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Deaton's staff painting a greener landscape in Greer

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, January 26, 2012

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Tractor Supply Company has cleared the way for Piedmont Plaza on W. Wade Hampton Blvd. to get a new parking lot facelift with lighted and landscaped islands. Kohl's is moving into the former Kmart building to the right of TSC.

Tractor Supply Company has cleared the way for Piedmont Plaza on W. Wade Hampton Blvd. to get a new parking lot facelift with lighted and landscaped islands. Kohl's is moving into the former Kmart building to the right of TSC.



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BMW Manufacturing Co., in Greer had already begun construction when it announced its $900 million expansion that included a new Z4 vehicle to be produced in two years. BMW is expanding its existing buildings. 100 new jobs will be added this year.

BMW Manufacturing Co., in Greer had already begun construction when it announced its $900 million expansion that included a new Z4 vehicle to be produced in two years. BMW is expanding its existing buildings. 100 new jobs will be added this year.

Reno Deaton, Executive Director of Greer Development Corporation, has the enviable job of being the front man selling Greer to business and industry. This month is the 10th anniversary of GDC.

The first month of 2012 first quarter has Deaton's 3-person staff on pace to promote Greer's new businesses with the creation of nearly 500 jobs. Numerically, that represents nearly 2 percent of Greer’s 25,500 population.

Phil Rhoads, Development of Building and Development, Standards, Tuesday presented city council his department’s 2011 construction report and forecast for 2012. Rhoads emphasized Greer has $13 million committed in construction this year. That’s already more than 2011.

The past week's reports that Kohl's, Walmart Neighborhood Market, QuikTrip, Spinx and MD360 are in some form of construction phase are a solid base to begin 2012. Not included is the continued hiring at BB&T for its regional retail loan processing facility, Honeywell's $25 million expansion and 30 Tier 1 jobs, and Greer’s “Restaurant Row” gaining Ember restaurant and The Stomping Ground Coffee and Wine Bar. The Homeland Security/Immigration's new location on Pennsylvania Avenue is also expected to increase hiring this year.

“I believe we’re seeing a renaissance. It's all market driven. Stores don't look at Greer and say that’s a nice place, let's put a store there. They are looking at the bottom line and seeing if it will be profitable,” City Administrator Ed Driggers said.

Deaton gave Greer chamber, business and city leaders the shockingly good news that last year’s $604 million in retail sales was a new standard by more than $200 million. And that figure was reported in November, before holiday sales.

“It tells us there is an opportunity here with the income, population and workforce,” Deaton said. “There's diverse commercial activity ongoing and larger announcements are tentatively planned.”

The announcement of Piedmont Plaza undergoing a parking lot modernization with islands and landscaping is the prelude to Kohl's opening a store this year at the former Kmart. Tractor Supply Company is moving is outdoor goods to the side of its store that will increase parking and provide a more attractive view of the strip center from Wade Hampton Blvd.

QuikTrip's modern store design and expanded kitchen opens in three weeks at Wade Hampton Blvd. and Buncombe Road.

Driggers said businesses upgrading their property and storefronts within the Wade Hampton Blvd. corridor is also good for the continued growth and improvements of nearby businesses. “Anytime you start to improve one house in a neighborhood, then another, and another, it becomes contagious. We're beginning to see that in the Wade Hampton Blvd. corridor,” Driggers said.

Benson Chrysler Dodge Jeep at 400 W. Wade Hampton Blvd. is undergoing a complete renovation of its offices, showroom and will have new signage in the front. New masonry and retaining walls will also be constructed. The project is scheduled for completion in November.

Chuck Langston, of Langston and Black Real Estate, moved into a stand-alone building at 1001 West Wade Hampton Blvd, across from D&D Ford. “This is the best move we've made and our location is perfect for us,” Langston said. Langston said his firm is ahead of last year in regards to closings and prospects.

Skip Davenport, General Manager at D&D, announced last year a $7 million expansion that includes a new showroom and expanded repair facility on East Wade Hampton Blvd. Langston is the agent for D&D’s present location and has been fielding inquires.

“I can see a lot of different businesses looking for a site that would have the traffic Wade Hampton Boulevard provides daily,” Langston said.

Langston said the traffic count on Wade Hampton Blvd. is approximately 35,000 vehicles a day. Nearby Buncombe Road’s count is 22,000 vehicles a day.

All the while Deaton, Angela Rutland and Sam Danner of Greer Development is fielding inquiries daily and introducing potential clients to Greer’s demographic and business dynamics.

“We've been very busy this month,” Deaton said. “But that's the way we like it. Greer has a lot of potential and property for business and industry. Plus we already have the infrastructure of water, gas, electric and waste in place. Businesses can come in and not worry about infrastructure. CPW (Greer Commission of Public Works) has been very good planning for the future.”

What Greer doesn't have, Deaton told City Council in December was an inventory of industrial buildings and easy highway access into and through Velocity Park, across from BMW on Highway 101. He implored council to begin a transportation study to prepare for anticipated growth in that area.

Deaton said there are residual effects Greer can expect from TD Bank’s announcement of a regional banking center and adding 1,000 jobs located in Greenville and BMW Manufacturing Co. in Greer announcing a new X4 line with a $900 million investment plus 300 jobs this year and 1,000 additional by 2014.

People mentioned in this article. Click a name to view more articles for that person.

Reno Deaton, Ed Driggers, John Mansure, Nick Stegall, Perry Williams

Businesses mentioned in this article.

BMW, City of Greer, Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, Greer CPW, Greer Memorial Hospital, GSP Airport

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