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Spartan

A Vision for Spartanburg

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I had some ideas that I want to share about where I would like to see this city go. I would like to know what you think about it, and hear any ideas you have about what can be done to reinvigorate the rest of the City (not just downtown, which is on its way back)

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The City of Spartanburg is shrinking (slowly) but Spartanburg County is growing like mad. You have to remember that the city is more than what is in the city limits. It is the entire bult up area that we live in. I am willing to wager that many of you do not live in the city limits. I don't. But we still claim the city don't we? I do. What makes the city function is not confined to out city limits.

Did you know that the built up area around Spartanburg contains nearly 150,000 people? That makes this "small town" of 40,000 seem a little more significant doesn't it? This fact means that we are operating as a city of 150,000. The infrastructure is not as bad as you think. Some parts are, to be sure, but not everywhere.

The City has to get its act together. The City is more than just downtown. Once the city starts investing in more neighborhoods than Converse Heights we will truely start to see progress. Hampton Heights is an example of that.

Our city should capitalize on the fact that we are a textile town. We have some great mill villages around and within the City itself. These villages can be better preserved becuase they are in an area that has the ability to enforce zoning and architectural restructions (and new construction requirements). The County cannot enforce them to the same level.

Perhaps you saw the article about Beaumont in the paper the other week? That area would be a great neighborhood again if it were reinvested in. Being in the center of town- just minutes from Regional, minutes from Downtown, and minutes from Hillcrest gives it ALOT of advantages. Just drive by on Isom or N Pine and you can tell that you are in a special area. It just looks different than the rest of the city. On top of that, it is a part of the local history with a well preserved mill (even though most of it will become a parking lot).

How many other neighborhoods are there that are the same way? Plenty. That neighborhood between Wofford and Regional could become an area for professors and doctors who walk (GASP!) to work.

That insanly large kudzu feld just west of the RR tracks could become a park with a large pond at the center (there is a creek runnung under all of that mess). And that weird building with the parking on its roof could become a kickin restaurant with rooftop dining- overlooking the park!

Maybe the old Spartan Hotel on Magnolia will once again house people , either in apartments or as another hotel?

Why not some cool mid-rise condominums on Kennedy St and Harris Pl?

Imagine some Converse freshmen hopping the new light rail system to go to the new movie theater at the former Joe Gibson Car lot at Reidville & W Main. Then a meal at the new mexican restaurant that is on that other lot.

The problem is that the City has this negative connotation. You talk about all of these negative aspects of it.... So if you want to help your city, move back to its center. Invest in a condo or an apartment downtown. Buy a house that is within the city limits. Instead of going to Dorman Center to eat, go downtown and park in the garage. Walk around for heaven's sake (its very nice!). Have a bite to eat. ENJOY YOUR CITY! Only then will it become a great place. I have no doubt in my mind that Spartanburg will be a much better place to be than Greenville one day

If you dream it, anything can happen. I, for one, have a great vision for MY city. What vision do you have for YOURS?

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spartan, run for mayor. i will vote for you and campaign for you. your ideas are excellent, you're saying everything i'm thinking. so many people hate that downtown isnt so great, but they dont go there either. our city is so beautiful but investors won't invest in a city that's not investing in itself-- meaning, shop downtown, eat downtown, and voice your thoughts to the city about the city... we should rally at a city council meeting or something, get talking to the people that make things happen. because i hate that redlight on morgan square (but I LOVE my city!!!)

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Spartan,

Your creativity, enthusiasm, and insight are very inspiring. I couldn't agree more. I grew up in Spartanburg, and have been gone for nearly 15 years and am now moving back in April. My husband and I are struggling to decide whether to move to Greenville or stay in Spartanburg, where our jobs are located. We feel a strong allegiance to Spartanburg, and want to contribute to its growth and development, but also want the benefits of a thriving downtown.

What do you think has been or is holding Spartanburg back? Has it been lack of leadership, lack of direction?

Developing more city neighborhoods like Hampton Heights and Beaumont is a wonderful idea. Spartanburg has the spirit, character, and history to become a exciting place to live. Lets make it happen!

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Spartan,

Your creativity, enthusiasm, and insight are very inspiring. I couldn't agree more. I grew up in Spartanburg, and have been gone for nearly 15 years and am now moving back in April. My husband and I are struggling to decide whether to move to Greenville or stay in Spartanburg, where our jobs are located. We feel a strong allegiance to Spartanburg, and want to contribute to its growth and development, but also want the benefits of a thriving downtown.

What do you think has been or is holding Spartanburg back? Has it been lack of leadership, lack of direction?

Developing more city neighborhoods like Hampton Heights and Beaumont is a wonderful idea. Spartanburg has the spirit, character, and history to become a exciting place to live. Lets make it happen!

What does Spartanburg need? The answer is simple. Spartanburg needs people like you to stay and invest their money and time in the city! Too many people leave for "greener pastures" and invest their money and time elsewhere. I know everyone bashes Arthur Cleveland but give the guy some credit, at least he's invested the money he's made off Spartanburg in Spartanburg and not Hilton Head Island or some other glamorous place. For all the problems he's had wouldn't it be great if a hundred Arthur Clevelands were around!

If you really want Spartanburg to prosper stay in Spartanburg. Dine and shop in the city. Attend the many cultural events that are held here. Too many of us go to other towns to dine and shop. Heck, I know a couple who drive to Greenville to eat at the J&S Cafeteria! Don't get me wrong here, I'm not bashing the J&S Cafeteria or Greenville. But there's many great dining options in Spartanburg that offer a much better selection and atmosphere than the J&S Cafeteria!

I've said this many times on this forum but it was not too many years ago that downtown Greenville was a pretty desolate place. What it took for downtown Greenville to be successful was a critical mass of investment and support from Greenville residents. That's really all Spartanburg needs now. Spartanburg needs it's own citizens to stay at home and support their city's renaissance and those brave entreprenuers who have a vision for a vibrant city.

Please choose Spartanburg.

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CAREER OPPORTUNITY

CITY OF SPARTANBURG

POSITION VACANCY

Planning Director

The City of Spartanburg, SC is seeking applications for the position of Planning Director. This

highly responsible position directs the City

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What does Spartanburg need? The answer is simple. Spartanburg needs people like you to stay and invest their money and time in the city! Too many people leave for "greener pastures" and invest their money and time elsewhere. I know everyone bashes Arthur Cleveland but give the guy some credit, at least he's invested the money he's made off Spartanburg in Spartanburg and not Hilton Head Island or some other glamorous place. For all the problems he's had wouldn't it be great if a hundred Arthur Clevelands were around!

If you really want Spartanburg to prosper stay in Spartanburg. Dine and shop in the city. Attend the many cultural events that are held here. Too many of us go to other towns to dine and shop. Heck, I know a couple who drive to Greenville to eat at the J&S Cafeteria! Don't get me wrong here, I'm not bashing the J&S Cafeteria or Greenville. But there's many great dining options in Spartanburg that offer a much better selection and atmosphere than the J&S Cafeteria!

I've said this many times on this forum but it was not too many years ago that downtown Greenville was a pretty desolate place. What it took for downtown Greenville to be successful was a critical mass of investment and support from Greenville residents. That's really all Spartanburg needs now. Spartanburg needs it's own citizens to stay at home and support their city's renaissance and those brave entreprenuers who have a vision for a vibrant city.

Please choose Spartanburg.

I would simply say that if your only interest is to see the City of Spartanburg become what you envision it to be, then yes, stay in Spartanburg and do everything here. However, I also see the benefit of regularly visiting other cities (in the Upstate primarily) and experiencing the growth taking place there as well, since the entire region is working together to become a stronger economically attractive force to be reckoned with nationally. I have and always will invest time and money into all of our cities and continue to help others to do so as well. Spartanburg will indeed become a better city because people will get out and help in the community and work together for a similar goal. This is what Greenville has done successfully for nearly 20 years now, and no one can deny the incredible turnaround it has experienced and is continually building upon. I look forward to witnessing Spartanburg's long-term vision unfold and the WHOLE city become just as excited and part of the process of its future success.

Spartan, you have a great vision, and I hope you become a major player in the city's development in years to come. I know that is your ambition, and I fully back your efforts in this endeavor. :) I also hope you don't get sucked down to Columbia. That would, well .... suck.

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Unfortunately I'm headed out of town this weekend, so I don't have much time to say what I need to say. Leadership has been a problem in the past. I think that Mayor Talley acted as more of a figurehead than a mayor. But Mayor Barnet and CM Mark Scott are a good combo. We have a more solid gorup of leaders and developers forming. I think that the government side of things is really starting to focus on a direction... now its up to the people to do their part. It will also take some time. But hey, we have plenty of that.

Southernphilly, I do hope that you choose to locate in the city, and that you can be a part of Spartanburg's future. Hampton Heights would be a prime location because it is just a short walk to downtown, and if the paper is correct, the area going towards HH is next on the list of things to do. They have some killer deals there on some fantastic houses.

I must go now, but please keep resonding. I will always have more to say when I get back!

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Don't worry Skyliner, Waccamatt, Doug L, CorgiMatt, and I will have Columbia on lock. ;)

Spartan, I truly believe you are destined for great things in Spartanburg. As I have stated, the city is chock FULL of locked-in potential, especially downtown. I would suggest that you guys start with your local newspaper. Submit letters to the editor. Request to be a guest editor. Start an urban blog. Attend city/county council meetings and let your voice be heard. We have some absolutely GREAT ideas on these forums for all of our cities, and I, for one, can't wait to finish up my education so I can put down roots and start getting involved like I want to. These little steps can and will go a long way.

Oh yeah, also win the lottery and start a development corporation. That would help. :thumbsup:

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krazeeboi, you getting sucked down to Columbia? :lol: I noticed you have lots of wonderful ideas for that city, so I just wondered....

Those are really good ideas, and it all starts with just getting up, out, and into the community. People need to look around, but many haven't done so in a very long time, believe me. It's kind of like a diamond in the rough: people looked at it and said, "its just a dirty old rock," but when they wake up and start cleaning and cutting (reshaping) it, they see what a treasure it actually is. My point is that it takes WORK. It also takes knowledge of what can be done. There is no easier example to learn from than the neighbor at hand, Greenville. Take the good from that renaissance and add the personal touch that only Spartanburg can, and you've got something valuable to sell at any market globally. :thumbsup:

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very insightful post spartan, i agree , spartanburg has a lot of potentiol. More of this potential will be realized as more and more investment pours in. im currently away from the states at the moment, but ill be back in the gsp area in about a month, looking forward to seeing spartanburg again, and enjoying what it has to offer!

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Several good insights here. I applaud Arthur Cleveland for the investment he has made in our city even though he hasn't been able to pay his bills. I agree that there was a lack of leadership with the former mayor but I think that Mayor Barnett has really started to get things going. I definately plan on investing in my city after finishing my education and start receiving a real salary. I also think that another problem is that many people go to neighboring cities, primarily Greenville, for a night out. Stay here. There is plenty to do here and I think when developers notice that people are staying here then more business and options for dining and shopping will start to open.

The city needs to improve in several areas of the city. I think that they need to make the area towards Hampton Heights more pedestrian friendly. There need to be wider sidewalks and better lighting. I think that this area will really start to pick up after the Hub-Bub building opens.

I think that another problem is the fact that residents here don't think that all of these great things can happen in Spartanburg. I talk often with my dad about big dreams I have for the city and what I plan to develop one day. I also talk about all of the projects that are being planned or that have started construction and he often is really surprised that it's happening here. Don't get me wrong, he also wants to see the city grow, but he has a mindset sometimes that the demand isn't here. I think that's beginning to change though.

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...

I think that another problem is the fact that residents here don't think that all of these great things can happen in Spartanburg. I talk often with my dad about big dreams I have for the city and what I plan to develop one day. I also talk about all of the projects that are being planned or that have started construction and he often is really surprised that it's happening here. Don't get me wrong, he also wants to see the city grow, but he has a mindset sometimes that the demand isn't here. I think that's beginning to change though.

That was exactly how I felt about Greenville growing up. Big dreams and ideas for downtown, but felt like I was alone. This is a positive thing for you. Keep dreaming BIG, and letting people know about your dreams.

I still say that we should invest money in all the larger cities in the Upstate, because our futures depend on one another. Too many people have taken a closed mindset and refused to get out and see what is happening elsewhere. This is essential to know where things stand at home and give ideas on what things could be successful or not. I do my part to support Spartanburg and am pleased to see others finally showing interest as well. I also have to almost daily debate with residents about the importance of their city and the Upstate. I encourage them to get out and take a long, close look at how much has changed for the better, and to imagine an even brighter future here. Apathy has been a killer in the past, and it is still found in many parts of the Spartanburg area. That's where you and I come into play today. We can make a difference by leading the way to intellectual revival. :thumbsup:

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Oh yeah, also win the lottery and start a development corporation. That would help. :thumbsup:

Hey I tried.... I only matched one number in the whole thing, and it wasnt even in the right spot. Oh well.

I think that another problem is the fact that residents here don't think that all of these great things can happen in Spartanburg. I talk often with my dad about big dreams I have for the city and what I plan to develop one day. I also talk about all of the projects that are being planned or that have started construction and he often is really surprised that it's happening here. Don't get me wrong, he also wants to see the city grow, but he has a mindset sometimes that the demand isn't here. I think that's beginning to change though.

That is fairly common I think. But then I look at smaller cities that have accomplished more than we have. The demand will not be the same in Spartanburg as it is in Greenville- especially for residential projects. But I think if they are done right that the demand is there. The city has to prove itself, and I think that it is gaining more and more acceptance.

Just that fact that you guys are posting here says a lot. I am certain that there are more like minded people in this city... We've just not had a chance or a place to express our views before. I know that there are quite a few lurkers out there too, and the fact that they are interested enough to stop by also says a lot.

Anyway, I am hoping that my career path will lead me back to Spartanburg so that I can do my part.

I am interested to see what happens with Hampton Heights, and how they tie all of it together. That is a tough area to work with because of the roads and the terrain. If they could do a streetscaping project on Spring St, it could help connect the area to downtown better. And those empty lots between Henry and Broad have to be filled in. I think the Journal reported that the City wa working on the area around Harris Pl as its next target for infill, etc.'

I just think if the right effort is made, people will see what we have to offer.

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That is a good idea. I don't have any pics myself, but I will post some from other sites.

The nighborhood itself usually doesn't appear on maps "officially" like others do (Converse Heights). But if you click this link, you can see the map of the area. Its roughly everything from S Hampton Dr north that is between S Daniel Morgan, S Church and Henry. That is not a perfect description, but you get the idea. Some of the area is in the Hampton Heights Historic District which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Here are some examples of the houses that are there:

226-after.jpg

505-peronneau-after-2.jpg

546-cecil-after.jpg

144-after.jpg

There are some really cool victorian style houses there too but I can't find any images of them. If anyone else has some please share!

Here is a website that deals with HH. Its a preservation group too, so they have other things going on: http://www.preservespartanburg.org/

You can also go explore the Hampton Heights Historic District website.

They have quite a few images there... I am having some trouble with that site though, so I won't post any tonight.

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^Thanks!

I think that Roanoke, VA could serve as a good model for Spartanburg. It is a small city but seems to have more going on than cities larger than itself.

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Perhaps. Roanoke has a lot more of its historic center to work with though. Spartanburg is unique because so far as I can tell, after they planned Morgan Square, they just let the city grow haphazardly. Most other cities in this state have a solid grid downtown. Spartanburg does not. This is bad in some ways, but good in others. Its bad because it can be confusing for outsiders. Its good becuase its fairly uncommon to see that in a city the size of Spartanburg. The grid system we have has been largely pieced together over the years. Roanoke has a substantial grid system.

I guess I see your point Krazee, but I don't necessarily agree with it. Roanoke is a different place.

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Didn't really look at it from that perspective. I was mainly approaching the issue from the vantage point of all that the city has been able to accomplish, despite its size.

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One of the best things Roanoke has going for it is its surrounding scenery. Breathtaking is a proper word to use.

Another factor to consider when comparing Spartanburg to Roanoke is Roanoke's dominance in the region of Southwest Virginia. It doesn't face the same "competition" for business investments as Spartanburg does with Greenville being so close and so much larger. A better comparison might be one of the tri-cities in eastern Tennessee. They are all growing, but "competing" with the neighboring cities, of which Johnson City is largest.

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One of the best things Roanoke has going for it is its surrounding scenery. Breathtaking is a proper word to use.

Another factor to consider when comparing Spartanburg to Roanoke is Roanoke's dominance in the region of Southwest Virginia. It doesn't face the same "competition" for business investments as Spartanburg does with Greenville being so close and so much larger. A better comparison might be one of the tri-cities in eastern Tennessee. They are all growing, but "competing" with the neighboring cities, of which Johnson City is largest.

True. I've always thought of it as similar to Raleigh-Durham, albiet scaled down somewhat.

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This might deserve a thread of its own, but it looks like the city leaders are really starting to develop a vision for downtown. They are in the process of hiring a firm to develop a master plan which would include the potential of making East main 2 lane. It also mentions that the Advent church is in the middle of a fundraising effort to put a new sanctuary on East Main.

Click here for full article.

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That is awsome. I am glad that things are moving forward so quickly.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't St Paul's the Catholic Church? They own the vacant land next to First Baptist's lot and accross from the old Bank of America branch office. It would be great to see that land filled.

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That is awsome. I am glad that things are moving forward so quickly.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't St Paul's the Catholic Church? They own the vacant land next to First Baptist's lot and accross from the old Bank of America branch office. It would be great to see that land filled.

It IS the Catholic church looking to build on the vacant land. Don't ask where I got Advent out of it. Brain Freeze.

What do you guys thinks about closing the Broad street extension at the Denny's tower? Drivers would have to turn left onto Converse then right to get on Main. The curve into Main is OK, but it is tough for pedestrians.

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