City + Citizen News

The Economic Power of Downtown Spartanburg — Part 1

Monday, July 7

There's really no comparison: When it comes to jobs, Downtown Spartanburg leads the way


How are things in Downtown Spartanburg? Booming.


Over the past 18 months, more than 30 new businesses have opened or announced their intention to open. Indeed, the City’s central business district is on the most sustained run of success and private investment in at least a generation.


And there is no sign of it slowing down. To wit, there are eight streetscaping/pedestrian connectivity projects in the pipeline, a couple of significant residential projects underway, the Hub City Co-Op is closing in on its fundraising goal, and several other possible projects currently in the due diligence phase could land downtown.


In short, there has never been a better time to be in Downtown Spartanburg, and over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to highlight some of the eye-opening data that supports this idea.


For starters, Downtown Spartanburg isn’t just a place where people work. It’s an economic engine for our entire region, as our graphic here shows:


 Downtown Spartanburg is a major jobs driver for the entire region.


Now, we aren’t minimizing the importance of the major industrial, manufacturing, and distribution employers located throughout the county. Far from it. We need more of them. At the same time, while those types of employers (rightfully) earn big headlines, it is absolutely essential we recognize as a community the collective strength of the dozens of employers and buying power of the thousands of employees located within and immediately adjacent to Downtown Spartanburg.


It’s not just the number of jobs in and around Downtown Spartanburg that’s so impressive either; it’s the economic diversity. Many folks in the private sector such as attorneys, accountants, and executives spend their days working within a stone’s throw of artists, educators, nonprofit, and public sector workers. Employees and business owners of all types create and share in the web of activity our downtown offers.


And as this trend continues, Downtown Spartanburg will continue to become even more dynamic — and more attractive for future investment. After years of focusing on reshaping and redefining downtown through public investments on parking garages designed to attract employers, streetscaping and beautification projects to attract pedestrians, and special events designed to attract visitors and in general raise the activity level downtown, the results are becoming clear. (Remember those jobs numbers, and the more than 30 new businesses in the past 18 months.)


We have a lot of work left to do. But the data backs up the idea that the pieces are falling into place. We’ll be back next week with more.


Tagged: Downtown Jobs, Downtown Spartanburg, Spartanburg Economy