategist group to identify gaps in the market. Shoneman said they already know several types of businesses that could open in Uptown.

“Pharmacies, women’s retailers, shoe stores, nails, waxing services. I think there’s a place for that in our market,” she said.

In the last few weeks, several announcements have been made about businesses opening. Blackbeard Coffee Roasters is set to open in the Super Block building by August.

“Being an accountant has helped me to know the number side of things to know if it’s feasible, and I think the city of Greenville right now is just booming,” said co-owner Mike Fox.

Despite a business shutting down in the same building within the last year, Fox said he isn’t worried about the same thing happening to his shop.

“It’s a great location,” he said. “It’s eyesight away from campus, and we’re expecting to have a lot of foot traffic.”

Fox said they will roast their own coffee beans in-house, which will help set themselves apart from their competition.

Shoneman said she also hopes the influx of people living in Uptown will help slow the turnover rate. She believes with several complexes being built right now, rent prices will increase, bringing with them higher end businesses that will be more sustainable.

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