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Spartanburg is a suburb...

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It seems that no matter what you say, people still think Spartanburg is a suburb of Greenville. Even people in our own state! Now, obviously to those who konw the area, this is not the case. I want to know what it is about Spartanburg that makes outsiders believe it is a suburb of Greenville, and more importantly, what is Spartanburg NOT doing that allows this sterotype to perpetuate itself. On that same line, what could Spartanburg do to help differentiate itself from Greenville while still remaining a key player in the Upstate?

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Don't know a whole lot about Spartanburg, but I will take the bait since I am somewhat familiar with it. Greenville looks and feels bigger. Proximity to Greenville. Greenville seems to get more media coverage. What could Spartanburg do to differentiate itself from Greenville? Not sure. All of my relatives from out of state always relate the 2 ex. Greenville-Spartanburg. I guess Spartanburg could build on its downtown like Greenville has.

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These same people would also probably think that Durham is a suburb of Raleigh or that Ft. Worth is a suburb of Dallas; I think that's usually the case when it comes to hyphenated metro areas. It's also interesting that in the case of Greenville-Spartanburg and Raleigh-Durham, one of the major economic catalysts of those regions are attributed to the larger city when they're actually located in the county of the smaller city: the BMW plant in Spartanburg County and Research Triangle Park in Durham County.

I think one advantage Spartanburg currently has over Greenville is that Spartanburg is definitely a college town. Perhaps it could follow in the footsteps of other well-known college towns by providing more student-oriented venues of creative expression and thereby developing a "hip" and "trendy" image.

Does Spartanburg have some type of comprehensive vision plan for the next few years? If so, what does it include?

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I too have always viewed the cities as sister cities. I was raised in Spartanburg and know it extremely well. More recently I have learned a lot about Greenville. Parts of Greenville do feel bigger. Their downtown for example. I don't think it feels any bigger in the amount of actual land area but in the fact that they have less eyesores and more of it is developed. I think as Spartanburg continues to expand their downtown this feeling of Greenville's downtown being bigger will go away. I will also say that the local media likes to give credit to Greenville more so than to Spartanburg. It seems that even though the news is supposed to be regional coverage that a lot of it is focused on Greenville. A lot of, but not all, Greenvillians will tell you that both BMW and the airport are in Greenville and not Spartanburg.

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True about the media. In the "old" days, WSPA was Spartanburg's station and WYFF was Greenville's. Now they want to focus on a more regional approach so they try to concentrate in there "weaker' markets. That's why I'm starting to tune to WYFF. They seem to cover Spartanburg better than WSPA.

Spartanburg simply needs to step up their marketing. You can't put stuff on the free city channel and say you advertised an event. We also need to get young proffesionals more involved in the sity. i'm excited about the Hub-Bub movement and hope it will continue to grow.

Also, nothing against our past leadership, but Spartanburg is just now starting to gain momentum from a wonderful mayor. Greenville has been fortunate to have great leadership for a while now. While there has been no lack of philanthropy in Spartanburg, there has been no unifying source to bring these efforts together. The Chapman Cultural Center seems to be the exception to this, so hopefully the tide is turning. However, even now, I wouldn't be surprised if there are those who are wanting Cleveland to go bankrupt so they can purshase the Marriott and other parts of the Renaissance Park for pennies on the dollar.

I digress... In any case, Spartanburg and Greenville are sister cities and will continue to grow that way with some new baby sisters (Greer and others) coming into the Upstate family.

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I still think WSPA is pretty focused on Spartanburg. Despite its occasional regional reporting they still reference Spartanburg all the time, and for everything it seems. Not that I mind. I like having a true 'local' channel.

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Krazeeboi said it - there isn't much you can do about ignorance. Ft Worth obviosly isn't a suburb of Dallas as few commute to Dallas, just as few commute from Spartanburg to Greenville. Also - even though there are seeming differences in terms of size, their county & urban area populations aren't that signficant in differences.

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I still think WSPA is pretty focused on Spartanburg. Despite its occasional regional reporting they still reference Spartanburg all the time, and for everything it seems. Not that I mind. I like having a true 'local' channel.

I catch WSPA here in Rock Hill, and to me it definitely seems to be Spartanburg-centric. As a matter of fact, when I first started looking at it, I wished they would've covered more news in Greenville since I don't catch any of Greenville's local channels. But it's great that Spartanburg has a new station devoted to news in Spartanburg. It would be cool if they could report somewhere in downtown with some street level activity going on in the background, at least for the 5pm news. I know it's a rather "tired" concept, but hey, I think it works well; WBTV news in Charlotte is a good example of this. Of course Charlotte has more street level activity since it is a bigger city, but you get the idea. ;)

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Yes. Most counties in SC a have comprehensive plan. Here is a link to Spartanburg's comprehensive plan.

Does the city itself have anything like this in place? The county plan is rather general, but one specific to the city could deal with downtown redevelopment and things like that.

By the way, do you think a city-county consolidation could potentially work in Spartanburg?

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I know Rock Hill has conducted comp plans, in fact RH has been in the forefront for planning in SC.

Typically - for the state Dept. of Community Affairs, city & counties are responsible on a rotating basis to submit their comprehensive plan. At least this is the case for GA, but I believe it is the case nationally - as some federal law last decade declared the need for comprehensive planning at the local level as well as the regional - metropolitan planning organizations.

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Does the city itself have anything like this in place? The county plan is rather general, but one specific to the city could deal with downtown redevelopment and things like that.

By the way, do you think a city-county consolidation could potentially work in Spartanburg?

All municipalities in South Carolina are required by law to have a comprehensive plan. Spartanburg has one, but it is not available online, which I find incredibly frustrating. Most places have them online.... but you can check out the city's website if you want to look anyway (they could conceivable add it at any time).

As to the consolidation? No. Spartanburg has the urban core area around the city and 85, but the northern and southern parts of the county are very rural, and are nothign like the central part of the county.

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I still think WSPA is pretty focused on Spartanburg. Despite its occasional regional reporting they still reference Spartanburg all the time, and for everything it seems. Not that I mind. I like having a true 'local' channel.

Yeah, WSPA is still pretty Spartancentric but they do cover the general upstate better than they did. WYFF does a better job of covering the upstate, i think WHNS does the best job of covering the entire market and WLOS well pretty much Asheville and sometimes the rest of western Carolina haha

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I am told that WSPA also does well in Greenwood for some reason. The only reason Fox does well is because it has essentially no competition (62 does provide some, but its hard to take that seriously). Otherwise I find that their news has a lot of little mistakes (like calling the Greenville Bombers the Columbia Bombers) and is generally irritating to watch.

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I am told that WSPA also does well in Greenwood for some reason. The only reason Fox does well is because it has essentially no competition (62 does provide some, but its hard to take that seriously). Otherwise I find that their news has a lot of little mistakes (like calling the Greenville Bombers the Columbia Bombers) and is generally irritating to watch.

I prefer 62 over 21 for 10:00 myself. Reason being, I can get the weather on 62 a LOT sooner than on 21. I hate having to wait until 10:38 for the weather, but that's me.

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remind me where WSPA's offices are located again?

I think it is called International Drive or something like that. they are near the intersection of I-26 and Business 85 behind the old Holiday Inn. I forget what the name of the hotel is now.

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Yes, it is International Drive. The hotel is at the corner of Business I-85 and I-26. There are some nice tall oak trees to the left of the hotel. That is where Media General, parent company of WSPA-TV and WASV, is located. From that one location, several stations across the East and beyond are controlled. The furthest one out that I can recall is somewhere in Iowa. :shades:

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After working in Spartanburg for awhile, I can speak about several things that I didn't know so well in the past. First of all, Spartanburg has changed dramatically recently, especially downtown. The change of developmental focus is the reason for the visible changes. That came as a result of people wanting to stay in Spartanburg and make it attractive to its residents and visitors, but gained lots of steam because of the success that downtown Greenville was experiencing. Much of what Greenville has been able to accomplish has become extra motivation to the surrounding counties' aspirations for success.

One of the most interesting, and I daresay, disturbing things I have discovered is that Spartanburg has LOTS of people who are depressed with South Carolina and want to move away. I have been shocked by how many literally avoid traveling to Greenville for no justifiable reason, but continue to make judgements on the local economy without seeing the whole picture. This mentality was strong in Greenville just a couple of decades ago, but has weakened considerably since then. It took me by surprise at first, but then I began to look deeper at the meaning, and found that most of Spartanburg is far behind the current level of growth Greenville is experiencing. In another decade or so things may be different (I certainly hope so!).

WSPA does indeed cover Spartanburg very well. You won't find much in-depth reporting on the downtown Greenville developments, but You'll get more on Spartanburg than WYFF 4 or FOX Carolina. :)

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I agree that Spartanburg's level of growth is far behind Greenville's but disagree with you on the attitudes of the people. I know of nobody who wants to leave Spartanburg or South Carolina for that matter. I sense that most Spartans love their city and really want to see it prosper.

I think for too long we have seen Greenville boom and have wondered what we [spartanburg] were doing wrong. In my opinion Spartanburg hitched itself to the manufacturing wagon way too long while other cities have come to realize that manufacturing is a thing of the past. These cities have aggressively targeted knowledge-based businesses and appear to be thriving. Spartanburg County's enemployment has stubbornly held at 7% for several year now. This is evidence of the point I make.

Fortunately, the leadership in Spartanburg seems truly committed to making the community more livable. Mayor Bill Barnet is possibly the brightest mayor in the entire state and whose vision for the city is beginning to be realized.

Will Spartanburg surpass Greenville as the upstate's economic engine? Perhaps not. But what is important [to me] is for Spartanburg to grow at a rate at least equal to Greenville in terms of both population, employment, and income.

I welcome your thoughts.

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Yes, it is International Drive. The hotel is at the corner of Business I-85 and I-26. There are some nice tall oak trees to the left of the hotel. That is where Media General, parent company of WSPA-TV and WASV, is located. From that one location, several stations across the East and beyond are controlled. The furthest one out that I can recall is somewhere in Iowa. :shades:

For the record, Media General is based in Richmond, Va.

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These same people would also probably think that Durham is a suburb of Raleigh or that Ft. Worth is a suburb of Dallas; I think that's usually the case when it comes to hyphenated metro areas. It's also interesting that in the case of Greenville-Spartanburg and Raleigh-Durham, one of the major economic catalysts of those regions are attributed to the larger city when they're actually located in the county of the smaller city: the BMW plant in Spartanburg County and Research Triangle Park in Durham County.

I think one advantage Spartanburg currently has over Greenville is that Spartanburg is definitely a college town. Perhaps it could follow in the footsteps of other well-known college towns by providing more student-oriented venues of creative expression and thereby developing a "hip" and "trendy" image.

Does Spartanburg have some type of comprehensive vision plan for the next few years? If so, what does it include?

I don't think of Durham as a suburb of Raleigh because I have heard the name Raleigh-Durham so much more than I have Raleigh. I hear the name Greenville-Spartanburg a lot less now than I used to. I mainly just hear the name Greenville now. Sometimes I actually hear the name Spartanburg-Greenville, but I wonder if this is just when the speaker is trying to get under the skin of any Greenvillian who might be listening. I'm glad to live in a metro area that answers to only one name - Columbia.

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After working in Spartanburg for awhile, I can speak about several things that I didn't know so well in the past. First of all, Spartanburg has changed dramatically recently, especially downtown. The change of developmental focus is the reason for the visible changes. That came as a result of people wanting to stay in Spartanburg and make it attractive to its residents and visitors, but gained lots of steam because of the success that downtown Greenville was experiencing. Much of what Greenville has been able to accomplish has become extra motivation to the surrounding counties' aspirations for success.

One of the most interesting, and I daresay, disturbing things I have discovered is that Spartanburg has LOTS of people who are depressed with South Carolina and want to move away. I have been shocked by how many literally avoid traveling to Greenville for no justifiable reason, but continue to make judgements on the local economy without seeing the whole picture. This mentality was strong in Greenville just a couple of decades ago, but has weakened considerably since then. It took me by surprise at first, but then I began to look deeper at the meaning, and found that most of Spartanburg is far behind the current level of growth Greenville is experiencing. In another decade or so things may be different (I certainly hope so!).

WSPA does indeed cover Spartanburg very well. You won't find much in-depth reporting on the downtown Greenville developments, but You'll get more on Spartanburg than WYFF 4 or FOX Carolina. :)

You make a lot of interesting points. I agree that Spartans are generally envious of what Greenville has, but I think that works in our favor. If our downtown is a result of that then so be it. Just so long as things are happening.

Spartanburg is behind Greenville in terms of growth, but that does not mean that its not growing. What you have to consider is that while Greenville is technically growing slower as a percentage, it has more people , so the actual numbers are higher. I am not sure where your travels have taken you within Spartanburg County, but if you go up to Boiling Springs or down to Roebuck you can see where much of the new growth is perhaps the growth is not quite as much of the wildfire that it is in Greenville, but you cant' argue its existance. Just look at Hillcrest, Westgate, and downtown, and all of the new happennings there that hve occured in the past few years. Its really quite amazing. I have had friends that have gone off to college and not come back for 3 and 4 years, and say its like the never lived there!

I think the reason that Spartans generally avoid Greenville is because they see no real reason to go there. Many people see it as jsut a larger Spartanburg. Yeah there's more stuff, but its all the same stuff. I think that is true to a large extent. I have friends who see no point in going to Greenville to do anything becuase they can do the same thing in Spartanburg and not waste the gas to go to Greenville and sit in traffic to do the same thing.

On the opposite side of things, I know people who go to Greenville because they say there is nothing to do in Spartanburg. So, it really just depends on what your attitude is towards a smaller-midsized town.

I'm interested to know more about what you mean by people making judgements about the economy and not going to Greenville. I know only whay I hear and form my family and friends there. I am fairly certain that I do not represent all of Spartanburg.

I know there has to be a lurker or two out there that wants to chime in on this.

I agree that Spartanburg's level of growth is far behind Greenville's but disagree with you on the attitudes of the people. I know of nobody who wants to leave Spartanburg or South Carolina for that matter. I sense that most Spartans love their city and really want to see it prosper.

I think for too long we have seen Greenville boom and have wondered what we [spartanburg] were doing wrong. In my opinion Spartanburg hitched itself to the manufacturing wagon way too long while other cities have come to realize that manufacturing is a thing of the past. These cities have aggressively targeted knowledge-based businesses and appear to be thriving. Spartanburg County's enemployment has stubbornly held at 7% for several year now. This is evidence of the point I make.

Fortunately, the leadership in Spartanburg seems truly committed to making the community more livable. Mayor Bill Barnet is possibly the brightest mayor in the entire state and whose vision for the city is beginning to be realized.

Will Spartanburg surpass Greenville as the upstate's economic engine? Perhaps not. But what is important [to me] is for Spartanburg to grow at a rate at least equal to Greenville in terms of both population, employment, and income.

I welcome your thoughts.

I think Spartanburg's biggest problem in the past is that there was no leadership to get things moving. You'll notice that nothing really happened downtown until Mayor Barnet got in there (just in the past 5 years or so), and more importantly the blue laws were eliminated.

Then you have leaders like Milliken who have invested millions into our community, but who prefer palacial research facilities with lots of trees. Thats great and all, but its hard to be a unifying force for the city with that type of development. On the otherside you have people like George Dean Johnson who hve started to invest in the city itself.

I too think and would like to see Spartanburg catch up to Greenville in all of those categories. I think its possible, but I think it will take oontinued leadership and good growth policies. Spartanburg is in a wonderful position to leard from the mistakes of Greenville, Columbia, and more importantly Durham (to an extent) as it grows up.

I know that I would like to end up in Spartanburg one day and make my contribution towards that end.

I also know that there are some lurkers out there who want to talk about this. ;)

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