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Concord Downtown: New director has ‘passion for economic development’


Jume 5. UPDATED 7 AM. Johnson Y. Bray, who is currently the planning director in Troy,  says he was quickly impressed by downtown Concord. “It immediately felt like a place that I could call home,” the new executive director of Concord Downtown Development said.

“The City and CDDC have approached economic development in a way that has not only improved downtown but also the entire community. That is the kind of organization I want to be associated with,” said Bray, who will officially become CDDC director July 2.

Bray, who is also Main Street coordinator for Troy, a small town in Montgomery County near the Uwharrie National Forest. It’s also the county seat, just as Concord is the county seat of Cabarrus.

Bray has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a major in Public and Urban Affairs. He went on to obtain a Master of Public Administration degree with a specialization in Town, City and County Management from Appalachian State University.

Bray said the CDDC “offers a platform for me to develop my passions for economic development and public service while immersing myself in the community of Concord.”

He replaces Diane Young, the CDDC’s executive director during the past seven-plus years. During the past 18 years, some $180 million has been invested in downtown Concord, which has a ground floor vacancy rate of 6 percent.

“I am excited for the opportunity not only to work in Downtown Concord but also call it my home. I understand the great work that has been done up to this point,” Bray said.

“My primary goal is to maintain that momentum and build upon the success,” Bray said.

The CDDC was formed in 1990 to carry out the Main Street program on behalf of the City of Concord. It is an accredited Main Street organization by both the North Carolina Main Street Center and the National Main Street Center.


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