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Spartanburg wish list for 2009


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This thread is for our 2009 wish lists. What projects would you like to see happen, what other progress needs to be completed?

For reference, see past Wish lists:




My top ten wish list for 2009

  1. The Zoning Ordinance is adopted

  2. The Comprehensive Plan gets some serious progress

  3. The Downtown Master Plan & Urban Code are adopted

  4. A mid-sized employer locates downtown to generate some white collar jobs.

  5. 2 new residential infill projects within the city limits (rehab or new development)

  6. Replenished restaurant scene. Abbey's, Wild Wing, Rock Water Tavern all need to be filled.

  7. A business fills the spot of the old Belk/Aug W Smith that was recently uncovered.

  8. Announcement about a new City Hall

  9. More significant progress regarding our bicycle infrastructure. Bike lanes are great, but we need something bigger

  10. Highway 9 in Boiling Springs selects the ideal "complete streets" cross-section- sidewalks, tree-lined planting strip, bike lanes, and a large tree-lined median.

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In retrospect my 2008 wish list was ambitious to say the least. Like everyone else I didn't see the economic tsunami coming the way it did.

Still, we did see the groundbreaking for the USC-Upstate School of Business. This, I believe, could be the catalyst for more things for Renaissance Park.

My 2009 wish list is a little more modest:

  1. More tenants for Liberty Commons

  2. An announcement by Mast General Store to move into the old Kimbrells location

  3. Again, an announcement for the vacant Abby's Grill location

  4. A decision on narrowing East Main Street

  5. Again, an announcement fregarding a new city hall

  6. Again, an announcement regarding the future of the Montgomery Building

  7. Again, more quality tenants at Hillcrest

  8. Another increase in the city's population

  9. Wild Wings reopens under new management

  10. Hope VI funding for improved public housing

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I love the Mast General Store wish! That could likely work a miracle turnaround for the downtown shopping scene. :)

One thing I would say, regardless of where it happens in the city, is that Spartanburg desperately needs better dining options. Being employed locally at a well respected business, this is one of at least a few major annoyances for many of my co-workers and myself - just another reason why most of us have chosen to live in the Greenville metro area and commute back and forth. If location is any indication of what we want, several of us reside in the well established North Main neighborhood, near the central core of a vibrant, beautiful, and growing downtown. Others are clustered in the Pelham and Greer areas, near I-85. The way I see it... if Anderson can have a good selection of dining options, Spartanburg has no viable excuse for its lackluster performance in this regard.

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As if on queue, the HJ has a conveniently-timed article about 2009 projects going on in the city. Their list of projects includes:

  • University of South Carolina Upstate George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics and a parking garage ($11.5 million)

  • Promenade Road ($2 million)

  • Union Street Skate Park ($440,000)

  • C.C. Woodson Community Center ($6 million)

  • Cleanup of the former Arkwright Landfill ($3.5 million)

  • Way-finding signage project ($500,000)

Its worth noting that all of these projects, except possibly the way-finding signs, have funding from private resources (donors, grants, universities, etc).

Nobody knows what will happen with the infrastructure bill, so that could potentially add a lot of projects for 2009.

HJ Article

The University of South Carolina Upstate George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics is going to have one heck of a letterhead.

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The second Hotel in Downtown Spartanburg could have been well underway by now if the wonderful leadership in Spartanburg could have been comfortable with an independent yet somewhat boutique hotel. The developers were turned away cold with an out of the box independant 40 room hotel that would filled a niche in Downtown and given an alternative to the Marriott. Although I think it was a little small and quaint, it would have had many positives, but again what else has SC lost that we don't know about? We really need to clean house on the leadership in this town or we'll always be second or even third rate.

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