Goldsboro, NC, welcomes DOT's TIGER to downtown
We are elated that DOT has recognized the potential of our continued efforts to revitalize our community through downtown investment here in Goldsboro, North Carolina. The TIGER grant award of $10 million to Goldsboro for our Main Street Revitalization project is nothing short of amazing.
Our project partners livability and transportation infrastructure needs into one effort that--when coupled with our national Main Street™--approach towards downtown revitalization, will result in immense returns for Goldsboro. We are very fortunate to have had the foresight through leadership and dedication that prepared us to be competitive enough to earn this significant award from DOT's TIGER program. And we are especially grateful for DOT having the confidence to invest in us.
The TIGER grant funds from DOT will help us complete three major transportation infrastructure projects in downtown Goldsboro, a 16-block commercial district where more than 240 small businesses exist.
Current data indicates that-- due to its high density--the greates value of land per acre throughout Goldsboro is in this segment of the city. The development we proposed in our TIGER application will improve the movement of workers and goods, provide a greater return on infrastructure improvements for long-term efficiencies, and will increase the value of the tax base.
That benefits Goldsboro and all of Wayne County.
While there is a strong concentration of businesses in the downtown area, there is also a lot of opportunity for reinvestment through vacant, underutilized, and neglected historic structures as well as empty lots. These TIGER funds, coupled with other recent public investment projects, will spur the private reinvestment necessary to make downtown an economic engine and a desirable place to live, work and play.
This TIGER project alone will directly create or retain 481 jobs and spur $9.7M in return to the local economy through household incomes.
Goldsboro is also an economically distressed community. For typical funding or technical assistance efforts, we suffer from being too large by some measures and not large enough by others. We struggle with low per-capita income, low median household income, and high poverty rates. And because of the relatively high number of non-taxable properties within our city limits, like many communities, we are challenged to generate more value within our tax base to prevent tax increases so we can sustain our current service levels and livability standards.
It has not been easy, and this TIGER award will make a real difference.
This project allows us to implement “complete streets” throughout downtown via significant streetscape projects. It also allows us to construct a new transfer facility for our local transit provider for both urban and rural users.
TIGER funds will spur investment in the rehabilitation of a historic train station, combining transportation improvements and livability assets into one effort that will impact the downtown area and the community at large both directly and indirectly. These funds will result in a transformation of our City’s core, and they will help Goldsboro leverage private investment that would not otherwise be available.
Being able to implement these projects in a timely and cohesive way will allow them to function more effectively, enhancing the impact made to transportation users through various improvements--from quality of life and livability factors, to safety and economic growth--while improving the return on our overall investment.
Needless to say, we couldn’t be any more enthusiastic about our future than we are right now, thanks to USDOT’s investment in our community.
Alfonzo King is Mayor of Goldsboro, North Carolina.