Upstate Headlines: Greenville Named America’s 3rd Friendliest City, Judson Mill Renovations, Spartanburg Grant, and More!

Upstate Headlines: Greenville Named America’s 3rd Friendliest City, Judson Mill Renovations, Spartanburg Grant, and More!

Upstate-Headlines-bannerA collection of the top Upstate headlines for the week of November 1, 2017

Greenville Named America’s 3rd Friendliest City
Greenville is America’s third friendliest city, according to Travel + Leisure. The magazine came up with a top 20 list of the friendliest cities across the U.S. THe list was curated using results of the America’s Favorite Places survey which Travel + Leisure says is a way for locals to share what their hometowns do best. Readers ranked places on a number of things including the demeanor of the locals. Greenville landed at No. 3 behind just Norfolk, Virginia, and No. 1 Buffalo, New York. Greenville was lauded for “edging out even famously friendly Charleston.” The list said Greenville has quintessential southern charm that travelers and locals love. Travel + Leisure reported one resident said “everyone on Main Street wears a smile on his or her face, and will grin or wave at passersby.” No other South Carolina city made the list. Other southern cities include Birmingham, Alabama, and Nashville, Tennessee. See the full list of America’s 20 friendliest cities at

Historic Textile Mill, Judson Mill to be Renovated
Remember when a plan was announced in 2016 to develop Judson Mill into a hub of offices, apartments and a possible grocery store? That idea may be coming to life soon. Judson Mill, which was put on the market for $8.5 million in 2015, was sold to Belmont Sayre (doing business as Judson Mill Ventures, LLC) from Spartanburg-based Millikin & Company as an opportunity to redevelop the building. The West Greenville facility was previously used to produce textiles until it closed in 2015. The buyers plan to turn half of the approximately 800,000 sq. ft. building into residential space and the other half will be mixed-use (which could mean anything from retail to offices). The North Carolina company specializes in renovating historic spaces and using them to boost the local community, especially in lower-income areas.
Artisphere Gets Record Number of Applications for 2018 Festival
Artisphere received a record high of 1,163 artist applications for 2018. With 135 spaces available on Artists Row, artists have a one-in-eight chance of being accepted, making Artisphere one of the most selective fine arts shows in the country. That’s a 2 percent increase over 2017’s numbers, and a 312 percent increase since the show’s inception in 2005. More than one-third of the applicants have never before applied to the festival. Painting oil/acrylic category received the most applications with a total of 160 artists. There are 17 medium categories. Twenty-four artists applied for the festival’s Emerging Festival Artist Scholarship program, which provides two artists a booth, professional photography of their display during the weekend, and a mentoring workshop from artists who have participated in Artisphere previously. Scores are assigned based on artistic merit in the respective categories. The top 135 artists will be notified of their acceptance to the show in December. The list of participating artists will be announced in early 2018. The 2018 Artisphere is May 11-13 in downtown Greenville.

Spartanburg, Landrum Receive $25k Grants for City Initiatives
Spartanburg and Landrum are two of 10 municipalities across South Carolina that have been awarded $25,000 grants to support economic development projects. The cities and towns are receiving the funds through the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s Hometown Economic Development Grants program. Each municipality will use its grant to implement a project that will make a positive impact on the city’s quality of life. Projects proposed by the cities included community master plans, retail recruitment, downtown revitalization and tourism development. The city of Spartanburg intends to use its grant to collaborate with partners to implement an African-American business development initiative. The effort will specifically promote the development and support of African-American-owned businesses or businesses looking to locate within predominantly African-American communities in the city. The city of Landrum plans to use its grant to acquire an unused passenger rail car and turn it into a railroad and historical museum to go next to the historic Landrum Depot.

Maple Street Biscuit Company to Open Second Upstate Location
Barely one month after opening one location of its popular breakfast/lunch spot, Maple Street Biscuit Company has announced plans to open a second Upstate location in the heart of downtown Greenville later this year. Maple Street opened a restaurant at 2815 Woodruff Road in Five Forks in September. The downtown restaurant, slated to open in November, will be located in the former Dixie’s Tavern space at 18 East North St. The company is known for its adherence to its core principles, says Michael Burden, who will lead the downtown Greenville store. They are: comfort food with a modern twist, gracious service, immaculately clean stores and sustainable business. “Our mission is to help people, to serve others and to be part of the community,” Burden says. “That’s a pretty widely accepted concept and what sets us apart I think is our drive to actually be able to live that out. My personal mission.”