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70 lofts, arts incubator planned for Spartanburg’s Arcadia Mill No. 1

Georgia developer Pace Burt is ready to move forward with a redevelopment of Spartanburg County's 114-year-old Arcadia Mill No. 1.

A 114-year-old textile mill in Spartanburg County will soon breathe new life.

Georgia-based developer Pace Burt said he plans to move forward with a $9 million renovation of the 200,000 square-foot Arcadia Mill No. 1 at 1875 Hayne St.

The project will include about 70 high-end loft apartments and a 20,000-square-foot, two-story arts incubator named the Creativity Mill that will be developed in partnership with the Chapman Cultural Center.

“I’m very excited,” said Burt, who has successfully completed renovations of several historic buildings in the Upstate, including Mayfair Mills and Church Street Lofts in Spartanburg, and the West Village Lofts at Brandon Mill in Greenville.

“Arcadia was a very difficult building to deal with because we had to demolish about 175,000 square feet of newer additions to get back to the original structure of the mill.”

In May, Burt sold the 107-unit Mayfair Mills complex at 100 W. Cleveland St., just down the road from Arcadia No. 1 to Charleston-based Mayfair Apartments of SC LLC for $10.59 million.

At the time, Burt said he planned to use the funds to renovate the Arcadia facility, which has sat vacant for the past 16 years.

The developer acquired both sites from Spartanburg businessman Jimmy Gibbs in 2004.

Four years later, Burt completed an $8 million rehab of the West Cleveland Street property to transform it into apartments blending history with modern urban appeal.

In late 2012, Burt began moving forward with plans for the Hayne Street property.

Some of the plant’s construction from the 1970s was demolished and removed, exposing the original shell of the building, comprised of brick and large windows.

”It took a little while, but we’re ready to move forward,” Burt said.

A site plan filed with the county showed the facility will have ample parking and a pool.


Jennifer Evins, president and CEO of the Chapman Cultural Center, said Burt first approached the Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg in 2012. He planned to gift a portion of the building for an arts studio.

County Council voted in 2015 to utilize a community development block grant to help move the project forward, Evins said.

Plans for the space have been in progress for the past two years as federal and state historic preservation offices were reviewing Burt’s plan.

The arts complex will feature co-working space for local artists and a “maker space” for ceramics, metal, and glass.

It will have a climbing wall, dance studio, and practice studios for musicians.

Evins said the facility will be geared towards teaching local artists about entrepreneurship.

She said it will also focus on reaching out to artists in Spartanburg’s Latino and Hispanic communities. She said the community surrounding the mill is the fastest-growing Hispanic census tract in South Carolina.

Evins said officials have held meetings with members of community to receive feedback about what they’d like to see at the facility.

“We want to make sure this building is not just something we want, but what the community wants,” she said. “This is so exciting.”

Evins said Spartanburg-based McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture designed the space. The construction contract has been awarded to Spartanburg-based Clayton Construction Co.

She said about $350,000 of the $500,000 needed for the first phase of the arts facility has already been raised.

Evins anticipates the first phase will be completed before the end of 2018, while the second phase could be finished in 2019.

According to the mill’s National Register of Historic Places filing, it was founded in 1903 by Dr. Henry Arthur Ligon, a local pharmacist and banker, with financial backing from Spartanburg’s Manning and Cleveland families.

Joseph Sirrine, a prominent architect and engineer in South Carolina’s textile industry, designed the mill.

During the Great Depression, the mill and its sister facility off West Cleveland Street were sold to Joshua Baily of New York, who named both facilities after the Mayfair Hotel in New York.

In 1947, Frederick Baily Dent became president of the mill operations. He served in that role until he became the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in 1973.

The mill shuttered in 2001.

Elevate Upstate grant winners announced

Photo provided

Main Street Laurens USA and the Greenwood Arts Center have been named the winners of the 2017 Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants.

The grant program, which was launched by Ten at the Top in 2013, provides “seed funds” to support vibrancy initiatives in communities across the Upstate. Greenville’s Hughes Investments contributes at least $10,000 a year to the program with two recipients receiving $5,000 each.

“The goal of the Elevate Upstate program is to get communities thinking about what types of initiatives or programs might help spark vibrancy within their area and then provide some seed money to get some of them started,” said Hughes Investments President Phil Hughes, in a statement. “In the three years we have done this program, I have been amazed by the great ideas and passion of communities across the region to grow their vibrancy and sense of place. It was a real challenge to narrow the field to five finalists and to select the recipients.”

In the five years of the Elevate Upstate Grants program, Phil Hughes and Hughes Investments has provided a total of $73,000 to help with 22 different vibrancy initiatives across the Upstate region.

The five finalists for 2017 were selected from 22 applications. Each finalists gave a brief presentation at Ten at the Top’s Celebrating Successes Brunch on Nov. 16 at the Greenville Marriott.

Main Street Laurens USA plans to use its Elevate Upstate grant to launch a Food Truck Plaza, which will dedicate space within the city of Laurens where food trucks will be located for residents and visitors. It will include colored shade sails, brick pavers, picnic benches, and more.

The Greenwood Arts Center plans to use its grant to provide educational and interactive art programs designed around the Bee City USA designation, which aims to celebrate and raise awareness of the contribution bees and other pollinators.

In addition to providing $10,000 to the two winners, Hughes has also pledged a $2,000 matching grant to each of the three other finalists. If they raise $2,000 towards completing their project, he will provide a matching $2,000 contribution.

The other three Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Grant Finalists:

Art of the Horse in Landrum: In celebration of the 2018 World Equestrian Games being held in nearby Tryon, N.C., the city will be displaying a life-size painted fiberglass horse. The city is looking to use the Elevate Upstate Grant to allow for the piece of public art to become a permanent component of the city of Landrum.

Farm to Fork Dinner, Abbeville County Farmers Market: The Abbeville County Farmers Market is looking to host a farm-to-fork dinner to highlight the vital role of local farming and farmers markets in creating local vibrancy in Abbeville.

Art Wall at Monarch Park, city of Seneca and Blue Ridge Arts Council: As part of an Eagle Scout project for a local student, an art wall has been created in Monarch Park, located within walking distance of Main Street Seneca. The Elevate Upstate Grant would be used to commission three-dimensional butterfly art for the wall and park.

Greenville Tech receives $32K to launch Advanced Manufacturing Academy for high school seniors

Photo provided

The Greenville Tech Foundation has received a $32,000 donation from Bosch Rexroth Corp. to create an Advanced Manufacturing Academy for high school seniors.

The multiple course program is designed for students who are pursuing either technician or engineering education after high school, according to a press release.

Students accepted into the program will spend their afternoon hours at Greenville Technical College’s Center for Manufacturing Innovation, where they will be introduced to CNC machining, mechatronics, welding, 3D printing, robotics, and metrology.

“Students will have the chance to experience advanced manufacturing and to understand the opportunities ahead of them on this path. We appreciate the chance to come together with Bosch Rexroth to help create the workforce of the future,” said David Clayton, executive director at the Center for Manufacturing Innovation.

He added that the program applies as a technical elective for several advanced manufacturing programs at Greenville Tech and as an overview of manufacturing technologies for those planning to enroll in university engineering programs.

Duke Energy Foundation donates $350K to Upstate conservation projects

Photo provided

The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded more than $350,000 in grants to 14 environmental nonprofits in South Carolina.

“We are dedicated to protecting the natural beauty of South Carolina and being good stewards of the environment,” said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy’s South Carolina president, in a news release. “By supporting the organizations that do this honorable work, we can help protect and restore wildlife and natural resources, and support quality environmental education programs in our state.”

The grants will fund various environmental projects, wildlife conservation efforts, and environmental educational programs within Duke Energy’s service territory in the state. Some of the grants are going to Upstate conservation efforts.

Ten at the Top, for instance, will receive $25,000 to support the Connecting Our Future Initiative, the goal of which is to build a coalition of stakeholders to develop a regional vision for the Upstate to increase connectivity while reducing congestion and environmental pollutants.

TreesGreenville, a nonprofit that works to plant, promote, and protect trees in Greenville, has been awarded more than $44,000 to coordinate five tree giveaways that help educate homeowners on the right place and right tree to plant in order to improve energy savings.

“Thanks to the Duke Energy Foundation, we’re promoting tree planting and protecting a healthy community forest,” said Joelle Teachy, executive director of TreesGreenville. “Together, we’re giving away trees that are saving energy, improving air quality, and providing public health benefits.”

These organizations will also receive grants from the Duke Energy Foundation:

Anne Springs Close Greenway will receive $49,850 to bring hands-on environmental outreach education to elementary students in York and Lancaster counties.

Beautiful Places Alliance will receive $20,000 to help South Carolina State Parks provide expert instruction and hands-on field experiences to students as they explore the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area.

Children’s Museum of the Upstate will receive $150,000 to develop curriculum that will build on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invite them to explore wildlife and the world around them at a new satellite museum in Spartanburg.

City of Pickens will receive $13,000 to create a sensory rain garden located at the Pickens Doodle Park.

Clemson University will receive $50,000 to expand programs that provide an environmental education on the interrelationships of energy production and environmental stewardship for K-12 teachers at the Duke Energy Bad Creek Hydroelectric Station in Salem, S.C.

Florence County will receive $11,500 to provide environmental educational tools such as kiosks and signs for visitors to Lake City Park.

Kalmia Gardens received $10,000 to help bring Pee Dee area schoolchildren that otherwise might not have access to have a firsthand experience with environmental education at Kalmia Gardens.

Newberry Soil and Water Conservation District will receive $10,000 to assist private landowners in implementing wildlife habitat and water quality improvement practices in the expanded Indian Creek Wildlife Habitat Restoration Initiative area.

Pee Dee Land Trust will receive $20,000 to expand the Landowner Education Program, which educates private landowners about options for protecting their land and family legacy.

S.C. Aquarium will receive $25,000 to support the traveling environmental education outreach program, Rovers, specifically underwriting service to middle school students in Marion County.

S.C. Waterfowl Association will receive $27,000 to support Camp Leopold, a school year natural resource conservation and environmental education camp in Pinewood, S.C., that reconnects students to the land through the use of hands-on environmental education programs.

S.C. Wildlife Federation will receive $25,000 to proactively enhance wildlife habitat and offset the loss of prime acreage to commercial and residential development through environmental education programs for landowners.

Anderson-based AnMed Health cuts 159 positions

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Anderson-based AnMed Health has laid off 94 employees and eliminated 65 vacant positions.

The cuts include full-time and part-time positions, according to a press release from the health system. Employees affected by the layoffs include lab technicians, security personnel, and workers in radiology, among others. The health system cited various factors for the cuts.

“Several industry trends, including reimbursement declines, softer volumes, and the cost of necessary investments in technology, have resulted in a budgeted loss on operations this year, which is not sustainable,” the hospital said in a statement. “The organization has taken aggressive steps to respond while minimizing the impact on jobs and people.”

AnMed is the largest employer in Anderson County with around 400 physicians and about 4,000 employees. It has a medical center and a women’s and children’s hospital in Anderson and an urgent care facility in Clemson. The only area shut down completely was the health system’s Physician Surgery Center, which was closed on Monday. Physician offices are not closing.

The hospital is “still seeking qualified applicants for a number of positions, and in all cases affected employees will be encouraged to apply for appropriate positions and not lose their service longevity with the organization,” the statement said.

In addition to the layoffs, AnMed Health said Dallas-based Med-Trans Corp., a national air medical provider, will take over the system’s air ambulance programs as of this year. The services and coverage area will remain the same.

20 leaders from five cities tour Greenville for examples of smart growth

Photo by Will Crooks

Smart Growth America and the Knight Foundation recently held the second phase of its inaugural Amazing Place Ideas Forum in Greenville.

Held Nov. 14-16, the forum brought more than 20 economic development leaders and elected officials from five U.S. cities to Greenville to see how the city has used historic preservation, brownfield redevelopment, and riverfront investment in our celebrated downtown.

Participants previously toured Denver, Colo., from Aug. 29–31 to study how that city has used transit, strategic redevelopment, and the arts to attract millennials.

“Denver and Greenville exemplify the Amazing Place approach to local economic development,” according to a press release from Smart Growth America, a nonprofit advocacy group. “The five selected communities will get an up-close look at how they’re doing it, but this is an approach that any community can use.”

In Greenville, the forum’s delegates spent three days meeting with local economic development leaders, business owners, and elected officials to discuss affordable housing, urban design, transportation, and more.

Greenville City Councilwoman Amy Ryberg Doyle and Mayor Knox White led a discussion in downtown about the importance of walkability. And our very own publisher, Ryan Johnston, narrated a bus tour of the Village of West Greenville that explored the opportunities of redevelopment.

The forum also included tours of Main Street and other points of interest, including the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail and NEXT Innovation Center.

The Upstate Business Journal recently sat down with representatives from each of the visiting cities to discuss their experience in Greenville and what they learned from it. Here is what they had to say:

Akron, Ohio

The Akron leadership team came to Greenville looking for ideas to make their city, which is suffering from postindustrial population decline, a “better city” and a more “complete city,” said Dave​ ​Daly, ​market and garden coordinator with Let’s Grow Akron, a nonprofit that helps neighborhoods turn unused parcels into community gardens. What that means for them is a place where bicyclists, pedestrians, and people of all races, ethnicities, and ages are not only welcome but can thrive. Specific areas of note for them from Greenville are the Reedy River corridor, which could provide a roadmap for better use of the Akron canal-way; the expertly designed streetscapes along Main Street and the design guidelines that help enhance the downtown experience; public art for all generations, such as the Mice on Main; and the Village of West Greenville, the ongoing revitalization of which could be foreshadowing the fledgling development of the southwestern Akron area of Kenmore. “The bones are there,” Daly said. Akron team members Dominic​ ​Falcione, Kelli​ ​Fetter, Valerie​ ​Shea, Karen​ ​Starr, and Bronlynn​ ​Thurman contributed to this report.

Charlotte, N.C.

Rick Thurmond, Charlotte Center City Partners senior vice president for community and business development, has a simple definition of smart growth — growth with a plan. And Greenville, he said, is a shining example of urban planning done correctly. “There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Greenville, and I think one of them is the intentionality with which Greenville has grown,” he said. Charlotte and Greenville, although differing in size, face many of the same challenges, including equity in growth. “Our growth has been so fast that parts of our city, perhaps, have been left behind. The question is not only how do we rectify that, but as we continue to grow, how do we ensure all parts of our city benefit,” he said. Thurmond said he looks to learn lessons of leadership in any city he visits. “It’s not so much about a specific space or place that we can re-create in Charlotte,” he said. “It’s how did they get this thing done and can we learn a lesson from that to get something done in Charlotte.”

Columbia, S.C.

The development along the Reedy River in downtown caught the attention of Lou Kennedy, president and CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. “We have the convergence of three beautiful rivers through our city. We have developed very, very, very little of it,” she said. “I see that as an opportunity for excellence.” Kennedy said river development is something that would really amp up the identity of Columbia. “I am 100 percent energized by what I see in Greenville, particularly as it pertains to the river development and as it pertains to diversity, arts, and culture. We have all those elements in Columbia. We need to celebrate them and grow them.” The key to getting it done is having the city’s leaders, whether they are elected officials or business leaders, work together. “Our group here today is just that,” she said. “We have to support that effort,” she said of Columbia’s business leaders. The Midlands Business Leadership Group, of which Kennedy is a member, is a coalition of more than 40 CEOs from the Midlands region’s largest employers. In January, the group announced an effort to mobilize the private sector to increase the region’s competitiveness.

Macon, Ga.

Public officials and economic development leaders have made great strides over the past decade to increase the number of people moving to downtown Macon, says Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Virgil Watkins. In fact, the number of downtown lofts has nearly doubled since 2012. But the city is still struggling to retain residents and some of its top businesses, which is why Watkins and his group used their time in Greenville to focus on boosting connectivity and quality of life.

Wichita, Kan.

Since 2009, the city of Wichita has seen more than $450 million in investment downtown and nearly 1,300 downtown residential units planned or completed. But the city still faces a multitude of challenges that could prevent continued economic development, according to Wichita City Councilwoman Cindy Claycomb. That includes a talented workforce of 18- to 40-year-olds leaving for jobs in other cities and a large downtown area that has one too many available storefronts for rent. Luckily, the city’s leadership team came to Greenville and found inspiration in the Reedy River, which has transformed downtown into a hub of entertainment, recreation, retail, and restaurants.

First look at the floor plans for the new Avant luxury condos

The lighting on Avant's 84-foot water feature will change for holidays and other special events | rendering by Craig Gaulden Davis

Following the highly anticipated and dramatic reveal of the planned Avant development at 702 S. Main St., Greenville on Nov. 16, the developer, Steve Mack, owner of STM Acquisition & Development, released the eight available floor plans for the 12 luxury condo units.

They range from a two-bedroom 1,600-square-foot plan to a 3,400-square-foot, two-story penthouse unit. Read more about the unique project here and view the plans below.

Renderings provided by Craig Gaulden Davis


Are the Carolina Panthers’ days of holding training camp in Spartanbug numbered?

For the past 23 summers, the NFL's Carolina Panthers training camp has brought revenue and the national spotlight to Spartanburg. Photo courtesy of the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Although shunned by many, the black cat is revered in Spartanburg County – especially when it appears as the image of a snarling panther bordered in electric blue.

For the past 23 summers, the NFL’s Carolina Panthers have brought revenue and the national spotlight to Spartanburg during their training camp at Wofford College.

This year, the camp had a best ever $13.24 million impact on the community and supported a record 266 jobs, according to a Clemson University study.

That was accomplished despite a 27 percent decrease in attendance to 99,196 visitors, compared with an all-time high of 135,371 fans in 2016, a year following the team’s second Super Bowl appearance.

The turnout in 2017 was the second highest in the camp’s history even though the Panthers finished the previous season with a 6-10 record and in the basement of the NFC South.

Throughout the years, Panthers training camp has given fans an opportunity to meet their favorite players in person. Photo courtesy of the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

While the marriage between the Charlotte, N.C.-based franchise and Spartanburg has always been happy and prosperous, a lingering question has persisted for more than a decade: Would the Panthers, one of the few remaining NFL teams to hold training camp away from its home campus, continue to hold court in Spartanburg after the death of its founder and majority owner Jerry Richardson?

Richardson, a native of North Carolina who is still very much alive, graduated from Wofford in 1959 and played two seasons for the Baltimore Colts before returning to Spartanburg and establishing a restaurant empire.

In 1987, Richardson began pursuing his dream of bringing an NFL team to the Carolinas.

Richardson’s dream became a reality on Oct. 26, 1993, when he received a call from the league’s top brass confirming the Panthers as the 29th franchise in the NFL.

Before the team’s first season in 1995, Richardson fulfilled his other dream of having the Panthers train at his alma mater.

The stands at Wofford College’s Gibbs Stadium filled with fans during one of the Panthers’ training camp practices. Photo courtesy of the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“When they first announced the Panthers were going to Charlotte, we immediately put together a team county, [Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce], and Wofford officials,” said Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt, who is also a Wofford alum. “[Richardson’s] first love is Wofford. His second love is Spartanburg. Wofford gave him an opportunity to play football. His commitment to Spartanburg has been unquestionably strong. We put together a package and went after [training camp] just like we would to attract a company here.”

“We did it because we thought we knew the impact it would have,” Britt added. “Every year, it has gotten better and better. It has been a phenomenal success. Every dime Spartanburg has committed to it has paid off.”

The team originally signed a 15-year agreement to hold the camp at Wofford. That agreement has been extended several times.

Its most recent contract extension promises to keep the camp in Spartanburg at least through 2019.

However, in late October, Panthers minority owner and Richardson’s son, Mark Richardson told reporters in Anderson that a decision had been made to sell the team within two years after his father’s death.

The elder Richardson, now 81, has a history of health issues.

Team spokesman Riley Fields could not be reached for comment.

Local officials said they have no idea what new ownership would mean for the training camp’s future in Spartanburg.

But they plan to make every effort to keep the Panthers from going somewhere else.

“I think [Panthers training camp] is synonymous with Spartanburg,” Britt said. “We do it right. If the Panthers were to be sold, I don’t think the new owners would have any other choice but to take a good, hard look at us – what we’ve accomplished together. Partnership. That’s what we have with the Panthers. Mr. Richardson was so smart and so generous in bringing them here.”

Carolina Panthers standout linebacker Luke Kuechly signs autographs after a training camp session in Spartanburg. Photo courtesy of the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The energy and enthusiasm surrounding the camp for two weeks during the summer is something the Panthers need every season, officials said.

“From our standpoint, we have a proven track record of success,” said Chris Jennings, executive vice president of the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB). “The partnership between the team and the city, county, the SCVB, and Wofford is stronger than it has ever been.”

“The NFL is a business,” Jennings added. “We know that. The team has let us know this is their home. That doesn’t factor into new ownership and business models. I think we’re in good stead. We hope Mr. Richardson lives a long, long life. All we can control is the work that we do here.”

Jennings said his organization plans to expand its efforts to promote the 2018 training camp. He is confident the next camp will surpass previous attendance and economic impact numbers.

Various tourism partners in the community are also moving forward as one on many fronts to bring more sports tourism events to Spartanburg.

“We’re not going to rest on our laurels,” Jennings said. “In the sports tourism arena, pardon the pun, Spartanburg is positioning itself well to be the home for several kinds of sporting events. We’re always looking ahead and we have to… We’re like the little engine that could. Nothing can replace the Panthers. The eyes that are on Spartanburg and the Upstate because of training camp are irreplaceable. The NFL is premier. We’re going to keep working our great customer service, our partnerships, and facilities.”

Spartanburg area officials said they will continue to fight for the Panthers training camp to be held at Wofford. Photo courtesy of the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

When he named the team, Richardson chose something inclusive in order to draw support from fans in both North and South Carolina.

Spartanburg leaders said that fan support has blossomed throughout the years and firmly fixed the team in the hearts and minds of area residents.

“There are only a handful of communities that can lay claim to being the home to an NFL team,” said Will Rothschild, vice president of strategic communications for the Spartanburg Chamber. “Every summer for more than two decades, Spartanburg has been in that group of communities, and the status has proven to be a bottomless well of good fortune for us. The national name recognition, economic activity, and community identity and pride the Panthers have created for and in Spartanburg is immeasurable, as is Jerry Richardson’s loyalty to this community.”

In 2016, the Panthers became the first NFL team to hold a joint practice with a high school team – Spartanburg High School. The team replicated the event this year with Dorman High School.

Outside of football, Panthers players have made generous donations to the Spartanburg Community, including a $200,000 gift this year to the city’s Northside Initiative for the construction of a new youth athletic field at the T.K. Gregg Community Center.

The Panthers became the first NFL team to hold a joint practice with a high school football team at their 2016 camp. The practice was held with the Spartanburg High School Vikings. Photo courtesy of the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Wofford’s campus has benefitted as well.

The facilities used by the Panthers for training camp are attractive, pristine, and well maintained, rivaling those at much larger institutions. Some have described the experience as being akin to a visit to Augusta National.

During his time as a Spartanburg business leader and an NFL owner, Richardson has continued to support Wofford.

An endowed scholarship fund, the Richardson Family Scholarship, is the highest honor awarded to entering freshman, according to the college.

The school recently opened its new Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium, a 123,000-square-foot facility that features a 3,400-seat basketball arena, 350-seat volleyball venue, and many other bells and whistles.

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and his wife, Rosalind Sallenger Richardson, at the topping out ceremony for new Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium at Wofford College.

Wofford’s new 65,000-square-foot Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center For the Arts, named after Richardson’s wife, is home to the college’s arts, visual arts, and arts history academic programs, as well as a 300-seat performance hall.

Richard Johnson, Wofford’s athletic director, could not be reached for comment.

After the Panthers last extended their training camp commitment in 2015, Wofford’s President Nayef Samhat showered praise on the team.

“Wofford is so thankful for Jerry Richardson and the Panthers for providing this opportunity for the college,” Samhat said in a statement. “Mr. Richardson and his family continue to be generous to the college and to having a positive impact on the campus and our students… We thank the Richardsons for their continued generosity and support for Wofford.

“We look forward to working with the Spartanburg community – the city, the county and the Chamber – to continue to enhance the training camp experience for our community and visitors,” Samhat added.

In 2014, Wofford dedicated a bronze statue of the physically imposing Richardson on the patio of the Harley Room in the Richardson Physical Activities building.

“I love Jerry Richardson,” Britt said. “The [Spartanburg Headquarters] library is where it is today because of him. His fingerprints are going to be all over Wofford for the next 100 years. No one has been more generous to Wofford than Jerry Richardson. Whatever happens, we’ll keep fighting for the Panthers and training camp.”







Kolache Factory announces opening of new bakery-café in Powdersville

The first of at least three Upstate Kolache Factory locations is located on the far left of the RealOp-owned strip center in Powdersville | photo provided by Taylor Fisher

The Upstate’s first of at least three Kolache Factory franchise locations will open in December at 3609 Highway 153, Powdersville, in a new strip center owned by RealOp Development.

The lease for the 1,700-square-foot space was finalized in June with a projected opening of Dec. 5, which franchisee Dean Lord says may be delayed because of construction and the Thanksgiving holiday.

Taylor Fisher and Bobby Hines of Spencer | Hines Properties represented Lord, the tenant, and Tommy Molin of CBRE represented the landlord in the transaction.

The bakery-café chain founded in Texas has been baking the Czech Republic-born kolache (pronounced KOH-lah-chee) daily since 1982. Kolache are pastries stuffed with a variety of ingredients, such as fruits, meats, and cheeses. The pastries are baked on-site each morning and designed to be eaten on the go.

The chain has expanded to 23 company-owned and 28 franchise stores primarily located in the Houston, Texas, area, with additional stores located throughout the Midwest, Southwest, Colorado, California, and Virginia.

Franchise Times magazine recently named Kolache Factory one of the 300 biggest brands in franchising by worldwide sales in 2017. In addition, Entrepreneur magazine named it among the top 200 food-based franchises in 2017.

Greenville-area franchisee Lord is bringing his 10-year dream of becoming a baker to life by opening the Powdersville location, with a commitment to open at least two more in the Upstate.

“Kolache Factory has a perfect business plan,” Lord says. “On top of that, there’s no beating the taste of our fresh baked kolaches and pastries.”

Lord discovered kolache when work brought him to Texas.

“I have no doubt in my mind that folks will love our kolaches,” he said. “There’s nothing like Kolache Factory available in Greenville right now, and I’m excited to share unique and delicious pastries with our friends and neighbors.”

Hours of operation will be Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m.–2 p.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m.–2 p.m.

Playing the Long Game: Insights for investors from the rebuilding process in sports


By Matt Dunbar, co-founder & managing director, VentureSouth

When Sports Illustrated boldly claimed on the cover of their June 25, 2014, issue that the Houston Astros would win the 2017 World Series, it seemed to be a ludicrous prediction. The Astros had lost two-thirds of their games the previous three seasons and were in last place in their division at the time. But the writer had done his homework and could see that the organization was playing a “long game.” They were carefully putting the pieces in place for long-term success, despite the substantial near-term struggles – and now both SI and the Astros look pretty smart since the team just fulfilled the prophecy.

When the Philadelphia 76ers launched their infamous rebuilding process in 2013, their new general manager indicated he would take “smart risks” with long investment horizons, reportedly with an unspoken timeline of five to seven years. The team continued to suffer woeful results for the next three seasons, but with four straight top three draft picks thanks to their disciplined long-term strategy, the team now has one of the most exciting young rosters in the NBA and a strong chance to make the playoffs this season. The team’s rebuilding approach inspired the phrase “Trust the Process” for belief in a long-term plan to acquire talent and develop a winning culture, even while gritting through painful losses in the short term.

Closer to home, when Dabo Swinney took the helm for the Clemson Tigers, he famously promised that the Tigers would win championships and that the best was yet to come. Eight years later, the Tigers are defending national champions, and the results of his long-term vision have been nothing short of remarkable, as he has methodically implemented his playbook to build a consistently high-achieving program, on and off the field.

These three different teams in three different sports each share similar strategies: a willingness to endure short-term pain to set building blocks in place for future sustained success. That’s playing the long game. That’s “trusting the process” of rigorous analysis, courageous change, developing talent, and building culture to eventually produce winning outcomes.

In many ways, those lessons from the athletic fields translate well into the realm of angel investing and startup communities. Admittedly, there are many stark distinctions that don’t transfer between the arenas – unlike sports, economic development is not a zero sum game (quite the opposite, actually). There are fewer constraints and more competitors, and the game never ends. But when it comes to trusting the process and playing the long game, the key insights apply.

Similar to the short-term losses incurred by rebuilding sports teams, those involved in cultivating startup communities usually face a “J-curve” in their early efforts, where losses and failures accrue first before successes have time to develop and pay off.   However, as evidenced by numerous studies of angel investor returns, the long-term gains from eventual significant successes produce net positive returns that far outweigh the early losses.

Such is the case with the Upstate Carolina Angel Network and VentureSouth. We understand the long game of startup investing. We know well, like the entrepreneurs we support, that startups are hard, that the default mode is failure, and that only with herculean work, skill, and luck do successes eventually emerge.

While we have had some nice wins along the way (and inevitable losses), the last nine years of refining our processes have now positioned our portfolio to realize significant wins from several companies in the months ahead. But the wins are not just for investors. High-growth startups create all net job growth in our economy – and generate significant wealth in their communities. But often, the critical role of angel investors in long-term economic development is overshadowed by the immediacy of major industrial recruiting wins.

We believe that both are vitally important, so we’ve been playing the long game to build a sustainable infrastructure for early-stage capital formation to help fuel an engine for long-term, sustainable economic growth. VentureSouth has now created 11 angel groups and two funds that comprise more than 225 investors across the Carolinas, and we launched Venture Carolina as a nonprofit organization to help further develop the market for early-stage companies through entrepreneur and investor education.

To explore these ideas and opportunities more deeply, we invite anyone interested in the future economic growth of Greenville and the region to join us Nov. 30 for our workshop on Angel Investing for Economic Developers. The workshop is hosted by Venture Carolina as part of the annual VentureSouth Summit in Greenville, which brings together angel investors from across our expanding footprint. As part of the workshop, we’ll hear an inspiring keynote message from Eric McCarthy, senior vice president of government relations, public policy, and legal affairs at Proterra, a local company with a tremendous long-game success story that illustrates the power and economic impact of angel investing.

Please join us as we play the long game and trust the process for helping create the economy of the future for Greenville and beyond. Learn more and register here.

Making Sense of Tax Reform


By Joe Poore, CPA, senior manager, Elliott Davis

Even on the campaign trail, then-candidate Donald J. Trump was clear about his views on tax reform. He wanted a “yuge” tax cut. After a surprisingly strong electoral victory, Republicans seemed to have all the pieces in place to deliver: political momentum, majorities in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, and a president eager to achieve a legislative success.

Over the past several weeks, Republicans in the House and Senate have finally released tax reform bills. As stump speeches have been distilled into actual legislation, it is has become clear why the country has not had major tax reform in three decades. Successfully passing major tax reform is the equivalent of finishing a triathlon.

The Republican political strategy for passing tax reform relies on a unique Senate rule called reconciliation. Using reconciliation as a legislative tactic allows the Senate majority to avoid filibusters from the minority party and pass legislation with only 51 votes. The tradeoff is that special rules apply to bills approved through the reconciliation process. The rules narrow legislative flexibility by imposing strict financial contours on proposed legislation. In the case of tax reform, the rules require that tax reform legislation cannot increase the deficit by more than $1.5 trillion dollars over the next decade. When it comes to tax cuts, every taxpayer is fighting for the same pot of money.

The centerpiece of the tax reform plan is a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. According to the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, the corporate tax rate reduction will cost $1.46 trillion over the next 10 years. This break leaves very little room for additional cuts without surpassing the cap of $1.5 trillion imposed under the reconciliation rules. While corporate taxpayers receive a large tax break, other taxpayers may see relatively small benefits or no benefit at all.

One group hoping for a larger piece of the tax cut pie is small-business owners. Many small businesses are structured in various legal forms commonly called “pass-through” entities. Pass-through businesses comprise the majority of U.S. businesses. According to the Brookings Institution, over 90 percent of pass-through businesses have $10 million or less in annual sales. Hence, the colloquial name “small business.” Small businesses also earn the majority of business income in the United States and employ the majority of the private-sector workforce. In short, these are the types of businesses that line Main Street USA and form the backbone of the U.S. economy.

Pass-through businesses, which include sole proprietorships, partnerships, S-corporations, and LLCs taxed as partnerships or S-corporations, generally do not pay tax. Instead, the businesses “pass-through” profits to the owners who pay the tax on income from the business. Under the Republican House plan, income for these small businesses would be taxed at a special 25 percent rate. However, special rules in the House plan could substantially limit the amount of business income taxed at the lower 25 percent rate. Business income not taxed at this preferred rate would be subject to individual income tax rates, which could be much higher.

The Senate plan maintains the corporate tax cut but offers a different plan for non-corporate small businesses with a special 17.4 percent deduction on pass-through income. Although some key provisions are similar in the House and Senate plans, they contain important differences on other popular tax benefits, such as the deduction individual taxpayers can claim for mortgage interest, state income taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes. The Senate plan also preserves the politically divisive estate tax.

While House and Senate leaders attempt to find a narrow path to legislative victory, taxpayers wait and wonder if some of the tax cut benefits will ultimately trickle down to their pockets or if someone else will get the majority of the limited tax cut benefits available.


Due to the dynamic nature of the legislative process, the legislative provisions within tax reform are subject to daily change. This article is based on legislative proposals in place prior to press time. At elliottdavis.com, you can find up-to-date summaries of current legislative proposals. Contact the author at joe.poore@elliottdavis.com.

Schwartzkopf named Community Journals’ executive vice president

Susan Schwartzkopf. Photo by Will Crooks

Susan Schwartzkopf, who has worked in advertising, digital media, and marketing for more than 25 years, has joined Community Journals as executive vice president.

Schwartzkopf will manage the strategic initiatives of Community Journals, including the company’s community outreach and engagement, special projects, and Community Experiences, which develops and manages experiential events and branded entertainment platforms, as well as provides advisory services in support of event development and brand activation.

“We’ve become the preferred provider in this market of many marketing and advertising services,” said Community Journals’ President Mark Johnston. “We are the market storytellers. As we grow, we needed somebody with Susan’s experience in both print and digital.”

Schwartzkopf began her career in advertising at The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., where she progressed through several leadership roles in advertising and circulation sales and marketing. She worked in the advertising department at The State newspaper in Columbia.

In 2002, she joined The Greenville News as vice president of market development and new media. In 2014, Schwartzkopf took on regional responsibilities as regional director of digital sales and strategy for both The Greenville News and The Asheville Citizen Times. In 2015, she became Wynit Distribution’s director of marketing and communication.

“I am excited to be joining a team that is filled with amazing talent, energy, and a deep commitment to the communities it serves. I look forward to helping Community Journals enhance the depth and breadth of marketing services we offer to local businesses,” Schwartzkopf said.

“Susan is undoubtedly the best media and market development professional I have ever worked with. It is very exciting that she is now at the Community Journals,” said Alan Ethridge, executive director for the Metropolitan Arts Council. “I look forward to working with her in promoting all of Greenville’s phenomenal arts amenities.”

Renamed Avant development moves forward at South Main and River streets

The lighting on Avant's 84-foot water feature will change for holidays and other special events | rendering by Craig Gaulden Davis

A mixed-use development at 702 S. Main St. that was approved in 2015 by the City of Greenville is finally moving forward with the same exterior design, which includes an 84-foot waterfall facing River Street, but a complete overhaul of the interior plan. The most notable change: the initially planned 40 apartments have been nixed in favor of 12 condominiums.

Formerly named South Main at River, Avant was unveiled Nov. 16 at an event held on the vacant corner across River Street from the Army Navy Store where the 50,000-square-foot, six-story structure will stand. The building footprint is approximately 7,500 square feet, and it will stand just slightly taller at the highest point than the adjacent Link Apartments at River and Rhett streets.

Avant’s developer Steve Mack, owner of STM Acquisition & Development, says he’s aiming for a late spring 2018 groundbreaking, with the first-floor retail portion completed within 12 months and five floors of residential completed in 18 months.

The building designed by Ed Zeigler, principal and president of Craig Gaulden Davis, will feature terracotta colored panels on the exterior to continue the brick aesthetic of many of the surrounding buildings while using an updated material.

First-level retail will not include restaurants, the developer says | rendering by Craig Gaulden Davis

After receiving approval for the apartment building project from the Design Review Board Urban Panel in November 2014 and City Council in January 2015, Mack saw that the downtown market was being flooded with apartments.

“We went through several different models,” Mack says. “It took time to put our arms around it.”

Over time, he decided to move from a rental to an ownership model, reducing the number of units to 12 luxury condos on floors two through six. The first floor will include 10,000 square feet of retail.

“The market has changed over the years,” Mack says. “There was an incredible amount of apartments being built.”

The units range in size from 1,600 to 3,400 square feet and are priced from $700,000 to $1.9 million.

Karen Turpin of The Marchant Company, who will be handling condo sales, says buyers moving from larger homes don’t want to give up space in order to live downtown, but the current supply doesn’t meet the demand.

Avant will be four stories along Main Street and then step up to six stories off Main. A rooftop area at the corner of Main and River streets will serve as an outdoor community area. The 84-foot water feature fabricated by Florida-based BluWorld of Water will face River Street and is the tallest water feature the company has ever built, according to Stephanie Miller, senior account manager at BluWorld of Water. BluWorld has also created and installed water features at the Aloft hotel in downtown Greenville and at Furman University.

The unique waterfall, which includes a 1,200-pound chainmail-like sheet of stainless steel, will feature colored lights that change the appearance of the water as it flows over the mesh panel, creating a tiger-stripe pattern. Mack says they’ll likely change the colors according to holidays or special events.

The horizontal tiger-stripe pattern pictured in this water feature is similar to the style of Avant’s | photo provided by BluWorld

The property will also feature an on-site automated parking garage engineered by New Jersey-based Park Plus. Avant’s system will accommodate 29 cars, with the cars essentially shelved in three layers in what amounts to 10 spaces. A typical parking garage requires 375 square feet per vehicle, but the automated system uses less than 200 square feet per vehicle, according to Michael Beck of Park Plus. Ryan Astrup, principal of Park Plus, says this will be one of the largest systems of its type the company has installed.

An additional 35 parking spaces will be available along a back alleyway.

Upstate Business Journal previously reported on Jan. 14, 2015, that City Council amended a 2008 agreement with Mack, which specified that the facades of two historic buildings originally on the site be used or replicated in any new construction.

The agreement was drafted after Mack’s 2006 request to demolish the two 1800s-era buildings was rejected by the city’s Design and Preservation Committee. Mack took the issue to a circuit court, which negotiated the settlement facade agreement through mediation. The two buildings were demolished, and the corner has sat vacant since then.

Michelin North America’s chairman and CEO Selleck will retire Dec. 31

Michelin North America President Pete Selleck (center) was joined in 2012 by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and then-S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley for the announcement of the company’s Anderson County plant.

Greenville-based Michelin North America announced Thursday, Nov. 16, its chairman and president Pete Selleck will retire at the end of the year.

Selleck has spent 35 years with the tire manufacturer, the past six at the company’s helm.

“I’ve only had two jobs in my entire life — Michelin and the U.S. Army,” said Selleck, an engineering graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., with 26 years’ active and reserve Army service, in a statement. “The company has given me the most outstanding professional journey I could ever have imagined, and I feel a debt of deepest gratitude to every person who has played a role in my career.

“My plan for several years has been to retire at this time, and my family and I are excited about the next chapter in our lives. I’ll remain available to support the business as needed, and I look forward to the success that I know will follow on the path set by the new leader for Michelin in our zone,” Selleck added.

France-based Michelin Group said Selleck’s successor will be announced in January, coinciding with global company’s plan to implement a new organizational structure in early 2018.

“Pete’s leadership of Michelin North America has represented many of the best ideals of our culture at Michelin,” said Jean-Dominique Senard, CEO of Michelin Group, in a statement. “With a spirit of humility and kindness, Pete has left an indelible mark on the lives of many people, even as he has inspired them to raise performance, innovation, quality, safety, and so many other measures to exciting new heights.”

The company said Selleck began his career at Michelin in 1982 as an industrial engineer at the company’s first U.S. manufacturing plant in Greenville County.

He eventually became the plant’s manager and then served in various roles in the passenger-vehicle tire units in North America and Europe followed by global responsibility for the heavy-truck tire product line until late 2011.

As chairman and president for Michelin North America, Michelin Group’s largest operating unit, Selleck was responsible for coordinating the company’s business activities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, which comprise more than 22,000 employees, the company said.

The company said Selleck presided over Michelin North America during “a period of dynamic growth, in which Michelin Group has invested nearly $4 billion in its North American operations.”

Michelin cited Selleck’s impact on the community, business, and industry in the Upstate, South Carolina, and at the national level.

Selleck and his wife, Nancy, plan to remain in Greenville, where he will continue to assist the company through the leadership transition and other consulting matters “as needed.”


Spartanburg Chamber hires Nestlen as its new director of resource development


The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday, Nov. 16, it has hired Charlianne Wyatt Nestlen as its director of resource development.

Nestlen will be responsible for growing revenue and developing new investment through investor retention and upgrades, solicitation of sponsorships, advertising, and other revenue opportunities, the Spartanburg Chamber said.

She will also manage the chamber’s Ambassadors program, lead member retention and engagement efforts, and assist with OneSpartanburg investor development and engagement in the newly created position.

Nestlen, a native of Spartanburg, was most recently a realtor with Coldwell Banker Caine.

She has served as director of alumni relations at the University of South Carolina Upstate, where she earned her degree in communications/journalism.

Nestlen serves as chairwoman of Spartanburg Young Professionals and on the executive board of Leadership Spartanburg’s Alumni Association.

She and her husband, Homer, have one son, Wyatt.

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