That is the story behind last Sunday's Greenville News story titled "County seeks proposals for elevated podcars." Several comments on social media suggest the potential for Greenville.
One person posted, "The Charlotte light rail system is less about moving people and more about encouraging development. Its people-moving aspects are doing OK, but the economic development is going gang-busters. The whole South Boulevard corridor has been completely transformed with probably close to a billion dollars in new development."
Another posted, "This seems win-win. If minimal to no taxpayer money is being spent, why oppose it? In that view, it only has upside."
Economic development has always been a primary goal for the Greenville County Economic Development Corporation, as evidenced by its name and bylaws. GCEDC invented a new phrase to describe our goals: Improved connectivity and mobility through improved transport modes are a means to the end — GreenVillages economic development.
For two years, the GCEDC board and a small group of key advisers, have worked to promote GreenVillages development along the GCEDC corridor. GreenVillages development creates mixed-use communities where people can live, work, shop, dine, learn, play and heal. People are drawn to them because the places are attractive, livable, sustainable — and connected. Multi-modal connections allow people to move easily between GreenVillages at a pace that suits their lifestyles — cars, buses, bicycles, walking or in automated 21st century vehicles. Various modes are connected at mobility hubs, which become the focus of many community services and activities, which attract more people and various mixed-use developments.
Verdae and Hollingsworth leaders see the potential of GreenVillages development and are working diligently to create a beautiful planned community in Greenville that will be the envy of cities around the world. The Millennium and CU-ICAR campus leaders also see the potential of mixed-use GreenVillages developments that are attracting outstanding apartments, offices, educational and medical facilities. Laurens Road north of Haywood Road to downtown Greenville represents a huge opportunity for revitalization that a few leaders, like the Timmons family, Stewart Spinks, Paul Goldsmith, and Jerry Cooper have recognized.
It is the hope of the GCEDC Board that Greenville will become a model for GreenVillages economic development and for improved connectivity through multi-modal transportation. There is great potential for jobs in this effort — planners, architects, engineers, financiers, attorneys, contractors, builders, operators, promoters and managers. Our people can use their skills in creating improved transportation modes and new GreenVillages development — and can share in future multi-billion dollar developments in Greenville and South Carolina, across America and around the world.
Fred Payne represents District 28 on the Greenville County Council and was elected in November 2006. He can be reached at FPayne@greenvillecounty.org