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Wish List for Spartanburg - 2012


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My wish list for 2011 was modest but overall I'm happy with what happened in terms of development and economic progress in Spartanburg. Just to recap:

  1. VCOM opened and has been a positive influence on downtown and our community as a whole.
  2. The downtown dining scene is improving with the opening of Cribb's Kitchen, the Spice of Life, and the soon to be opening of a restaurant in the Hub Bub building.
  3. The suburban restaurant scene, too, is improving with several new openings at Westgate and elsewhere.
  4. The downtown airport's terminal building was magnificently renovated and reopened in mid November.
  5. Virginia College, a for-profit institution, opened after renovating a long shuttered furniture store on Highway 29.
  6. Westgate Village, an eyestore with the closing of Circuit City, was renovated and now is fully occupied.
  7. Quick Trip's attractive new stores on West Main (replacing an abandoned car dealership) and at Hearon Circle (replacing the old Dairy Bar).
  8. The Meeting Street School announcement for Broadwalk.
  9. The Amazon announcement.

A negative for some, but not for me, was losing Extended Stay Hotels. I didn't think they were a good corporate citizen and very happy they're off to Charlotte. Good riddance!

So my wish list for 2012, while still relatively modest, is the following:

  1. Monsoon Noodle House (one of my favorite downtown restaurants) remains shuttered. I hope that whatever is holding up it's post fire renovation and reopening gets resolved quickly.
  2. A major tenant is announced for the former ESA building downtown.
  3. The developer and owner of the Montgomery Building makes a decision on this iconic structure's future.
  4. More job announcements. The county's unemployment rate still remains too high.
  5. A restaurant replacement for the Cornbread and Caviar building on Morgan Square.
  6. More of something to add vibrancy to East Main between Church Street and Converse Street.
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My 2012 would include:

1 New housing downtown in addition to the old Oakman Building

2 A sizable annexation

3 The Montgomery Building or the Schyler Building redevelopment underway

4 The demolition of one or more hotels at the intersection of Pine and Main

5 Monsoon reopens

6 The City and County start talks of a new consolidated City Hall/ County Administration building behind Marriott or around the perrimeter of Downtown

7 A large white collar job anouncment downtown

8 A new development on Main between Daniel Morgan and Pine St.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lots of good stuff mentioned. Here's my list:

1. More white-collar jobs / fill former ESA building

2. A commitment to, and plans for, greenways (Cottonwood to Glendale, etc.)

3. Open Hub City Co-Op grocery store downtown

4. More restaurants & retail downtown

5. New urban apartment building(s) downtown

6. Road diets (E Main, W Main, etc.)

7. Finish new YMCA

8. Annexation / expand city limits

9. New mixed-use building at Renaissance Park

10. Carolina Ale House downtown

The main things I want to see are jobs (with an emphasis on white-collar, knowledge-based jobs), and new construction downtown (urban apartments). The urban apartment market is booming all over the nation; I'd like to see some of that development here.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My 2011 list. 3/10 isn't bad I guess. THE biggest thing that happened in 2011 is the adoption of the urban code. Eventually this will be a true transformative force for Spartanburg as it will impact all new projects that come into the city.

  • East Main St Road Diet
  • Urban Code & Downtown Master Plan adopted by City Council
  • Spartanburg County Comprehensive Plan starts up again
  • Spartanburg County adopts zoning ordinance
  • More shops and restaurants downtown (especially Main St, east of the Square)
  • Progress with building the "Grain District" concept
  • Revival of the "Eastern Gateway" project
  • Noteworthy progress on the Renaissance Park Urban Village
  • Annexation of Hillbrook properties (and any other significant annexations)
  • New employers to fill up the empty office buildings in downtown

My 2012 list:

Spartanburg County Comprehensive Plan starts up again

Spartanburg County moves towards a zoning ordinance
East Main St Road Diet
Noteworthy progress on the Renaissance Park Urban Village
New employers to fill up the empty office buildings in downtown

Revival of the "Eastern Gateway" project
Discussion of city's park system and how to improve it
Initiation of a new development that will illustrate how the urban code works
Resolution of the annexation issues from the past year
Growth of middle class in the city

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