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Cody Cress Comments on UNCW as an Economic Driver

Cody Cress Comments on UNCW as an Economic Driver

(Photo credit: Cece Nunn; Obtained from:

In a recent article by Cece Nunn from the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, Cody Cress of The CRESS Group of Coldwell Banker Commercial SunCoast explains why UNCW is a significant economic driver for Wilmington’s market. In the article, Nunn reports:

“A city that contains a major university has an advantage over other communities when it comes to commercial real estate, brokers say.

Wilmington’s largest higher educational institution is the University of North Carolina Wilmington at 601 South College Road, along a heavily developed and traveled corridor.

‘UNCW’s population of nearly 17,000 students is a significant economic driver for Wilmington’s retail market as well as other service-related businesses,’ said Cody Cress of The Cress Group of Coldwell Banker Commercial SunCoast, a Wilmington- based commercial real estate firm.

The university’s student, faculty and staff population is expected to continue to grow, and residential growth tends to spur commercial activity.”

The article also reports on several studies that have been conducted to investigate UNCW’s impact on the regional economy. Nunn writes:

“While it’s hard to measure the exact impact UNCW has had on the South College Road corridor recently and in the past, a previous study showed that UNCW and CFCC had created a total of $1.2 billion in regional income for the fiscal year 2012-13. That was according to an analysis by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI).

Assessing each campus’s impact on the regional economy, EMSI analyzed payroll and operations spending, construction spending and the spending of students, visitors, alumni and startup companies.

Another study, which looked at data from the 2011-12 academic year focusing just on UNCW, showed that the university had a more than $1 billion impact on the economy of Southeastern North Carolina. The study was conducted by the Swain Center for Business and Economic Services and focused on UNCW’s economic impact in four major areas: construction and renovation projects, student spending, spending by faculty and staff members and the campus’ day-to-day operations.

‘UNCW employs more than 2,000 faculty and staff,’ Cress pointed out, ‘ranked in the top five employers in our area, providing economic stimulus to Wilmington.'”

To read the full article on, please click here.

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