Is this the South's most underrated downtown?

January 19, 2016 38 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Article by Ennis Davis

For the past 40 years, cities all across the country have invested millions into revitalizing their downtowns. Nevertheless, one of the most overlooked success stories may be in a state that just recently decided to remove the Confederate battle flag from the top of its statehous.

With a 2014 population of 62,252, Greenville, SC is significantly smaller than Jacksonville. Despite its size, the former mill town has excelled in completely retrofitting its core since the 1970s. At the center of Greenville's renaissance was the conversion of its Main Street from a bland four-lane highway into a two-lane street corridor with wide sidewalks, free diagonal parking and significant landscaping.

Over the years, this infrastructure improvement has been bolstered with coordinated land use policies and investments, adding traffic generating anchors in specific locations to help stimulate additional infill development. Regardless of a community's size, if it's interested in turning its downtown core around, Greenville is a community worth exploring. Here's a look at downtown Greenville on a random January 2016 Sunday morning.






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