The city of Greenville is telling the story of how its downtown has risen from a sluggish business district to an area other cities try to emulate.
The new Downtown Reborn website uses geographic information systems to interpret various data points and generate maps used to show various things like the three tax increment districts located downtown and the eight “anchors” of downtown.
According to the website, the city started its downtown development by creating an urban plan that included making downtown “a pedestrian friendly environment.” That plan included reducing Main Street from four lanes to two and adding angled parking, light fixtures and trees up and down the street.
In the 1980s, the city started on its “anchor” projects — Greenville Commons and the Peace Center — followed by the West End Market (1995), the Bi-Lo Center (now the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, 1998), the Poinsett Hotel (1999), Fluor Field (2006), RiverPlace (2008) and Project One (2013).
The city then developed its Downtown Streetscape Master Plan in 2010 to address future development, parking, landscaping, pedestrians and transit.
According to city data on the new website, the three tax increment financing, or TIF, districts — Viola Street TIF, Central Business District TIF and West End TIF — have generated over $104 million since their inception in 1988. City data found over $12 million in tax revenue generated in 2013-14.