This week’s cover story began with a question, posed to its author Jordan Green: Who owns all of those downtown buildings in High Point, the ones that only come alive for two weeks in the spring and fall during the International Home Furnishings Market?
Some of our readers might be surprised by what we found.
Almost half of the downtown High Point buildings reserved for market, 43 percent, are owned by the city’s biggest competitor, International Market Centers in Las Vegas The majority of the rest of the most expensive real estate in the city is owned by outside entities. So in a very real sense, the city itself does not belong to its citizens.
But that cannot be true. Cities belong to those who live and work there. Otherwise it’s just Disneyland. Or High Point University.
High Point belongs to the people who walk and drive its streets, actively participate in the day-to-day economy, grow up and raise their families there. It belongs to everyone within its borders, be they property owners or not.
And in another sense, it belongs to us all in the Piedmont Triad.
We are invisible as individual cities with populations in the low six figures. As the Triad, we have a combined population of 1.5 million, the 38th largest metro area in the country. That’s something that matters — to advertisers, to businesses, to culture and city life.
As goes High Point, our third largest city, so go all of us. [pullquote]High Point belongs to the people who walk and drive its streets, actively participate in the day-to-day economy, grow up and raise their families there.[/pullquote]
People work in Greensboro and live in High Point. High Point residents spend their money in Greensboro and Winston-Salem. High Point spills over the borders of both Forsyth and Guilford counties.
Prosperity or poverty, growth or stagnation, peace or unrest… whatever happens in High Point certainly doesn’t stay there. It affects home prices, rent, taxes, crime rates, roads, business, culture and more for everyone in the Triad.
So yes, the most valuable parcels of real estate in High Point are owned by people with no interest in the city other than four weeks a year.
But we all own High Point, everyone who calls the Triad home. Let’s start acting like it.