Greenways Provide Exceptional Opportunities for Experiential Retail & Economic Development in GSO

Written by Faun Finley

Greensboro, NC– Online shopping is fast and convenient – we all know this. But it has also gotten boring. Customers, particularly Millennials, want to have human, meaningful and immersive experiences.

Commercial developer and CEO of Kotis Holdings, Marty Kotis, was well ahead of the curve in understanding this culture change. He began strategically developing retail properties around a plans for a Downtown Greenway that emerged in 2001.

Those properties are a part of his blueprint for a vibrant and dense urban experience that will include midrise residential dwellings, grocery stores, music venues, a hotel and a mountain bike park. Commingled with these developments will be hip new restaurants and shops, and street art. Kotis has curated about 60 art installations among his properties that are also a part of the public landscape, adding a cutting-edge spark to Greensboro’s historic identity.

Council Member, Justin Outling, sees a synergetic relationship with development around greenways. “It’s a relationship that results in greater economic prosperity and greater desirability for living in the city,” he said. “It’s also an important magnet for attracting and retaining talent.”

The Downtown Greenway will link up with the Atlantic-Yadkin Greenway and they Lake Daniel Greenway creating a 13-milecorridor. Kotis has several developments in motion that will build off a greenway lifestyle and, in turn, generate even greater pedestrian traffic.

Starting in midtown is the RED Shopsproject at 1305 Battleground Ave., with a footprint of 35,000 SF on 6 acres. This will house the residential development wing, an entertainment complex, and a variety of new restaurants and shops.

Currently thriving in this high-traffic area (90,000 ADT) is RED Cinemas, a movie theater that Kotis renovated and revitalized. Several of his street art commissioned walls are also at this location with most paying homage to renown characters from the silver screen.

Within a 5-minute walk is Burger Warfare, Pig Pounder Brewery and Pig Pounder Pavillion. Kotis has plans to expand the Pig Pounder brand along the entirety of Grecade Street, where he owns several buildings.

“Densely concentrated areas are a proven method of planning success,” says Outling. “People want to have more community with their neighbors and to be closer to the center of things.”

This is especially true for Millennials and Generation Z. They want to get a bite to eat, see a show, fill up their gas tank and pick up groceries without driving for miles – and ideally, without driving at all. But they also want a city that has a unique character and a sense of place.

Moving eastward is the Westover Gallery of Shops, a 100,000 SF specialty center at 1420 Westover Terrace. Kotis completed a $2 million expansion in 2015to feature the first World of Beer franchise in the Triad to complement local and nationally-recognized tenants, such as Printer’s Alley, Taste of Thai, Brixx, Performance Bicycle, and Ideal Image.

Westover Gallery of Shopswill develop an urban mountain bike park and other fun and challenging attractions for active lifestyles. Such additions further capitalize on future greenways and are the ideal accompaniment to existing retail.

Continuing east, but bearing southwest is Tracks Bazaar, an 8-acre project at 300 W. Gate City Blvd. in Downtown Greensboro. It sits along main rail line where the future Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway will be built and its close proximity to UNC Greensboro and four other universities gives it a distinctly different flavor than the aforementioned developments.

Tracks Bazaar is designed to be a multipurpose entertainment center with multiple warehouse-style event spaces, an outdoor concert bandstand, beer garden, whisky bar and the first permanent food truck park in Greensboro.

Aesthetically speaking, world-class street art is the focal point at Tracks with an outdoor gallery open all day and lit up all night. Kotis has already curated a collection of murals by artists with notably diverse styles. That collection will expand as development continues to unfold.

Existing nearby retailers include national brands like Mellow Mushroom and Enterprise Rent-A-Car and popular local haunts like Natty Greene’s Brewing Company and Boxcar Bar & Arcade.

What all these projects have in common —from RED Shops to Pig Pounder and Westover Gallery of Shops to Tracks Bazaar — is their symbiotic relationship to current and future greenways.

“I’m creating a series of ‘outdoor living rooms’ in Greensboro, each with their own personality. As more phases of the greenways are completed, we’ll have larger and larger audiences. They will be hungry, thirsty, eager for new experiences and looking for fun things to do. To capitalize on this is a win-win.”

The City of Greensboro sees it as a boon, too.

According to Outling, “These projects seamlessly blend recreation, entertainment and shopping. They create new destinations that are exceptional not only in Greensboro, but in the region. From an economic development perspective, the return on investment is exponential. Greenway projects are cost-effective and expand the city’s tax base. That gain can be returned to citizens by lowering taxes. Not only do people get to enjoy a more vibrant community, they benefit financially, too.”


Bring your business to a Kotis property in Greensboro, NC. Contact Marty Kotis: 336.209.0000 |