Facebook

ACME is being lured to Spartanburg

Rent subsidies, storefront up-fit, in-kind services offered

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, March 18, 2013



Enlarge photo

The crowds attending Tunes On Trade last year helped spark business at ACME during Friday evenings. However, Tunes On Trade is moving to the Greer City amphitheater this year.

The crowds attending Tunes On Trade last year helped spark business at ACME during Friday evenings. However, Tunes On Trade is moving to the Greer City amphitheater this year.



Enlarge photo

Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a presidential campaign stop in Greer and chatted with ACME  co-owner Denise VandenBerghe. Ironically, Perry withdrew from the race the next day.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a presidential campaign stop in Greer and chatted with ACME  co-owner Denise VandenBerghe. Ironically, Perry withdrew from the race the next day.



Enlarge photo

Denise VandenBerghe revived an empty storefront with ACME General Store. Denise and her husband, Chris, had already set up Wild Ace Pizza next to the Greer Chamber of Commerce.

Denise VandenBerghe revived an empty storefront with ACME General Store. Denise and her husband, Chris, had already set up Wild Ace Pizza next to the Greer Chamber of Commerce.



Greer is a phone call away from ACME General Store pulling up roots and becoming part of the Spartanburg downtown landscape.

Denise VandenBerghe said if Spartanburg doesn’t make the call this week she will remain in Greer and re-evaluate ACME’s future.

“(Spartanburg has) begged us to come and we’re at a standstill (in negotiations),” VandenBerghe said. “If we go, we will move ACME to Spartanburg.” She said the Greer store would be closed.

Patty Bock, Economic Development Director for the City of Spartanburg, said she has been talking with ACME owners Denise and Chris VandenBerghe. “We would love to get ACME,” Bock said.

“Right now we’re trying to locate property owners who will accommodate the business. Working with (the VandenBerghes) is high importance to us.”

Denise said she has targeted ACME to be on Morgan Square where Spartanburg’s restaurant row is located on West Main Street. That would put ACME virtually across the street from a Wild Ace Pizza restaurant that is scheduled to open April 15 at 148 West Main Street in the 3,500-square-foot historic Citizens Southern National Bank Building.

“That would be easier to manage both stores. I'm not interested in the next block up,” Denise said.

The Wild Ace near North Greenville College closed three weeks ago and the VandenBerghes are consolidating their resources at the Spartanburg location.

Denise confirmed the city of Spartanburg has offered incentives that are similar to its Main Street Challenge entrepreneurial initiative – property owners willing to up-fit their downtown storefronts for new businesses and the city offering $1,000 per month for 12 months as rent subsidies. Additionally, in-kind services would include marketing, payroll, telephone and Internet services to assist ACME in its first year of business.

“We are not a part of that (Main Street Challenge),” Denise said. Bock also said ACME was a separate consideration.

“Spartanburg has 8,000 people working and living in downtown. We have a fraction of that, about 10 percent. We don't have 800 people in downtown Greer,” Denise said. “You can’t justify opening for $110 a day . . . that won’t pay for staff and utilities,” Denise said.

“They did their homework,” Bock said. “I feel their energy and that’s something we haven’t had in downtown for a while.”

Denise said Wild Ace Pizza has grown big enough to entertain a moving to a bigger location. "I will remain in Greer and hope to build a bigger and better Wild Ace.”

“It’s probably a little early to know if the store is coming,” said Spartanburg Mayor Junie White. “If we had an anchor store downtown it would help tremendously.”

Allen Smith, CEO/President of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce declined to be interviewed for this story.

Spartanburg City Council has its bi-monthly meeting scheduled tonight. ACME was not on the agenda but would likely be discussed in executive session.

Share



Related Photo Galleries


Leave a Comment



Trending: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, Obituaries, Chon Restaurant, Allen Bennett Hospital