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Diner 24 closes, will reopen under new management

photo by Caroline Herring

One of the most anticipated restaurants of the year – Diner 24 – was short-lived, at least with the current management. Bottle Cap Group, the owners of the 24-hour diner in the former Charlie’s Steakhouse at 18 E. Coffee St., Greenville, announced the restaurant’s closing Nov. 13 after opening in July.

The sudden closing came after an almost two-year process to open the only 24-hour dining option near Main Street.

“At this time, we are not releasing additional information. Diner 24 closed today and will open under new management,” said Morgan Conroy, Bottle Cap Group marketing director. “Our company will continue to operate SIP, Ink N Ivy Greenville, Vine Nightclub, and our newest addition, Wu’s Cajun Seafood, that will open later this month. Training began today, and we are actively hiring all front-of-house and back-of-house positions.”

Bottle Cap Group recently closed Brazwells Premium Pub at 631 S. Main St., and in May, they closed Green Room Restaurant & Bar at 116 N. Main St., which will reopen as Wu’s Cajun Seafood in the coming weeks.

Hartness unveils home designs for village-esque neighborhood development

Construction on homes in the first phase has begun | photo by Will Crooks

Hartness has unveiled the individual home designs for the neighborhood development on the 444-acre property off of Highway 14.

A suburban village, Hartness will offer dozens of plans, from quaint cottages and townhomes to grand manor homes and estates, which may be customized to taste; buyers may also custom-build their home. The homes on property will range from the $400,000s to more than $1 million.

The crafting of each home design is carefully overseen by residential architect Lew Oliver, with an array of architectural styles featured, including Federal, Italianate, Greek Revival, and Colonial Revival.

“We look forward to watching this unique neighborhood come to life, as it provides Greenville families stunning architecture within a nature preserve,” said David Pisano, vice president of sales and marketing at Hartness.

Hartness is in the style of a Traditional Neighborhood Development, an approach modeled on the way cities and towns were built before the mid-20th century.

Several homesites in phase one are underway.

The new walkable village encompasses 444 acres, 180 of which will be permanently preserved green space, including 15 miles of trails connecting neighbors to woodlands, lakes, streams, wildlife, and shared recreational areas. Also included will be a clubhouse and wellness center, resort-style swimming pools, and a “sports garden.”

“On behalf of the entire Hartness family and team, we are excited about unveiling these beautiful designs and providing the Upstate with a chance to see our community come to life,” said Sean Hartness, CEO of Hartness Real Estate. “I could not be more excited about breaking ground and beginning the home construction process. Very soon, Greenvillians and beyond will be able to see and touch the unique architecture and designs that will differentiate Hartness from other more typical suburban offerings.”

USC Upstate invited to compete in Big South Conference

The University of South Carolina Upstate has been invited to join the Big South Conference. Photo courtesy of USC Upstate.

The University of South Carolina Upstate announced Wednesday it has received an invitation to join the Big South Conference.

Pending approval from the USC’s board of trustees at a meeting on Dec. 19, the Upstate Spartans will join the likes of Gardner-Webb University, Charleston Southern, and the University of North Carolina at Asheville on July 1, 2018.

USC Upstate moved from the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division II in 2007 and began competing as a Division I school in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

The university officially received its Division I certification in August 2011.

“I could not be more pleased and excited that the University of South Carolina Upstate has been extended an invitation to join the Big South Conference,” USC Upstate’s Chancellor Brendan Kelly said, in a statement. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the Upstate Spartans. Our athletic teams will be more competitively matched with colleges in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.”

USC Upstate has 17 varsity sports programs, including men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, cross country, and track and field; baseball for men; and softball and volleyball for women.

“On behalf of all the presidents and chancellors of the Big South Conference, I am very pleased to welcome the University of South Carolina Upstate as the newest member of our conference,” aid Mary Grant, Big South president and chancellor of UNC Asheville, in a statement. “Its commitment to Division I excellence in all facets of its program, and its location in the Big South footprint make it a great fit. We are looking forward to watching the Spartans compete and grow as a Big South member.”

Kelly said since all Big South schools are located within 300 miles of each other, he expects USC Upstate student-athletes will miss 1,200 fewer classes.

Big South was founded in 1983.

The conference’s current membership is comprised of 10 schools in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. The list includes Charleston Southern, Presbyterian College, Winthrop University, Campbell, Gardner-Webb, High Point, UNC Asheville, Liberty, Longwood, and Radford.

Julio Freire, athletic director and vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics at USC Upstate, said four rival schools are located within 65 miles of the university’s Spartanburg campus.

“Members of the golf teams are fans of other Upstate Spartan sports and they will absolutely love being able to drive a short distance to watch their friends play,” said Todd Lawton, head coach of men’s and women’s golf at USC Upstate, in a statement. “The games we play as members of the A-Sun Conference are far away so our student-athletes have few opportunities to support each other with game attendance.”



Triangle Construction builds on seven decades in Greenville

Triangle Construction president Tom Baer (left) and board chairman Tracy Pellett (right) stand outside Apalache Mill, a former textile mill in Greer that produced cotton until 2007. Photo by Will Crooks.

Ingenuity. Hard work. Dedication. Those words are the guiding principles that have kept Greenville’s Triangle Construction thriving for the past 70 years, according to board chairman Tracy Pellett.

Pellett’s father, John Pellett Jr., started the company in 1947 alongside his college friends Heyward Morgan and Nelson Tracy. After opening a small office in downtown Greenville, the trio secured their first contract and built a 50,000-square-foot warehouse for Poe Hardware and Supply along Perry Avenue.

“They really struggled to complete some of their first projects, because there was a shortage of construction materials after World War II,” Tracy Pellett said. “Luckily, they were able to make do with what they could find at the time.”

Despite some early successes, Morgan and Tracy left Triangle after a few years to pursue other interests. Pellett then moved the company to a single-story building off Laurens Road, which was then unpaved and surrounded by farms. “I don’t think there was a single car dealership around us back then,” Pellett said.

The company has since grown from a small local business into a thriving regional practice known for constructing some of the most popular spaces in Greenville, along with high-profile projects in Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee.

Pellett said Triangle’s portfolio is filled with complex and schedule-driven projects that span various sectors, including industrial plants, higher education facilities, religious facilities, offices, hospitals, restaurants, apartment buildings, and shopping centers.

Locally, the company is known for building the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville County Courthouse, and S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

Triangle Construction Chairman of the Board Tracy Pellett. Photo by Will Crooks.

Other projects include the construction of Falls Park in 2005 and the $22 million expansion of the Peace Center in 2013. The company also recently built a 9.8-acre campus along West Washington Street that houses Greenville Water operations, a parking garage, office space, and a 1-acre park with an amphitheater and water features.

Over the years, Triangle’s projects have garnered local and national acclaim.

In June, for instance, the company was named the winner of the 2017 S.C. Historic Preservation Award for transforming the Palmetto Compress, a former cotton warehouse in downtown Columbia, into an apartment complex and shopping center.

“I think our biggest advantage is our dedication and reliability as a builder,” Pellett said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s an apartment complex or school; we’re able to do things right the first time around because our people have years of experience under their belt.”

In fact, most of the company’s 60 employees have more than 25 years of experience in the industry, according to Pellett. That includes Triangle’s senior project managers and engineers, whose years with Triangle span at least six decades.

President Tom Baer, for instance, started working for Triangle nearly 32 years ago as a field engineer and gradually rose in the company’s leadership.

While he has to oversee more paperwork in his current position, Baer remains one of the company’s leading project managers. For instance, he has overseen construction of the Cascades at Verdae, S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, and more.

“Most of our managers can run projects,” Baer said. “It’s our way of cutting through the red tape of large contractors and providing clients a single point of contact capable of ensuring cost-effective construction.”

Triangle Construction President Tom Baer. Photo by Will Crooks.

Baer said the company’s streamlined approach is one of the primary reasons for its large amount of repeat business from major customers, including Furman University and Greenville Health System. It has also built more than 70 schools in Greenville, Anderson, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg counties. Triangle most recently finished constructing a $7.5 million building for Greer Middle Charter High School.

However, Baer and Pellett maintain that the company has survived because of its decentralized organization. In 1988, John Pellett Jr. and other board members voted to allow Triangle’s employees to buy stock in the company.

Today, roughly half of the company’s employees are shareholders, including every job superintendent out in the field, according to Baer. “It was a brilliant idea, because it’s encouraged employees to save money on projects and stick around,” he said. “We actually have a few employees who have been around for more than 40 years.”

Simpsonville resident Jimmy Skelton, for instance, joined the company in 1977 and has since become the superintendent overseeing the renovation of Apalache Mill, a former textile mill in Greer that produced cotton until 2007. And Greenville’s Dot McConnell has worked for Triangle as an administrative assistant since 1961, maintaining the daily payroll and helping company executives.

But the job hasn’t come without challenges, according to Baer.

When the recession hit in 2007, Triangle stopped offering masonry, concrete, and various other in-house services. That decision eventually forced the company to downsize and lay off nearly 90 employees. “It sounds like a negative thing,” Baer said. “But we really had to conform to the way the industry was changing.”

“Specialty contractors were offering the same services at cheaper prices, because they weren’t paying people hospitalization. But we were pricing our in-house capabilities out of the market,” he added. “We honestly couldn’t look developers in the eye and tell them we were offering them the best value for their dollars.”

Construction of the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport: 



As for the future, Triangle is focusing on numerous high-profile projects, including the S.C. Children’s Theatre. The $12 million campus is expected to be complete in 2019 near the Greenville Drive stadium. It will feature a 300-seat theater and separate second stage space, with classrooms, offices, and event space available to rent.

Baer and Pellett are also thinking about a succession plan for the company as they near retirement. Luckily, the duo has stocked Triangle’s management team with a crop of young professionals that are ready to make their mark.

“Our future looks bright,” Baer said. “We’ve put some younger guys in leadership roles, and they’re already looking to make money, so I can’t wait to see what they do with this company when the time comes.”

For more information, visit triangleconstruction.com.

MAPAL Inc. plans $4M expansion in Greenville County

Photo provided.

MAPAL Inc., a German-based company that creates hard metal tools for the automotive and aerospace industries, has announced plans to expand its existing operations in Greenville County.

According to a press release, the company will be investing $4 million in the expansion, creating 16 new jobs over the course of five years at its facility in Fountain Inn. The expansion includes construction of a 7,600-square-foot office building, with a completion date of 2018.

“One of MAPAL’s mottos is ‘Always close to the customer, everywhere.’ For the Southeast, we chose the Greenville area, and that has been a great success story. MAPAL is dedicated to continuously meeting and exceeding customer expectations. This expansion will allow us to better serve our customers as well as expand our customer base. We have established great relationships with many businesses throughout this great state, and look forward to developing these relationships further,” said MAPAL chief operating officer Rene Kristensen in a press release.

MAPAL has had a presence in the United States for more than 40 years, according to a press release. In 2012, the company spent $3 million to expand its operations into a 27,000-square-foot facility at 110 Valley View Road in Fountain Inn. Before, the company operated a facility in Port Huron, Mich.

With more than 200 employees, the company established itself early on as a market leader for custom tools supporting the automotive, medical, general machining, and aerospace sectors.

“Over the last several decades, hundreds of German companies have enjoyed tremendous success within our state’s borders. MAPAL Inc.’s decision to expand in Greenville County only adds to this prosperous partnership between Germany and South Carolina,” Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said in a press release.

Redeveloped Judson Mill to let ’em live-work-play

“The developers love the story behind the property. These mill communities were the original live-work-play communities.” –CBRE associate Nick Hollstegge

Once one of the largest mills in Greenville County, Judson Mill had been spinning raw cotton into yarn for more than a century. But when Milliken and Company listed the property for sale in 2015 and closed operations, everyone knew change was coming.

The property was purchased last month with plans to convert the 36-acre mill into a live-work-play mixed-use district. Judson District will include 204 apartments, more than 215,000 square feet of office space, 141,000 square feet of light industrial/flex, and 8 to 12 acres of retail along Highway 123 (Easley Bridge Road), near St. Francis Hospital. It is being developed by a joint venture between North Carolina-based developer Belmont Sayre and Chicago-based Three Corners Development.

The plans are ambitious. The first phase will be workforce housing – 204 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, ranging from 565 to 2,200 square feet. “We try to not define it [workforce housing] too much. The apartments will be good quality – not quite luxury, but not low-income either,” says Ken Reiter, president of Belmont Sayre. “It’ll be attainable housing for people like civil servants and first responders who work in the downtown area and want to live in the neighborhoods they participate in. It’s a missing component of downtown Greenville’s housing strategy.” Rental rates have not yet been set.

In subsequent phases, Reiter is expecting to attract grocery, pharmacy, and retail to the development, something much needed in what Greenville has previously defined as a “food desert.” Office and light industrial users will bring the work piece to the project. Selected outlying buildings will be demolished, but most buildings on the property will be redeveloped.

Belmont Sayre specializes in these types of large urban infill historic redevelopment projects in neighborhoods that are on the fringe of downtown areas. The company has tackled Mill 800 in Winston-Salem, N.C., and American Tobacco in Durham, N.C., both similar to Judson District, Reiter says. “It’s a core competency of ours that not many developers want to do. There’s a lot of impact you can bring to a neighborhood.”

Elements of the mill will be incorporated into the new development. “There are tons of old textile equipment, old scales. We absolutely will incorporate those back into the design,” Reiter says. Some may be turned into furniture; some may be woven into the landscape design. A library or heritage center where people can learn about the history of the mill and neighborhood is also planned.

“These large projects are a challenge, because of their scale,” Reiter says. “Because the property is so large, it may seem sometimes like we’re not doing much.”

Another challenge will be overcoming the perception of Judson not being a preferred neighborhood. “That’s not our perception. It’s not downtown, but downtown is getting expensive,” Reiter adds. “We’ll be competitively priced, and we have larger spaces and parking.”

The deal came together like many other Greenville projects. A group from Greenville made a presentation in Durham a few years ago. Reiter attended, traded business cards, and made connections. When North Carolina changed legislation on how developers can use state tax credits, Reiter began looking at South Carolina opportunities. CommunityWorks, a Greenville nonprofit financial organization, along with CBRE associate Nick Hollstegge, who represented Belmont Sayre and Three Corners in the mill’s purchase, helped pull everything together. This will be Belmont’s first project in the Upstate.

Belmont Sayre will be teaming with Three Corners Development as co-developers.  Three Corners has a construction arm of its business, and the two companies have worked together on several previous projects. The companies will be utilizing historic and new market tax credits, along with the Bailey Bill incentive, which locks in the property’s pre-rehabilitation tax assessment value for 20 years. Recently, the property was rezoned to a Planned Development by the county, and the first phase is currently in design. Financing is in place with plans to begin construction in the second or third quarter of 2018 with an opening date of third quarter 2019.

Pre-leasing on the office and industrial space has also begun with prices in the low- to mid-teens for office space. “We’ve seen interest already from a wide range of business services, office users, and marketing firms who like the cool, creative loft-type space,” Hollstegge says. (CBRE will be handling the leasing of the office and industrial space.)

“The developers love the story behind the property. These mill communities were the original live-work-play communities. Now, they’re breathing life back into it. We’re hoping Judson Mill has a great next chapter,” Hollstegge adds.

Amenities at Judson District Apartments are likely to include:


  • Club room with full-service kitchen
  • Lounge with gas fireplace
  • Game room
  • Media theater room
  • “Work from home” spaces
  • Business print center
  • Fitness center
  • Yoga studio
  • Resident lounges on all floors


  • Outdoor kitchen with gas grill
  • Garden lounge space
  • Fire pits
  • 20-meter, four-lane lap pool with sun shelf
  • Hot tub spa
  • Cabanas
  • Dog wash
  • Bike shop and storage

Vetroresina plans $7.5M expansion in Greenville County

Photo provided.

Vetroresina LLC, an international manufacturer of fiber-reinforced polyester laminates, has announced plans to invest $7.5 million in an expansion of its operations in Greenville County.

The plans include the construction of a 50,000-square-foot expansion to its current facility to accommodate custom orders and a growing product line. It is expected to create 17 new jobs, according to a press release.

“Vetroresina is thrilled to be expanding our operations in Greenville. Despite opening our facility during the economic downturn of 2008, we persevered, met our target goals, and are now enjoying steady and growing business,” said Elena Colombarini, Vetroresina general manager and CEO.

Vetroresina, which is located in the S.C. Technology and Aviation Center at 6 Idaho Street, opened in 1968 and manufactures fiberglass sheets with a variety of reinforcements and resins and primarily serves the recreational vehicle and refrigerated truck industries. The company opened its Greenville facility in 2008 to serve the North American market.

The expanded facility is expected to be operational by the first half of 2019, and those interested in joining the Vetroresina team should contact info@vetroresinallc.com.

Montgomery Building’s $29 million renovation fueling growth in downtown Spartanburg

The Montgomery Building | Photos by Will Crooks

Construction noise echoes through downtown Spartanburg’s Montgomery Building.

A $29 million renovation that will transform the historic 10-story, 130,000-square-foot former office high-rise into a mixed-use development is inching closer to completion.

Greenville-based developer BF Spartanburg is leading the effort to bring new residential, commercial, office, and entertainment space to the building perched at a prominent intersection near the city’s urban center.

James Bakker, co-principal of BF Spartanburg, said the project’s anticipated completion is October 2018.

The revival of the 93-year-old structure, originally built as a monument to Spartanburg’s ascent as a textile hub during the early 20th century, is already helping to kindle new growth.

“This building is not just deeply rooted in Spartanburg’s business community, it’s closely tied to the people of Spartanburg,” said Tom Finnegan, Bakker’s business partner. “We often get to hear people share their memories of the building. You don’t get a lot of opportunities like this.”

Constructed in 1924, the Montgomery Building sits on nearly 1.5 acres at the northeast corner of the North Church and East St. John streets intersection.

During its life as an office building, it housed corporate operations for prominent textile manufacturers, government agencies, and a plethora of other businesses.

A 1,300-seat theater adjacent to the office tower originally named The Montgomery, but later renamed the Carolina Theater, was a thriving local entertainment venue.

BF Spartanburg purchased the property in February from Florida-based Cypress Lending Group for $680,000.

“It took us 2 1/2 years to close [on the building],” Bakker said. “When we first came to Spartanburg and said we wanted to do this, people really had to trust us. So many people have been helpful in moving this project forward.”

Despite a fire scare in March, Bakker said renovations have remained on schedule.

The work is about one-third of the way done, he said.

The project’s anticipated completion is October 2018.

“It’s all coming together nicely,” Bakker said.

When complete, the building will boast 63 apartments on floors four through 10.

The apartments will be a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom units ranging from about 500 to 1,500 square feet.

Bakker said the apartments will be heated and cooled by energy-efficient ductless HVAC technology.

Each unit will have a stacked washer and dryer, 10-foot-high ceilings, and a modern interior design theme with contemporary accents and fixtures.

He said the apartments will be available to lease by the spring of 2018.

The rental rates, he said, will be “somewhere between Church Street Lofts and Drayton Mills [Lofts],” two other historic buildings in Spartanburg that have been renovated into apartments.

The building’s second and third floors will have about 20,000 square feet of high-quality office space.

On the ground floor, the building will have a nearly 4,000-square-foot restaurant space at its southern end that also has 1,500 square feet of dining space in the basement.

The first floor will also have three other commercial spaces for new retail or dining options, ranging from more than 900 to about 2,000 square feet.

Those spaces are currently available for lease and have already attracted interest from a number of potential tenants, Bakker said.

He said there will be a fitness center and storage area for residents in the basement, as well as co-working space for local entrepreneurs.

The co-working space will have 23 desks, private phone areas, a coffee bar, and a print/break room, he said.

The developer said a big part of the renovation’s focus is on the use of windows that will allow natural light to spill into the building.

Along a main hallway on the first floor separating the Montgomery Building’s tower from the theater, where there are few windows, Bakker said he plans to have circadian lighting installed that will change throughout the day, mimicking the solar cycle.

Charter will wire the whole building with fiber optic cable enabling tenants access to high-speed Internet.

“You look at projects like the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston and the Westin Poinsett in Greenville, and you see the way they have energized the community,” Finnegan said. “We think the Montgomery Building will have the same impact. Once these buildings are gone, you can’t replace them. They’re so special. This is honestly one of the few projects I’ve ever worked on where I’m proud and excited every time I see it.”

One of the things the developers said they are most pleased with so far is the work on the building’s exterior.

Concrete panels from the facade of the building were removed early on in the renovation.

They are being recast and will be replaced with new panels. Some of the decorative pieces had to be reengineered because the originals had deteriorated.

Bakker said the National Park Service and the S.C. State Historic Preservation Office have both approved the new panel designs, which he said will be as close to the original color as possible.

“The scariest moment for me so far was getting the façade off,” he said. “Honestly, I was surprised with how great of shape the structure of the building was.”

Lockwood Greene & Co., an architectural and engineering firm that originated out of the Northeast and designed about 50 cotton mills in South Carolina, designed the building.

According to the Montgomery Building’s National Register of Historic Places filing, Lockwood Greene “used the Chicago skeletal frame method of construction,” in order to make it more fireproof.

The building’s frame was constructed entirely from U.S. steel and bonded together with rivets, which Bakker said makes it much stronger than some contemporary methods used to bond steel.

He said some environmental cleanup was necessary, but there were no big surprises.

“It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for a building of this age,” Bakker said. “We had a pretty good idea of what we were getting into before we started.”

Bakker said the sidewalk surrounding the building will have attractive, pedestrian-friendly streetscaping.

A pocket park will replace an existing driveway between the northern side of the building and Central United Methodist Church.

A parking lot with 23 spaces at the rear of the building will be open only to customers of the retail and dining establishments.

The city has provided the developer with 150 parking spaces in the nearby St. John Street parking garage for tenants.

Bakker said the theater is not part of the current renovation. It was gifted earlier this year to Preservation South Carolina, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting historic structures in the state.

Preservation South Carolina has started a Spartanburg Preservation Fund with $10,000 raised during an unsuccessful effort in 2015 to save the historic Spartanburg mansion Bon Haven.

The Carolina Theater is the fund’s first project. It will help prepare the theater to eventually be sold to a new owner/operator.

“For the past 10 years, we’ve had a lot of great progress in downtown,” said Jansen Tidmore, executive vice president of Spartanburg’s Downtown Development Partnership. “But that building detracted from the progress, as it was an eyesore in our skyline. From a development standpoint, the Montgomery Building is the epitome of the community turning this corner. The project reflects the level progress we’ve made.”

Bakker said Spartanburg-based McMillan Pazan Smith Architecture is serving as the architect for the project.

Harper Corp. is the general contractor.

Bakker said most of the subcontractors working on the project are from Spartanburg, or they have ties to Spartanburg.

He also credited Paige Pollard with Commonwealth Preservation Group and David McCutchen with McCutchen Engineering Associates for their work on the project.

The Montgomery Building’s renovation is one of four large projects currently underway in downtown.

The other projects include the Johnson family’s $20 million AC Hotel and Spartanburg developer Royce Camp’s new 198 Morgan & Main mixed-use building both nearing completion in the western end of downtown.

Greenville-based Blue Wall Real Estate is working on a $10.5 million redevelopment of the Aug W. Smith building on East Main Street that will transform the historic building into a mixed-use facility with apartments and retail space.

Officials said each of those projects have created ripples they hope will become waves of new economic success in the future.

“All of those projects are energizing downtown,” Tidmore said. “The Montgomery Building is a point of pride. It’s a first-class project led by a first-class developer. So many people said it couldn’t be done… There is a lot of interest in it. I think it helps open a whole swath of downtown to new growth.”

Two projects in development could be signs of the Montgomery Building renovation’s positive impact on downtown.

Local businessmen Jimmy Gibbs and Andy Cajka have announced plans for a new five-story, 70,000-square-foot mixed-use building on 5.3 acres behind the Montgomery Building.

Tampa-based Forge Capital Partners hopes to build a $30 million, 200-unit apartment community on 7 acres of an 8.6-acre lot at 215 E. Daniel Morgan Avenue, also near the Montgomery Building.

Bakker credited the redevelopment of Spartanburg’s historic Drayton Mill into a vibrant mixed-use community, the AC Hotel’s construction, Camp’s facility, Aug W. Smith, and other projects in the city for helping to lay the groundwork for the Montgomery Building’s revitalization.

“I think it’s the combination of all of those things that have brought us here,” he said. “All of that together has created a huge center of mass. A lot more people are coming to downtown. Where it is today is awesome. Where it’s going is even more exciting… We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the work that other people have done. The city really stepped up to the plate. There are just so many who made this possible.”

From the Montgomery Building’s roof, it isn’t difficult to see much of the progress that has encouraged Bakker and several other developers to invest in downtown Spartanburg.

To the north, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine’s facility, which sits atop the site once occupied by Spartan Mills, comes into view.

Surrounding it are signs that the Northside Initiative, a community effort aimed at transforming the city’s north side neighborhood, is beginning to bear fruit.

A scan of the horizon to the south reveals a new runway expansion at the Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport, RJ Rockers Brewery, the AC Hotel, Camp’s building, the renovated Schuyler Building now home to Church Street Lofts, and downtown’s bustling Main Street corridor.

The 18-story Denny’s tower still dominates the city’s skyline, but the buildings below, such as the Aug W. Smith Building, show signs of activity and new growth.

To the northeast, the white water towers of Drayton Mill Lofts and Marketplace, and the revamped Beaumont Mill, which recently became the home of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s corporate offices, are visible.

The Montgomery Building also overlooks the Chapman Cultural Center, the University of South Carolina Upstate’s George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics, the Hub City Co-op, Converse College, and Wofford College’s campus.

Contrast the current view with what the city’s fathers must have seen when they looked out at the landscape 93 years ago, and the differences are probably pretty significant.

The Montgomery Building was conceptualized during the early 1920s, at a time when the city was growing and in desperate need of modern office space.

A group of local leaders decided to organize a company to build a structure that would meet those needs and project Spartanburg’s growth.

The site they chose was where the late textile mill developer Capt. John H. Montgomery, who helped found Spartan Mills and Drayton Mills, had built his home.

Montgomery was killed in 1902 after he fell from scaffolding during construction of a mill in Gainesville, Ga.

According to the Montgomery Building’s National Register of Historic Places filing, Montgomery’s three sons, Victor M. Montgomery, Walter S. Montgomery, and Ben W. Montgomery, received the property from their father’s estate.

The brothers decided to transfer the property’s title to a new company Montgomery Building Inc.

At the groundbreaking ceremony for the Montgomery Building in 1923, a steam shovel dug a large hole at the site.

The remains of Montgomery’s home were pushed in and buried to serve as part of the building’s foundation.

After its completion, the Montgomery Building stood for three decades as the tallest building in the city.

It was a hub of activity for a wide variety of local, regional, and national businesses and organizations, such as Lockwood Greene, Deering-Milliken, and WSPA, the state’s first AM radio station.

The Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce, the Clinchfield Railroad, Spartanburg County Foundation, a local tuberculosis association, real estate companies, attorneys, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation Services also called the building home.

When German automaker BMW decided in 1992 to build its first and only U.S. manufacturing plant in Spartanburg County, it utilized space in the Montgomery Building to house its first employees.

The building was negatively impacted by the decline of rail travel during the 1960s and the rise of shopping centers in the 1970s and ’80s that drew commerce away from downtown.

The evaporation of the local textile industry during the 1990s and early 2000s also took a toll on the Montgomery Building.

Its opulence and character gradually faded.

In 2007, the aging building went into foreclosure.

When Cypress purchased the building that year for $1.9 million, hopes were high that the building would be restored to its former glory.

The building, however, remained idle. The passage of time and natural elements caused its exterior to deteriorate and crumble.

In 2014, Cypress installed scaffolding and chain-link fences around the base of the building to protect pedestrians and motorists from debris falling off the building.

The barriers remained in place for more than a year, obstructing foot traffic along the east side of North Church Street.

Demolition of the iconic building appeared to be looming, but the building’s owner and city officials weren’t ready to let go just yet.

In March 2016, BF Spartanburg entered into a voluntary cleanup contract for the building with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

By September of that year, city council finalized a development agreement with the company.

“I am thrilled to see an iconic building like this repurposed,” said John Montgomery, the great-great grandson of Capt. John H. Montgomery, principal of Spartanburg-based Montgomery Development Group. “I applaud James Bakker and his team for taking on such an important project in our downtown. This will be a pivotal project for Spartanburg to bring more residents downtown to support our restaurants and retailers. This is also going to help improve the pedestrian connection between Wofford, the Marriott, and downtown.”

“Spartanburg is on a roll and it is great to see outside investors believe in our community and willing to make big investments in our downtown,” Montgomery added.


Organic Cat Café to open next week

photo by Will Crooks

What you need to know

Address: 123 College St., the former JB Lacher Jewelers

Opening date: As soon as possible, pending DHEC certification

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.–11 p.m.

Admission: $10, includes free beverage and as much time playing with the residents as desired (time limit imposed if maximum occupancy of 40 is reached)

Owner: Jennifer Bronzel and Ernesto Cardenas, who did the construction themselves, using as much recycled material as possible

Square footage: 3,600

Number of cats: Around 30, with a few available for adoption; majority are free roam with a few quarantined based on behavior. Can board additional cats on a case-by-case basis.

Menu: All vegetarian – coffee, tea, smoothies, sandwiches, waffles, and granola; prepared and served in an area separated by two doors where cats cannot access

Special events: Weekly Ping-Pong tournaments, biweekly cat yoga, Sunday ambient music sessions, art exhibits, and cat adoption events in partnership with cat rescue centers

Read previous coverage here.

Denny’s Corp. reports 4 percent earnings decrease during third quarter


Spartanburg-based Denny’s Corp. announced recently its earnings decreased about 4 percent during the third quarter.

But the family-dining chain’s net income for the year has increased more than twofold so far this year to almost $26.5 million, compared with more than $8.1 million during the same period of 2016.

Denny’s net income for the quarter was more than $9.3 million, compared with about $9.7 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

The company reported its same-store sales during the quarter, or sales at stores open during the same span of the previous year, increased .6 percent at its company-owned, domestic franchised, and domestic system-wide stores. Same-store sales at its system-wide restaurants increased .9 percent.

For the year, same-store sales increased .6 percent at company-owned stores, .7 percent at domestic franchised and domestic system-wide restaurants, and .8 percent at its system-wide locations.

“We once again achieved positive system same-store sales and continued to perform well against key industry benchmarks during the third quarter despite persistent challenges within the full-service dining environment,” said John Miller, president and CEO of Denny’s, in a statement.

“The disciplined execution of our brand revitalization strategy, which delivers an enhanced guest experience across food, service and atmosphere, coupled with our highly franchised business model, continues to generate growth in revenue and cash flows,” Miller added. “We remain committed to effectively reinvesting capital in the business along with returning capital to our shareholders. While the industry outlook remains uncertain, we are focused on further elevating the guest experience, growing sales, and expanding Denny’s global reach to ensure long-term success.”

Denny’s said it opened nine restaurants during the quarter, including eight franchised and one company store.

As of Sept. 27, the company said it had 1,725 franchised, licensed, and company stores in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, New Zealand, Honduras, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Guam, Curacao, and El Salvador.

The company’s total debt has increased almost 19 percent since the start of the year to more than $291 million.

Denny’s said it allocated $29.7 million towards its share repurchase program and completed 58 restaurant remodels during the quarter.


Prominent S.C. entrepreneur encourages USC Upstate business students to innovate

Nick Glover, a native of South Carolina who helped start Channel One News and several other successful ventures, served as the featured speaker for USC Upstate's Johnson Innovation Speaker Series event on Thursday, Nov. 9, presented by the Barnet Foundation at the George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics in downtown Spartanburg.

Nick Glover believes great ideas are born of failure, frustration, and passion.

Glover, an entrepreneur from the Lowcountry, recently shared the story of his own challenges and accomplishments to inspire a group of students, professors, and other small business owners in Spartanburg.

“Entrepreneurship and innovation doesn’t happen when people aren’t willing to step into the arena,” said Glover, who was the featured speaker during the latest Johnson Innovation Speaker Series event on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the University of South Carolina Upstate’s George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics in downtown Spartanburg.

Glover was born and raised near McClellanville.

After graduating from high school, he attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where he once had the opportunity to shake hands with President John F. Kennedy.

Upon his graduation from the academy, Glover joined the U.S. Navy and served four years on active duty in Morocco.

When he left the military, Glover said he took a job as the head of marketing for a “Fortune 500 company.” He led an effort that caused one of the company’s mainstay brands to grow for the first time in 20 years.

In 1983, Glover joined businessmen Chris Whittle and Phillip Moffitt in their media company Whittle Communications.

Whittle and Moffitt, two University of Tennessee graduates, slept on mattresses on the floor of an abandoned pillow factory for several years while they struggled to start a business.

By 1976, Whittle and Moffitt and formed 13-30 Corp., a $5 million venture specializing in “Baby Boomer media,” Glover said.

In 1979, 13-30 Corp. purchased Esquire magazine.

After Glover joined the team, he helped the company sell the magazine in 1986 to Hearst Communications Inc. for a 400 percent return on investment.

Whittle Communications was created and in three years the company went live with Channel One News, a daily news program broadcast to students in classrooms across America. CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper was the station’s first anchorman.

He said the idea for Channel One came from Whittle Communications employee Sara Fortune, who envisioned putting a television in every classroom in the country and piping in a “Today” show for teens.

In 1990, cable giant Time Warner purchased a major interest in Whittle Communications for $500 million, Glover said.

Glover remained with the company and served as a senior executive assigned to health care development. In 1992, he helped start Medical News Network, which later became WebMD.

He said a junior editor with the company came up with the idea for a Channel One broadcast for the health care industry.

“People come up with ideas, but you have to be open to them,” Glover said. “Several people working together can solve a problem.”

Glover, who now lives in Charleston with his wife, said he began working a few years ago with entrepreneur Chris Brunson.

Brunson, who previously worked in the automotive industry, decided to parlay his experience with customer relationship management technology into a new health care venture.

He developed a patient relationship management platform that led to the creation of a patient engagement center to help doctors better serve their patients.

Glover joined Brunson in 2010 to serve as the CEO of the venture now known as PEC360.

“[Nick Glover] is a great example of how hard work, perseverance, and a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone can pay off,” said Mohamed “Mo” Djerdjouri, dean of USC Upstate’s downtown business school. “The best part about this is he is from South Carolina… He did a beautiful job and we were very happy to have him here.”

During his speech, Glover gave specific examples of entrepreneurs throughout history who refused to let their dreams die.

The list included Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks; Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx; Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb; Jennifer Hyman, CEO and co-founder of Rent The Runway; Tariq Farid, owner and CEO of Edible Arrangements; and Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter.

He encouraged his audience by channeling one of Price’s most notable quotes.

“You can’t let people write your story for you,” Glover said. “You are the author of your own story.”

“I chose to go to the Naval Academy,” he added. “When the opportunity came to go to Morocco, I went for it… When I decided to leave a major corporation and work for a small media company, a lot of people thought it wasn’t a good idea… In the end, I’m grateful for the opportunities I had because it helped me grow.”

Glover said he is open to the idea of getting involved with entrepreneurial programs in the Upstate.

“I’ve done this sort of thing before and I really enjoy it,” Glover said. “Mo and his team are doing a wonderful job here. This was the perfect audience.”

“South Carolina is going to be a major growth state,” Glover added. “We have everything going for us.”


Condo living meets hotel amenities at new Clemson project at Lake Hartwell

Lakeside Lodge, a four-story resort condo complex with 116 units and the amenities of an upscale hotel, is projected to be completed in time for the 2019 college football season. Rendering by Goodwyn Mills and Cawood

Along the shores of Lake Hartwell, across from the Clemson University campus, Tiger fans will soon have a unique place to own or stay.

Lakeside Lodge will feature a four-story resort condo complex with 116 units. The condos will be a mixture of studios and one-, two-, and three-bedrooms for sale. The unique part? The condos will also include all the amenities of a high-end hotel including 24/7 concierge service, housekeeping and maintenance, a lobby, restaurant/bar, fitness center, and meeting space. Condo owners will be able to rent out full units and lock-off individual bedrooms (in the two- and three-bedroom units) to generate income by utilizing the resort’s professionally managed short-term rental program to lease their units for the night, weekend, or week at a time.

Add in Greenville powerhouses like Leighton Cubbage, Joe Erwin, Tajh Boyd, Steve Mudge, Steve Navarro, Rick Erwin, and Jim Riggs, and you’ve got a lineup ready to play ball.


“We’ve got a unique concept that gives people the ownership and amenities they want but that can also generate income,” says Leighton Cubbage, chairman of Allie Capital LLC, one of the developers of the project. “I personally love to go places, but the maintenance takes away from the fun. With Lakeside Lodge, everything’s included. You’re in a high-end suite and it’s yours, but you can leave, not have to vacuum, and the next day it’s rented out. It gets you out of the upkeep of owning a home and lets you enjoy your stay.”

Additional onsite amenities will include a pool and hot tub, walking paths, fire pit, and a shelter with paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes. A full-service marina is located nearby for boat rental or storage. “This puts the lake in play for us. You don’t have to own a lake house on the water to enjoy Lake Hartwell,” Cubbage says. A restaurant/bar is also planned, and restaurateur Rick Erwin is an investor. Needless to say, “Rick will have an impact on the food,” Cubbage says.

The property will be family- and pet-friendly. Cubbage says plans are in the works to create a football field overlooking the lake where kids and parents can throw a football around while hanging out or tailgating for Clemson games.

Rendering by Goodwyn Mills and Cawood


Cubbage, along with Allie Capital partner Steve Mudge, Southern Resort Group, and Sundog Development Company will be leading the development. It’s the same team behind three other real estate projects, including the Residences at Biltmore in Asheville, N.C., a similar condo resort project, and two residential developments – Falls at Meehan in Pendleton and Creekside Village in Weaverville, N.C.

The developers have assembled a group of about 30 lead investors, the majority of whom are Upstate South Carolina business leaders with strong ties to Clemson University. Several of the investors are friends and business associates and fellow “tailgaters” who like the concept and will probably be purchasing condos themselves, Cubbage says. “We know who the customers are, and all we have to do is show it to them and they get excited.”

Other investors include Jeff Bostic, a 1980 Clemson graduate and offensive lineman on the football team and three-time Super Bowl champion, and Julie Ibrahim, president and CEO of the Tiger Sports Shop, whose late husband, Dr. I.M. Ibrahim, coached the Clemson men’s soccer team to two national championships. They also include Steve Navarro, president and CEO of the Furman Co., and devout Clemson fans Jim Riggs, who played for Danny Ford in the 1980s and went on to co-found Hot Springs Pool and Spas, and his wife, Liz Riggs, named Miss Clemson in 1984.

“When Leighton and Steve told me about the idea of Lakeside Lodge Clemson, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to be a part of it, not only as an owner of a unit so that I can enjoy my time in Clemson and on the lake, but as an investor to help bring this idea to life,” says Joe Erwin, co-founder and former president of Erwin Penland and now president of Erwin Creates. “The development team is proven, and the demand for a higher-end resort in Clemson is there. Plus, this group of investors may be diverse in our backgrounds, but we are collectively passionate about Clemson and making Lakeside Lodge a success.”


“What’s going on in Clemson is off the charts with the excitement of Clemson Nation,” Cubbage says. “There’s now 100,000 to 150,000 people there on game days, and some aren’t even going to the game; they’re just tailgating.”

But it’s not all about football games. “There’s normally about seven home games for football. But there’s also basketball, soccer, school events, and even parents coming to visit their kid attending Clemson.”

Former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is managing sales for Lakeside Lodge Clemson. Cubbage says Boyd coming onboard was serendipitous. He and Mudge were brainstorming over lunch one day on who to bring on the project to handle sales and thought Boyd would be a great fit. Leaving the restaurant, they bumped into Boyd, who said he was in the process of getting his real estate license. “He’s a disciplined guy, very smart, and treats people great,” Cubbage says. “We’re real proud to have him onboard.”

Reservations for units are being accepted now with a refundable deposit. For more information, interested buyers can visit LakesideLodgeClemson.com. The sales office, currently under construction in Tiger Plaza on Highway 123, is scheduled to open before unit sales start in late 2017. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2018 with a scheduled opening in time for the 2019 football season.

“We see Lakeside Lodge as the best of both worlds,” Cubbage says. “Owners can enjoy being in Clemson on game day or any other day of the year, plus they are right on Lake Hartwell with all of the amenities they could want.”

ACE Bakery announces $31.9 million expansion of Gaffney plant

ACE Bakery's investment will fund an 80,000-square-foot addition to the 60,000-square-foot plant in opened in 2013 at 131 Corporate Drive in Gaffney.

Toronto-based artisan bread Maker ACE Bakery announced Thursday, Nov. 9, it will invest an additional $31.9 million to expand its Cherokee County plant and create 40 jobs during the next few years.

ACE Bakery, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, said the investment will add 80,000 square feet to its facility at 131 Corporate Drive in Gaffney.

The company said it also plans to add a production line and double the size of its existing freezer.

“We at ACE Bakery are very excited with the opportunity Cherokee County has provided us to expand our business,” said Roy Benin, president of ACE Bakery, in a statement. ‘The region’s growth, as well as the workforce and infrastructure, were key factors in expanding our bakery. We appreciate the support from the State of South Carolina and Cherokee County, and look forward to continuing this great partnership.”

ACE Bakery opened the 60,000-square-foot, $18.4 million facility in 2013 in the former Romeo Rim plant. It was the company’s first full-scale bakery operation in the U.S. and initially created more than 50 jobs.

The company, which produces a variety of baked goods sold across North America, said continued growth led to the expansion announcement.

“We are excited about the planned expansion of ACE Bakery in Cherokee County,” said Tim Spencer, Cherokee County Council chairman, in a statement. “We look forward to many years of partnership with the company as they expand their operations and employee base.”

“Cherokee County is committed to supporting existing industry in an increasingly competitive market environment,” Spencer added.

Hiring for the new positions is expected to begin during the third quarter of 2018.

For more information, visit: acebakery.com.

It’s time to address mobility and connectivity in the Upstate

Photo by Will Crooks

By Dean Hybl, executive director, Ten at the Top

Whether hosted by Ten at the Top or another Upstate organization, over the last eight years I have participated in many events and meetings to discuss various issues that are impacting current and future growth in our region. Most of the time, I leave feeling like it was a good use of my time and quality discussion, but knowing that the primary outcome will be more meetings and more discussions as part of a long process to enact change in the Upstate.

I had a very different feeling throughout the Oct. 18 Connecting Our Future kickoff event. Instead of being another event where the general mindset is that we have 20 to 30 years to strategically address our issues, there was a very different tone and sense of urgency cast by speakers and participants.

Whether related to an increase in traffic congestion on many of our roads, growth in previously undeveloped areas, potentially disruptive technologies that have the ability to radically change how we think about transportation, that we have jobs going unfilled because we have potential workers who don’t have access to dependable transportation, or perhaps all of the above, as well as several other factors, the message throughout the event was very clear: We have to move from discussion to action and do it now.

So, the key question is what do we do, and how do we do it?

According to keynote speaker Carla Bailo, who has been active in efforts to advance transportation and mobility in Columbus, Ohio, one key component is to have a business community that is willing to not only talk about how to move forward but also invest in making it happen.

Columbus recently received a $40 million Smart Cities grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Through public-private investment, they have parlayed that grant into nearly a half a billion dollars in funding and in-kind support that eventually should turn Columbus into a model for using smart technology to move people and goods across a region.

In the Upstate, groups like Ten at the Top, the Upstate SC Alliance, Upstate Forever, the Riley Institute at Furman, the Upstate Chamber Coalition, and many others have spent the last decade working to cultivate a spirit of collaboration and regionalism as we look at how to tackle major growth issues.

In addition, our region is fortunate to have Clemson’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) actively engaged in understanding and developing the future technologies that will forever change mobility. We also have companies including BMW, Michelin, and many others who are major players in shaping the transportation future for our country and world.

With so many positive assets, it is imperative that we leverage them in a way that positions the Upstate for success around mobility and moving people and goods.

For many years, a common mantra in the Upstate has been “we don’t want to be Charlotte, and we don’t want to be Atlanta” when talking about sprawling growth, traffic congestion, and increased pollution. However, most of our current policies and investments around those issues are actually pushing us in the Charlotte or Atlanta direction instead of toward something else.

If we truly want to be a region where all residents can easily and affordably get from place to place, and we do not have the negative impacts of sprawling growth and congestion, then we have to decide collectively what we want and how we are going to work together and invest our resources to create a different future.

We have many of the ingredients needed, but do we have the willingness amongst our residents, elected officials, and business leaders to actually start making different choices and investments toward the future of our region?

The Connecting Our Future initiative is designed to help create a vision for what we want as a region and then develop strategies for how to get there.

Not every effort needs to be done collectively. In fact, future success will require local initiatives and investments. However, if we are all working from the same playbook and moving toward the same goals, then collective success is surely obtainable.

What will be critical for the outcomes of Connecting Our Future to truly be effective in changing the trajectory for future growth in the Upstate is that every stakeholder group must be at the table and willing to play a role in making a difference. It is not someone else’s problem or something someone else will fix for us.

The time to impact our collective future is now, and it is up to all of us who call the Upstate home to play a role in ensuring that our region is a great place to live, learn, do business, and raise a family for generations to come.

If you are interested in being involved with Connecting Our Future, please contact us through connectingourfutureupstatesc.org.

Easy access to information online has blurred the lines of plagiarism


For a dozen years or so, marketers and communicators have been telling businesses that “content is king.” Create content, and readers will come, your footprint will grow, and your brand will gain recognition.

That was all good advice, but the shift of readers becoming writers has also increased plagiarism. And it’s possible your business’s content – on social media, business networking sites, and even your company’s blog – may have been cribbed.

Every day, there are 500 million new tweets, multiple posts added to the 40 million active small business pages on Facebook, and 2 million new blog posts created.

That’s a significant amount of content and, if we’re being honest, we want readers to pass it on: to share it, repost it, and retweet it.

But some things that have become prevalent on social media cross even the loosest of ethical lines. Take LinkedIn profiles, for example.

Many writers, marketers, and HR consultants make a living writing compelling LinkedIn profiles designed to grab the attention of potential clients or employers. But how can you stand out from the crowd when a bunch of other people have the exact same profile? Apparently it’s getting to be an embarrassingly common thing for people to copy and paste elements of other LinkedIn users with the same general business background.

The concept of “engagement” has blurred the lines of authorship, and internet postings often fall into a blurry area called “common knowledge.”

MIT defines common knowledge as “information that the average educated reader would accept as reliable without having to look it up.” While seemingly straightforward, that leaves a great deal open to interpretation. What does “average” mean? What constitutes an “educated reader”? Educated based on whose standard?

Then there’s posting and reposting until the actual originator of an article, graphic, design, or idea is obscured beyond recovery. In many cases, the more your content falls into the realm of “common knowledge,” the more likely you are to lose your claim to it.

That’s what happened to Bayer’s claim on the product trademark “aspirin.” Developed by Bayer and trademarked in 1900, aspirin fell victim to what we now call “genericization”: People started to call any painkiller “aspirin.” By 1921, the trademark could no longer be enforced.

So what can you as a business communicator do to avoid unintentionally plagiarizing others as well as protect your own intellectual property?

Attribute your facts. As one who grew up as a journalist before the internet, I am in awe of how easy information is to find. If you find a great idea that dovetails with your business, share it, but attribute it fully and add a link to the original article.

Paraphrasing doesn’t make it yours. Some pundits on this topic suggest that you paraphrase the creative ideas of others. It’s a slippery slope. Although not as offensive, paraphrasing is still a violation. You need to say in context where the idea or concept originated.

Vigorously protect your content. The internet may have given rise to more ways to steal your words, but it also has facilitated more ways to check. With nearly every written word of the millions produced every day available to search engines, a few sentences enclosed in quotes and searched in Google will find other articles using the same words. If you find someone has taken your content and reposted as their own, contact them and ask them to take it down or to properly attribute it. There are probably few places where any kind of civil or legal action would be worth the effort, but sometimes just letting people know they are caught is enough.

If you have copyrighted your blog or website and find your content has been plagiarized, you may be able to sue in federal court. Plagiarism is not a crime, but theft of intellectual property is.

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