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scgubers

Is Greenville building a city for the future? Or falling back into the past?

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I lived in the upstate for 28 years, but the past 12 have seemed to bring about the most change in a positive direction. Downtown continues to change and evolve in a way that other cities try to replicate.

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I think the City is building for the future. It's putting its money where its mouth is, and we're seeing progress on a lot of fronts.

Planning is something Greenville does REALLY well. We can see this quite evidently with the ONE development, as the City is the entity who took the initiative to find the property owners and piece together the parcels for this dynamic development.

Powerline burial is extremely cost-prohibitive. However, the City has done what few others have attempted. They planned for a way to do it, worked with Duke to setup a fund, and we've seen pole-to-house burials across the City thus far-- which is the biggest factor in timely power restoration. We're about to see the first implementation of commercial corridor line burial either this month or next. There's a long way to go, but steps have to be taken one at a time.

The Haynie-Sirrine Masterplan is another item of planning coming to fruition. It was produced in 2002. Today, we're nearing the completion of transforming a blighted 6 lane highway into a "complete street" of 4 lanes with improved aesthetics and pedestrian focus. Built impact can be seen in the form of the Brio condos (52 units @ market rate), demolition of 15 substandard houses, building of 30 affordable homes (Chicora Crest), and rehabilitating of 11 houses all before 2009. Their plans call for 145 units to be demolished and the construction of 533 new housing units to be built, increasing the total number of residential structures in the neighborhood to 663.

I could go on, but for now, I think I'll just share this document on neighborhoods that was produced by the City of Greenville and accounts for its plans and efforts in certain identified areas of the City. I think it's planning at work, and investment in all of the following: community, citizens, and quality of life. A city waiting for things to just simply "happen" or choosing to revert back to the past would not do this or see these kind of results: http://www.greenvillesc.gov/CommDev/forms/NeighborhoodGuideReportCard12-1-09.pdf

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Simple. In 1988, would you go downtown for any reason? Would you expect to have one of the finest minor league stadiums in the country? How about a showplace Falls Park and main street that planners from other cities all over the U.S. come to draw inspiration from?

And look at what's coming - a sleek, modern visitor's center, actual hi-rises in downtown, sweeping updates to roads and regions of the city that would have gone neglected in the past?

I've moved back to this blasted city TWICE, and it was great even then. It's FANTASTIC now, with visions that are only making it better.

Nope, there's no falling back. There are fewer stretches of dilapidated thoroughfares, new hubs of commerce/residential are springing up all the time. Remember when Pelham and Haywood was a 3-way intersection with stop signs? Same for Roper Mountain and Woodruff? And can anyone remember Fairview Road in Simpsonville as the quiet farmland out in the middle of nowhere?

This is already a great town, and I see it getting better with every new floor of ONE being poured. I think it was the great philosopher Tom Scholz who stated "Don't look back, a new day's waiting." Wise words, indeed. :-)

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A lot of the fading signage on Main Street has been replaced, including all of the purple and gold street signs. :thumbsup:

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