Will Gaskins

Director of Economic Development

Will oversees the economic development operations of the Hillsborough Street Municipal Service District, including program areas such as: business recruitment, retention & expansion; commercial real estate & development; government policy & advocacy; research, data analysis & reporting; transportation, planning & urban design.

His experience includes conducting research and publishing reports on area economic factors with examples such as: the 2016 Development Report, semiannual market reporting, and the anticipated 2020 Hillsborough Street Corridor Profile. Will’s experience extends also into statistical surveying and event impact reporting with examples such as the 2018 Annual Survey or the 2017 Spring Fest Impact Report.

Will is a licensed North Carolina Real Estate Broker and is currently pursuing the International Economic Development Council’s Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation. In his role with Hillsborough St., Will assists businesses and developers in finding property within the Hillsborough St. district to fit their needs and also in sharing market information and economic data about the corridor. Will works with active rezonings and development projects in coordination with the community and the City of Raleigh to maximize the end value for the area.

Will’s recent projects include the management and execution of the 2018 Hillsborough Street Corridor Parking Study- a first of its kind study for the district which in coordination with NC State University and the City of Raleigh has led to the implementation of many needed parking policy and infrastructure changes in 2019 and beyond. In 2018 and 2019, Will deployed Hillsborough Street’s first pedestrian counters and has since grown the number of counters on the street to four- the data from which have proved invaluable in the heavy pedestrian traffic areas of the street both for existing businesses and new businesses locating on the street. In 2019, Will launched the Hillsborough Street Public Art Grant- a program targeted to incentivize and support public art in the district and Hillsborough Street’s first ever grant program. 

In addition to his role with Hillsborough St., Will also manages the economic development operations of the Blue Ridge Corridor Alliance. There, Will has worked with area institutions and state agencies towards the Alliance’s goal of realizing a more urban, walkable, destination in Raleigh. This has included work interfacing with state and local government to better utilize state land in the corridor as well as publishing the 2018 Blue Ridge Corridor Profile and serving as a mentor for a 2019 UNC Department of City and Regional Planning – Housing and Community Development Workshop graduate study on housing affordability in the Blue Ridge Corridor.

Will is very active in the community, currently serving on boards and committees including ULI Triangle’s Communications Committee & Young Leaders Group – Steering Committee and the Raleigh Chamber’s Young Professional Network – Programs Task Force. Originally from Charlotte, Will met his wife, Jamie, in Raleigh. They live nearby in the historic Mordecai neighborhood and are active members of the local Raleigh community.

Will has been in the role of Director of Economic Development since April of 2017 and with Hillsborough Street since October of 2014.

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