Council Mulls Name Change For High Point Road, Lee Street

5:54 PM, Mar 25, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- City council members will mull over renaming High Point Road and Lee Street during a work session Tuesday.

An $8 million effort -- the first phase of revitalizing an area some consider the gateway to Greensboro -- is set to begin in the spring of 2014. So some council members say the area's new image also merits a new name.

Councilman Zack Matheny first floated the idea in 2009, though it was eventually shelved over concerns rebranding and new marketing material would prove too costly for small businesses.

"And then it kind of hit us," Matheny says, "that, 'Wait a second. Just because we're talking about it doesn't mean we have to do it tomorrow.'"

So the idea is once again on the table, and should the full city council eventually embrace it, Matheny says businesses would have a full year to prepare for a potential name change.

"[We] are sensitive to the small businesses," he said. "And hopefully we can work together to clean up High Point Road, which will thus help their business."

WFMY News 2 reached out to about a dozen different businesses along High Point Road and Lee Street on Monday. All but one voiced support for the change.

"Some people think we're actually in High Point," said John Hiatt Jr., who owns Remember When Records. "They don't realize we're in Greensboro. [And] sometimes people say, 'Aren't you afraid to be here? Aren't you worried about it?' And we're really not."

Despite his successes at his High Point Road business, Hiatt Jr. embraces to the idea of a name change. So does Get: Outdoors owner Will Seeley.

"The benefit will far outweigh the small cost," he said. "With most things being electronic nowadays, the cost is minimal. There's some printed material that will have to be changed as things become outdated. But nothing that's going to terribly impact the business."

The City of Greensboro and the state would also shoulder some cost for changing the names of that eight-mile stretch of roadway.

Greensboro estimates it would cost the city $30,000 and the state $100,000 to replace street signs.

Matheny doesn't expect council to make any final decisions at the Tuesday work session and says the idea is still in the discussion phase.

WFMY News 2

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