The Upstate SC

VOL12ISS2 2016

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Page 49 of 83

THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — UPSTATE SC | VOLUME 12 — ISSUE 2 48 The arts and an old building in the City of Greer are coming together for a good cause. Artists will be the first tenants in city's former City Auditorium that will become a haven for art and creativity with artist studios, classrooms, galleries, classrooms and more. It is a part of the progressive city's plan to expand its programs and art district with a designated building. Throughout the year, arts are promoted by the Greer Cultural Arts Council. Some of its productions include the annual Greer International Festival each April, Greer children's theatre productions and the Greer Idol event. Business is strong in the community. From local businesses to international brand, BMW, the economic future of Greer is bright. City programs are being developed to drive business and promote growth. "The Greer Chamber of Commerce launched the 'GreerMade' initiative in February to promote and market the diversity of products made in Greer," said Mark Owens, President/CEO of the Chamber. The registered mark can be put on restaurant menus, retail items or on cars such as BMWs which are manufactured in Greer. Manufacturing, culinary and retail are some of the sectors the city wants to reach. Greer Station is the heart of the city with the addition of more than 40 new businesses in recent years. Streetscape improvements, restoration efforts, special events and festivals have made Greer Station a destination point. Abbott's Frozen Custard, Wild Ace restaurant and Benchmark bicycle shop are some of the recent additions to the downtown scene. Blue Ridge Brewing GREER Greer BY LINDSEY GREY Company has plans to relocate its Greenville operations, including the restaurant and brewing operation, to Greer. Upstate towns and city residents are avid bikers, and Greer locals are excited about having a bike shop in the city. Benchmark Supply Company bike shop fits in with the city's "Partnership for Tomorrow" 15-year plan that puts a premium on walking and bike trails for the city. The shop specializes in bikes ranging from $250 to bikes selling in the thousands. Keeping to their mission, the store is closed on Sundays so the owners can ride their bikes. The arrival of BMW in the region catapulted growth in Greer and has made a major impact on the Upstate. Aside from the economic boost, the luxury car manufacturer has contributed more than $36 million in corporate giving to Upstate communities for education, cultural arts organizations, social and community initiatives. In 2015, BMWs Greer facility rolled out more than 400,000 X models to become the company's highest producing plant in the world. The Greer facility also exported almost $10 billion worth of cars in 2015, remaining the nation's leading vehicle exporter in terms of the value of the vehicles. Also in 2015, Mitsubishi Polyester Film announced a $100 million expansion of their Greer facility. The company is the largest polyester film plant in the U.S. Retail sales in excess of $1 billion have attracted commercial and residential development. "Vibrant retail sales are a great indicator of local growth, and we're excited that Greer is becoming an attractive, on-the-rise market as anticipated," said Jeff Randolph, developer of O'Neal Village and other communities in the Upstate. The development located on 180 acres of rolling hills features a variety of single-family homes and townhomes under construction. A focus on enjoying time outdoors is evident in some of the amenities that homeowners can enjoy: pocket parks scattered throughout the community within walking distance of every new home, resort-style swimming pool with arbors, outdoor amphitheater with pavilion, spring-fed ponds, fitness center, a community garden and more. Family-friendly festivals and events are a part of life in Greer. Staples like Greer Family Fest, Freedom Blast, The Vintage Market, and Tuesdays on Trade are popular events. The seven-weeks of Tunes in the Park and 10th Annual Greer Idol schedules get folks out in the summer months. Tunes in the Park, held at city park amphitheater, begins Fridays on June 10. Residents get outdoors to Greer City Park for special events and to relax. Parks and recreation keep youth and adults active on team sports leagues. studios, frozen custard, bicycles, and big business

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