Real estate professionals from across our area gathered at the 20th Annual Triangle Commercial Real Estate Conference on Thursday, January 27, 2005, with CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon as their keynote speaker. The group invited Goodmon to speak about one of his favorite topics, regionalism.
In Goodmon’s speech, entitled “One Region,” he stated that, “If we don’t change some of our existing attitudes, then the future might not be what we want it to be.” He listed the three attitudes to work on as:
- the need to think of the Triangle as one market,
- being willing to merge or connect as many organizations as it makes sense to do so,and
- being willing to fund infrastructure improvements in order to keep the Triangle where it ought to be.
Goodmon continued his speech about his vision for the Triangle saying that the area ” has the perfect location, great climate, the best folks and the smartest folks, unbelievable financial resources…the future of the Triangle is unlimited.”
Several of Goodmon’s specific suggestions for improving the Triangle are the need to fund our judicial system, the need to develop a regional approach to stopping the gang problem, and using the universities in our region for leadership.
“I don’t know why we can’t get along,” he continued. “Everything in the Triangle is important to everything in the Triangle.”
With the help of the WRAL-TV production team, Goodmon prepared two videos for his presentation. He wrote a fictitious WRAL morning newscast for the date January 27, 2015, using a startling demonstration of, in his words, what the Triangle will be like if “we don’t change our current attitudes.”
In the newscast Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill were no longer called the Triangle. Crime rates were out of control, with no plan in place to cope or change them, with university retention rates suffering as a result. Citizens had to wear face masks because of out of control pollution, and a 12-lane expansion of I-40 had done nothing to alleviate commutes that had become hours long. The DOT project was also $12 billion over budget. A tongue-in-cheek headline reported that a Chapel Hill citizen had been caught at a Durham Bulls game and a Durham citizen had been spotted in Raleigh’s Museum of Art.
Goodmon also had the WRAL team interview several individuals from across the Triangle about their experience of working in one town and living in another. For example, Microspace Account Manager Sam Matheny lives in Zebulon but works in Raleigh. Matheny said, “There are economic benefits for all of the communities to realize when jobs are brought to one area. We have to take a collective viewpoint, not just a singular viewpoint where we end up fighting one another.”
Goodmon concluded his presentation by asking the group to invite him back as keynote speaker in the year 2015. He said that if we adopt these three attitudes then his newscast will be really wrong, just a joke.
NAI Carolantic Realty hosted the event. Steve Stroud, chairman of the NAI Carolina Reality, said the conference “highlighted the company’s role in establishing the Triangle as a community with a forward-thinking identity.”