If you live in or travel to downtown Gastonia, you’ve seen the ditch- the big indention where the train tracks go through downtown.
On the south side of the ditch the city is beginning to transform. A new downtown apartment building, the SPARK entertainment district and new surrounding businesses are part of the change. On the north side there are low income homes, and run-down buildings that were once businesses.
“A lot of areas north of the railroad ditch have been impacted,” Assistant City Manager Quinton McPhattter said. “You have areas of significant poverty.”.To address this, the City of Gastonia is seeking $2 million in grant monies for project CHANGE. Project CHANGE stands for Connecting Highland: Access, Neighborhood Growth, Equity. A goal of the project is to explore options to cap the ditch and improve Highway 7.