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Falloutboy

Considering Relocating to Greenville.

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I'm new to the forum and could use some advice and feedback. I recently finished a year-long job that allowed me to live in several different areas of the eastern US. Now I need to settle down and Greenville is one of several cities I am considering.

Those of you that know the area well please tell me what you like and dislike about it. I did spend one aftrenoon downtown so I already know about the great Main street and parks, but what is the Greenville -Spartanburg area like beyond the downtown? How is traffic? Is it easy to get around?

I'm somewhat put-off by a statistic I read stating that the area is the fifth worst in the country for suburban sprawl, as I am a big proponent of smart growth. But at the same time, there seem to be a lot more TNDs and nice townhome/rowhouse communities going up than in my hometown of St. Louis.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any feedback you guys could give me. I will be flying in next week for an interview and I should have the weekend to look around.

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Hi Falloutboy, and welcome to the forum! (up and at-them ;) )

From my experience, Greenville has rather bad traffic, but its not that bad. Charlotte's traffic is much worse. As for getting around, you need to talk to someone who lives there. I'm from Spartanburg, so almost everywhere has worse traffic than I'm used to :) Plus I don't know the best ways to get places, so its hard for me to say. Generally the traffic is not intolerable. As for the sprawl, keep in mind that Atlanta was the 4th worst for sprawl, and it has 4 times as many people as we do in the Upstate (4.x million in Atl versus 1.1 in the Upstate (that includes Greeville, Spartanburg, Anderson and all areas around and inbetween)). Beyond downtown are alot of great historic neighborhoods. Greenville has alot of townhomes and apartments, but they are spread out around the area. If you want urbanity, then you have to live downtown, as there is not really any other place around that offers a true urban environment. Greenville is a great location because it has a small town atmostphere, but it offers big city functions (the the major except of mass transit. If you live here you have to have a car).

Please ask some more questions about the area! There are several other people who live in the area that post here. They should be able to provide a more informative answer than mine... but I hope mine was useful.

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Welcome aboard!

I used to live in Greenville from 2001-2003.

So I know a little something about the place.

For starters it's a very pretty city in a small-town sort of way, doesn't really feel like a big city. Getting around is tolerable. The one thing the city needs bad is a belt-way around the northern side of town. When I lived there I had to travel from just off Haywood Rd. to Travelers Rest, it took me about 1/2 an hour to travel 15 miles becase of going through town to get to work hitting the stoplights and going through traffic. But if you live close to where you work it shouldn't be a problem. The outskirts of the city are pretty much like any other SE mid-sized city (ie wall mart, Sam's, shopping centers, you know "sub-urbia"). Another positive is it's proximity to the mountains, so if you are an outdoor enthusiast it's ideal, not as good as Asheville but close enough. Traffic can be bad during rush hour but that's because the city has just recently begun road widening projects, it may be different now but that's what was usually holding up traffic when I was living there.

The most disapointing thing about the city though was the mentality of many of the residents. A very stuffy, conservative, petty, "I'm better than you are crowd." If you don't fit the certain mold it's difficult to feel comfortable socially there. But that's just my take on it because I grew up a little more open minded. (Ex. I had a friend from Colorado who moved to Greer, and she told me that the women in her subdivision, "felt uncomfortable with her being in their neighborhood because she was a single mother and she would make a play for their husbands") But like I said very conservative, religous, throw the first stone values type of town. I personally will never live there again. However I will say the city has a lot going in the right direction developmentally.

That's pretty much my rundown of Greenville?

Good Luck!

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Thanks for the replys!

I found the following quote on a forum post over at skyscrapercity.com.

"Greenville is basically a horrible city with a wonderful downtown. Downtown, Main Street looks like a Parisian Boulevard and there's a 60-ft waterfall in a park at its foot. However, get beyond Main Street and the historic districts that cluster right around it and Greenville quickly mutates into a spreading rash of slums and sprawl........Someone put some effort into making that place gruesome."

:blink:

Sounds kind of harsh. Every city has some not so pretty areas, but a "spreading rash of slums??" Does this seem like a reasonable criticism? Also, what are some of the nicer suburban areas? (Mauldin perhaps?) Do any of them have their own small walkable shopping districts or town centers?

Please keep it coming!

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I wouldn't take that critcizm too seriously. Over all Greenville is a nice town. Every city has slums. I defy you to find one that doesn't. Greenvillians do tend to have a superiority complex about them. Never really understood that, but oh well.

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I wouldn't take that critcizm too seriously. Over all Greenville is a nice town. Every city has slums. I defy you to find one that doesn't. Greenvillians do tend to have a superiority complex about them. Never really understood that, but oh well.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have been in the Greenville area since January. I love it, but the city I came from was a great deal smaller and didn't have the samethings available. I have found out that it is very conservative here, but just from studying different messageboards and watching area politics as of late. Don't let that stop you from moving here and enjoying the city though. No one has ever treated me bad here, and most of the nightlife here is very open.

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Greenville isn't a bad place, but whatever you do, make sure you live within the city limits of Greenville. The quality of life is so much better than that of the county, not to mention a lot less of a headache in commuting. As for me, I just moved from Pelham/85 to Augusta/Grove Rds, and anyone can tell you that this is a nice area. I can walk to grocery stores, tons of restaurants, and it has a almost typical new england feel to it. Big oak trees, sidewalks, which anyone could also tell you are quite rare in Greenville outside the city. My inlaws live in Simpsonville, and the commute with road construction and traffic is 45 min for 15 miles on the interstate. So yeah, stick with the city of Greenville, you won't be disapointed.

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Hi Falloutboy,

You should definitely consider Greenville. I've always live in larger cities (Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas, Chicago) and can tell you that Greenville's quality is better. My partner and I moved here four years and find Greenville (and Upstate as a whole), a great place to live.

Some things I love about Greenville's quality of life:

1. Due to the amount of European investment (BMW, Michelin, etc) you can almost always meet someone when your out and about from Europe. Have met numerous people....you can just be in the grocery and hear several languages.

2. Great choice's for living from Downtown Lofts, to older neighborhoods, mounatin views, upscale burbs, middleclass burbs, lakefront views....a large variety....more than most larger cities.

3. Restaurants.....take your pick Dutch, Indian, Japanese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, French, Italian, etc.....seems all represented very well. Been here four years....we eat out on average 3 to 4 nights a week....still trying new places. Greenville definitely holds its own in this category.

4. Easy in and out flights.....GSP is probably the quickest and easiest airport I've ever used (and I fly weekly with business). Airfares are a little on the high side, but the airport is super convenient.

5. Arts are supported....Peace Center, Warehouse Theater, Little Theater, Childrens Theater, Center Stage Theater, Symphony, Ballet, Governors School for the Arts, Furman, History Museum, Greenville Museum of Art, numerous galleries, Art Bomb, Shakespeare in the Park, etc, etc, etc the list goes on.

6. Alternative groceries: Earth Fare (2), Garners, Fresh Market, Asian Groceries, Mexican Groceries, the farmers market, the Downtown (Sat morning) market, etc.

7. Good supply of coffee houses/shops...Coffee Underground, Liquid Highway, Spill the Beans, West End Coffee Co, the obligatory Starbucks, etc, etc

8. Paris Mountain views

9. Falls Park Liberty bridge and the waterfall downtown

10. A proactive mayor, Know White, that seems to focus on quality of life....read an artical that he drives around the city on weekends looking with a detailed eye for ways to improve quality of life.

11. An incredible 24/7 downtown.

12. If you get the least bored here, the mountain are 30 minutes....Asheville, NC an hour, Charlotte 90 minutes, Columbia 90 minutes, Atlanta 2 hours, Augusta 2 hours, Athens (cool town) 2 hours, Aiken (cute place) 2 hours, Clemson 45 minutes, Myrtle Beach or Charleston 3 to 4 hours. A great central spot to live if you love weekend exploration.

13. The greenway trail through Cleveland Park

14. Very dog friendly city

15. Earshot

16. 33 Liberty....the coolest restaurant between DC and Miami for true "foodies".

17. The cleanest, freshest, water that I've ever had from the tap.....the cities water comes from a res in the mountains.

18. A good cross section of people....preps, gays, x'ers, intellectuals, Dem, Repubs, nerds, yups, dinks, etc, etc. Very accepting people.

19. Four true seasons...Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall....even on a 90 degree summer day, the temp usually drops at night to the mid seventies.....wonderful weather.

I could go on, but I'm rambling here. Greenville is a quality place and I hope you check it out more.

Ciao!

GSUpstate

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Well said! I would only add that the winters here are relatively mild most of the time, with highs averaging in the 50s. Thats not to say it doesnt get colder (and it does).

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Wow, thanks gsupstate! That's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I'm still flying into Greenville this weekend. I hope to take some good pics of the area Sunday to help convince the wife that it really is a nice town. If they come out well maybe I'll post some early next week.

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Hello, just wondering if you did relocate to Greenville SC and if you like it? Any information you can offer would be terrific! Im considering the move myself. Thanks!

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Welcome to the forum dcsmudgey! Falloutboy hasn't been active in several months, so you may not hear from him. However we would be more than happy to help you with your decision to move to Greenville. ;)

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Hello all. I have lived in Greenville all my life and I can only think of a handfull of other places that I would even consider living. However if I was moving to Greenville from another market and did not know the area it might be a bit of a task to choose what section of town to live in.

You would think in a town that is relativly small compared to a city like Charlotte there would not be much difference but I think the quality of life will vary greatly depending on what part of Greenville you might choose to settle in.

If you can afford it, "and if you are moving from the north east or callifornia I am sure you can" I would recommend either the North Main, Main St, Cleveland Park, or Augusta Rd area. Everything you need is close by and each section has a very distinct feel. Traffic is not much a an issue except for perhaps Augusta Rd.

If you dont really want to urban experience and want more land with some mountain views I would suggest going north of Greenville to Travelers Rest or the surrounding areas. It is very close to the mountains but you can be in downtown in less than ten minutes and traffic is pretty light on that side of town.

If you talk to a Realtor of which I happen to be one, "but I work mostly with commercial real estate" you will most likely be steered toward the Woodruff rd, Mauldin or Simpsonville area. This is due to the massive amount of new cheap housing in that area. The schools are good in this section of Greenville, but in my opinion if you move there you might as well move to any walmart town usa.

I can find no character or charm to this area of Greenville and it is where 90% of all the sprawl has occured over the last ten years. Traffic is horrible and is only going to get worse.

These are just my opinions but I would be happy to answer any other questions you might have about the town.

All in all I think Greenville is very unique in what it has to offer. There is no doubt that the Downtown section makes all the difference in the world for Greenville and I think the towns continuing growth and cultural expansion will radiate outward from this center. If you want to be part of that, then within a three mile radius of downtown is where you need to be.

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I agree that what I have seen of Mauldin and Simpsonville is pretty much recent sprawl. I have never tried to find any original town centers as such. Is there a historic town/mill area that is pretty nice in those suburbs? Is there anything redeeming? I was in Greer a while back and they have a decent small historic downtown area. Also, I agree with where to live. To me, the two appealing things about Greenville are its great downtown area and its proximity to the mountains. Otherwise, it is the standard southern sprawltown-perhaps even more so due to its more multi-nodal nature. One more question-what is the deal with the new toll road? It seems that the road is just going to spread more sprawl in an area which has actually escaped it so far. It seems out of whack with where the core of Greenville and the I-85 corridor are.

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I agree that what I have seen of Mauldin and Simpsonville is pretty much recent sprawl. I have never tried to find any original town centers as such. Is there a historic town/mill area that is pretty nice in those suburbs? Is there anything redeeming? I was in Greer a while back and they have a decent small historic downtown area. Also, I agree with where to live. To me, the two appealing things about Greenville are its great downtown area and its proximity to the mountains. Otherwise, it is the standard southern sprawltown-perhaps even more so due to its more multi-nodal nature. One more question-what is the deal with the new toll road? It seems that the road is just going to spread more sprawl in an area which has actually escaped it so far. It seems out of whack with where the core of Greenville and the I-85 corridor are.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Your best bet is downtown Greenville, although Spartanburg's downtown is coming along nicely. There are a few bright spots for the numerous burbs that ring the GV / SPTB area. There is an old mill in downtown Simpsonville that is currently being converted into lofts...Simpsonsville's downtown along the railroad tracks is somewhat cute, although much more could be done. Greer's downtown is coming along nicely and probably has the most potential for any of the burbs due to it's location.

One that people rarely mention is Landrum....they've obviously worked on their downtown and have several restaurants, some good shops, parks and some downtown living.

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Welcome to the forum dcsmudgey! Falloutboy hasn't been active in several months, so you may not hear from him. However we would be more than happy to help you with your decision to move to Greenville. ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hello THANK YOU for your invaluable advice and information. I am definitely considering Greenville and will be checking it out in April. I see that Greenville has an Ad Club which is really impressive. I am in creative management (graphic design/web/print/Fine Art/publications/marketing/advertising) and I hope to explore opportunities in the Greenville area. Any sugguestions would be greatly appreciated! I will be relocating from the Orlando FL area. I have lived in DC, and California, Oregon and Im looking forward to the ideal southern lifestyle Greenville has to offer.

Thanks again!

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Your best bet is downtown Greenville, although Spartanburg's downtown is coming along nicely.  There are a few bright spots for the numerous burbs that ring the GV / SPTB area.  There is an old mill in downtown Simpsonville that is currently being converted into lofts...Simpsonsville's downtown along the railroad tracks is somewhat cute, although much more could be done.  Greer's downtown is coming along nicely and probably has the most potential for any of the burbs due to it's location.

One that people rarely mention is Landrum....they've obviously worked on their downtown and have several restaurants, some good shops, parks and some downtown living.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

For the time being, there are limited living options in downtown Spartanburg. There are plans on the horizon though.

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For the time being, there are limited living options in downtown Spartanburg. There are plans on the horizon though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Agree...my husband and I are both from Spartanburg, after college we moved from Atlanta to Wilmington to Boone to Los Angeles...and returned to Spartanburg from there...

We live in Hampton Heights...Spartanburg's oldest neighborhood. Also only historic district. I love it. Very progressive and up and coming...you hear "oh, there's a lot of crime there..." which i find unfortunately translates to fear, racism...you would not believe what local realtors say to people...I find that the people that run from urban life for these reasons are not normally the folks i prefer to live around anyway. I love the diversity that resides in my neighborhood.

Most of us that live in this neighborhood care deeply about the neighborhood, it's historic value, downtown revitalization and are willing to commit to maintaining an active role in seeing it all come to fruition! I love being a part of it and would "harass" anyone to come check us out if you're interested in downtown living!!!

Also, check out the Preservation Trust of Spartanburg's website...a friend of mine is the director of this and they currently focus only on Hampton Heights...we're very lucky to have them...

http://www.preservespartanburg.org/

http://www.hamptonhts.com/

thanks for letting me plug the 'hood! And Spartanburg!

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Hello THANK YOU for your invaluable advice and information. I am definitely considering Greenville and will be checking it out in April. I see that Greenville has an Ad Club which is really impressive. I am in creative management (graphic design/web/print/Fine Art/publications/marketing/advertising) and I hope to explore opportunities in the Greenville area. Any sugguestions would be greatly appreciated! I will be relocating from the Orlando FL area. I have lived in DC, and California, Oregon and Im looking forward to the ideal southern lifestyle Greenville has to offer.

Thanks again!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi dcsmudgey,

I made the decision to move my family to Greenville this past year after living in Atlanta and Memphis for the past 10+ years. Like you, I work in a creative field, so the presence of a vibrant arts community was an important factor in choosing a new place to live in the southeast. I wanted to be closer to the mountains in a smaller town, but not give up all of the cultural amenities of a larger city. My advice is to spend a lot of time walking, even aimlessly wandering, downtown when you come to visit. You will get a much better feel for the place than you would from behind glass.

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Agree...my husband and I are both from Spartanburg, after college we moved from Atlanta to Wilmington to Boone to Los Angeles...and returned to Spartanburg from there...

We live in Hampton Heights...Spartanburg's oldest neighborhood. Also only historic district. I love it. Very progressive and up and coming...you hear "oh, there's a lot of crime there..." which i find unfortunately translates to fear, racism...you would not believe what local realtors say to people...I find that the people that run from urban life for these reasons are not normally the folks i prefer to live around anyway. I love the diversity that resides in my neighborhood.

Most of us that live in this neighborhood care deeply about the neighborhood, it's historic value, downtown revitalization and are willing to commit to maintaining an active role in seeing it all come to fruition! I love being a part of it and would "harass" anyone to come check us out if you're interested in downtown living!!!

Also, check out the Preservation Trust of Spartanburg's website...a friend of mine is the director of this and they currently focus only on Hampton Heights...we're very lucky to have them...

http://www.preservespartanburg.org/

http://www.hamptonhts.com/

thanks for letting me plug the 'hood! And Spartanburg!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Believe it or not I almost mentioned Hampton Heights! That neighborhood has done a 180 in the past few years. It is just a few blocks from downtown. I am glad that so many people are fixing up those beautiful homes. The neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places I believe. Please keep us updated on the progess that is being made there :)

Welcome to the forum!

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Hello THANK YOU for your invaluable advice and information. I am definitely considering Greenville and will be checking it out in April. I see that Greenville has an Ad Club which is really impressive. I am in creative management (graphic design/web/print/Fine Art/publications/marketing/advertising) and I hope to explore opportunities in the Greenville area. Any sugguestions would be greatly appreciated! I will be relocating from the Orlando FL area. I have lived in DC, and California, Oregon and Im looking forward to the ideal southern lifestyle Greenville has to offer.

Thanks again!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Perhalps one of the most underrated parts of Greenville (by the general local populus) is its prominence in the Advertising industry. there are too many agencies here to list, and many are top-rated and multiple-award-winning. A couple I highly recommend checking into are;

Henderson Advertising

Jackson-Dawson Integrated Marketing Communications, Inc.

Brains on Fire

Erwin-Penland Advertising

These are only the beginning of the advertising career possibilities in Greenville. Check out many others, including IMI Resort Marketing and Pixel Shock, while you're visiting. You'll discover how rich the creative environment is here! :D

greenvilleadclublogo.jpg

GAC Website

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I grew up in Columbia and went to Furman U. in Greenville, and lived in Greenville while briefly attending graduate school at Clemson, so 4.5 years all told. Granted this was all during the 1980s, but I have to say that I was dumbfounded at the difference in attitudes between Columbia and Greenville. Not that Columbia is a bastion of progressive thought, but I found Greenville to be the most conservative and judgemental place that I've ever seen and couldn't wait to flee there after finishing school. I realize that what constitutes a good place to live for a college student and a working professional are probably very different, and you may find Greenville a wonderful place to live, but you might want to spend some time talking to locals as you ponder your decision, particularly their opinions on minorities, homosexuals, non-Christians, non-conservative Christians, men who don't like football, vegetarians, and yankees.

As far as the city as a city, I've been back to visit friends several times since then and must say that the downtown is quite lovely and seems to be thriving, while the sprawl on the west (?) side of town, by I-85, Mauldin, is horrendous. I have a cousin who lives in a McMansion on that side of town, and the mess of new development where she lives is really unpleasant. Cleveland Park and the Zoo are lovely little gems and a major asset for the city, and you have quick and eas access to the mountains. However, I notice that there are areas that were derelict and abandoned when I was at college that are still in the exact same state 20 years later!

Best wishes in making your decision on a new home.

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Directions in Greenville don't rely on I-85 :) Most of the sprawl over there is more East or Southeast as best as I can tell. Maybe its more south along 385 than anything.

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