November 1, 2019

GREENSBORO — The city welcomed its newest downtown tenant in a big way on Friday.

A block party, complete with a Ferris wheel, was thrown to welcome the official opening of a satellite office for New York-based lifestyle apparel company Centric Brands.

The company opened in the Gateway Center at 620 S. Elm St. and with it came over 200 jobs.

Centric is a new company, created in October 2018 when Differential Brands Group acquired a significant portion of Global Brands Group and changed its name.

Global Brands employed some workers in Greensboro.

Though there were some Greensboro layoffs as a result of the restructuring, the company brought about 215 jobs to Greensboro, said Eddy Corado, vice-president of operations for Centric.

“Half of them were from Greensboro, half were recruited and brought in,” Corado said.

But more jobs may come.

“We are continuing to bring more jobs downtown,” Centric CEO Jason Rabin told a crowd at the block party.

Corado said additional jobs hinged on finding the right space for the office.

“Our focus was to get the space right. So, if you build it, they will come. So today was a big moment for us because I hope we’re there,” Corado said.

Centric is the anchor tenant for the 106,000-square-foot Gateway Center. Its workers take up about half that space in a contemporary open floor plan.

Developer Andy Zimmerman purchased the historic Old Greensborough Gateway Center in 2016. He had the floor plan in mind when he began the renovations.

With the help of N.C. Department of Commerce and $426,000 in city incentives, Zimmerman eventually lured Centric to the site.

The arrival is sort of full circle for Centric. The historic Gateway Center started out as apparel-maker Blue Bell, which owned a smaller denim company called Hudson. Eventually, the Hudson brand was acquired by Centric.

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