We’re ranking the cities based on how much of their downtowns are owned by people who don’t live in them. In this metric, Greensboro scores the worst — about 82 percent of downtown is owned by actual Greensboroans. About 10 percent is owned by other North Carolinians, while just 8 percent belongs to out-of-state owners.
Is it a good thing to have out-of-market ownership? Yes and no. Local owners are more accountable to the communities in which they own property. But outside investment is also a sign that a city is successfully growing its economy. Winston-Salem has been courting national and international investors for years, most notably in the Innovation Quarter. At last count, almost 30 pecent of the Camel City’s downtown property owners are out of state. North Carolinians own the rest, 58 percent of them from Winston-Salem.
1. High Point
In absentee ownership, High Point is the undisputed heavyweight of the Triad, perhaps even the whole state, with 65 percent of the downtown owned by out-of-state interests, and 1.4 percent owned by companies not based in the United States. High Pointers own almost 20 percent of their own city’s most expensive district, while other North Carolinians hold 14 percent.