Council OKs downtown incentives policy

·2 min read

Jan. 19—HIGH POINT — High Point now has more tools to try to capitalize on what officials describe as a robust economic development climate.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a targeted downtown incentives policy meant to draw office, retail and restaurant locations and expansions within a 649-acre area around Truist Point stadium. It also approved a tweak to an existing policy that seeks to encourage investment in commercial buildings, especially older structures.

The office incentives policy reinstates a similar program the city offered last year that helped land two projects downtown, including Key Risk insurance, which plans to move 80 employees into a new building next to the stadium.

"We have had continued requests for potential incentives in the downtown," said Sandy Dunbeck, director of the High Point Economic Development Corp.

The policy applies to new construction or major renovations of real property for office, retail, restaurant and similar commercial development in the target area.

The policy, which is tailored to companies that lease commercial space, offers cash grants over four years equal to 15 to 45% of what the city deems "market rate" rent in the downtown area.

The policy is not as generous in potential rent assistance as its predecessor, which offered up to 80%.

Downtown projects could also be eligible for up to $3,000 per job created, under an existing incentive program.

As with the past downtown policy, the city will offer these incentives for a finite amount of time, with companies able to apply for consideration until June 30, 2023.

Dunbeck also sought — and council approved — a modification to the city's existing office and industrial incentives policy that authorizes building upfit grants of up to $75,000 for office/industrial or commercial buildings undergoing significant internal capital improvements.

Previously, this type of assistance was capped at $50,000 and applied only to the targeted downtown area. The higher amount applies citywide.

pkimbrough@hpenews.com — 336-888-3531