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Greer poised for growth explosion

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, May 28, 2015

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Larry Wilson, of the Partnership For Tomorrow, announced the just-concluded fundraising campaign exceeded its goal by more than $400,000. 

Julie McCombs

Larry Wilson, of the Partnership For Tomorrow, announced the just-concluded fundraising campaign exceeded its goal by more than $400,000. 



Enlarge photo

A slide show and video presentation, produced by Steve Owens of the City of Greer, reflected on the success of Partnership For Tomorow's initial 15-year community plan.
 

Jim Fair

A slide show and video presentation, produced by Steve Owens of the City of Greer, reflected on the success of Partnership For Tomorow's initial 15-year community plan.

 

 

This statement may stagger you.

Greer, based on its growth forecast by a commissioned study, should be prepared to accommodate a population of 100,000 by the year 2030.

The Partnership For Tomorrow presented a new 15-year Greer Community Master Plan to an overflow crowd at the Cannon Centre Thursday evening amid a party-like atmosphere.

“There is a sense in this community that we are set to have an explosion of growth,” Brian Martin, an attorney with a downtown office, said in a video presentation.

“Having a master plan is truly a plan for the community,” Martin, PFT chairman, told GreerToday Thursday. “I’m excited what my kids will see.”

The 2014-2019 fundraising campaign, headed by Reno Deaton (Greer Development Corporation) and Mark Owens (President/CEO of the Greer Chamber of Commerce) surpassed its $1.2 million goal.

Pledges to date are $1.609 million, with $1 million pledged by the City of Greer. Additionally, the fiscal year 2015-2016 city budget, approved on first reading Tuesday, is providing another $25,000.

The report, produced by Kimley-Horn and Associates in Charlotte, emphasized the five highest priorities with comments for the master plan.

• Pursue and potentially incentivize new employment and residential development in and adjacent to Greer Station.

The growth of downtown is dependent on the health of adjacent neighborhoods and employment centers. Greer has a significant opportunity to market neighborhoods and employment opportunities close to its vibrant and successful downtown.

• Implement gateway improvements.

Currently, Greer has only one significant gateway (the entry to downtown along Main Street). Greer has the opportunity to announce to visitors where the community begins and where it transitions into downtown through strategic gateway enhancements.

• Complete the pedestrian master plan.

This plan should provide specific guidance for enhancing the pedestrian experience in Greer by inventorying projects, identifying dedicated funding, and seeking partnerships for implementation.

• Establish a Public Art Commission and develop a public art master plan.

The Public Art Commission and Public Art Master Plan should inventory existing public art, identify potential funding partners, and leverage public/private partnerships to create more art in the City of Greer.

• Acquire Victor Mill and develop a plan for Victor Mill Park. This mill is a legacy for Greer and the current site detracts from the community. It offers a substantial opportunity to transition from an eyesore to a significant asset.

“This (plan) gives us an opportunity to develop some areas that are undeveloped,” Lee Dumas, city councilman, said. “Victor Mill, I look forward to that and how we are going to revitalize that area. (The) arts district is a big commitment but I think it will pay off.”

No costs were associated with any of Kimley-Horn’s recommendations.

Greer paid $20.5 million for the new city hall and police and courts building, opened in 2008, and the 12-acre city park that was in the initial 15-year plan.

An arts district was suggested to take advantage of vacant land and to re-purpose industrial/warehouse buildings between the CSX and Norfolk Southern railroad tracks from Main Street to East Poinsett.

The master plan promotes connectivity in communities with recreation parks and trails. It recommended building a multi-use trail loop connecting any new community facility, Stevens Field, Veterans Park, Victor Park and downtown.

Downtown and highway corridors along Wade Hampton Blvd. (Hwy. 29), and highways 101 and 14 were specifically targeted because of their susceptibility to change and their ability to accommodate future growth as the city and greater Greer evolves, according to the report.

The report’s initiatives centered around three themes:

• Physical: promote downtown and healthy neighborhoods, enhance transportation choice and protect and promote the environment.

• Economic: Grow the local economy, emphasize local entrepreneurship and leverage Greer’s regional assets.

• Cultural: Enhance things uniquely Greer, immerse the community in the arts and use history to shape the community’s future. 

The Greer community, with more than 1,000 offering input, participated through surveys, workshops and attending speaking events.

Watch the Community Master Plan Presentation Below:

PlanGreer Community Master Plan

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GCMP Executive Summary >>
 
GCMP Report >>

 

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