Jansen Tidmore hadn’t been on the job a month when he laid out his plans as the new executive vice president of the Downtown Development Partnership in Spartanburg.
“By July 1 we hope to have an organizational structure put in place — we have to have a backbone in place. And step two is to build a brand and align an action plan,” he said, adding there is a strong consensus for downtown Spartanburg to see economic development and prosperity.
“We need to tell the story,” he said. “Spartanburg has been a quiet giant.”
The Downtown Development Partnership is part of the OneSpartanburg plan the city launched earlier this year. Designed to focus on the quality of life in Spartanburg, the plan includes creating one organization dedicated to improving downtown and another aimed at implementing the OneSpartanburg plan. Both organizations are housed under the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
The plan includes a five-year implementation process and comes with an estimated price tag of $5.15 million.
“The OneSpartanburg initiative is impressive,” Tidmore said. “Everyone involved has the desire and is willing to roll up their sleeves and work to make it happen.”
Tidmore began his job May 1. He was previously the executive director of the Dothan Downtown Redevelopment Authority in Alabama. He and his family were struck by two key attributes of Spartanburg, “the cleanliness of the community and the emphasis on arts and culture,” according to a news release announcing his hire.
He said that he was impressed with the investment made in community and its children and that most of the investment was citizen-driven, “which demonstrated to us this community has a heart for investing in its future.”
As part of the OneSpartanburg plan, the Downtown Development Partnership will focus on business retention, business growth and new business recruitment. Tidmore said the Downtown Development Partnership is “the front door to downtown,” and serves as the economic development driver for downtown, attracting business and people.
Allen Smith, president and CEO of the Spartanburg chamber, said in the release that “the economic momentum occurring in downtown Spartanburg is undeniable.”
“Now the hard work begins — working with our partners at the city of Spartanburg to build on the significant progress that has been made in revitalizing downtown Spartanburg so far, increasing our collective capacity, and taking our downtown to the next level,” Smith said.
During his six-year tenure in Dothan, the redevelopment authority there “acquired more than 100,000 square feet of downtown property, developed more than 60,000 square feet of property, and increased the business count to the core area by nearly 40%,” according to the news release.
Tidmore earned a master’s degree in public administration from Auburn University. After an internship under the city manager in Dothan, he worked in several family businesses, including steel fabrication and custom homebuilding, before taking the reins of the Dothan Downtown Redevelopment Authority.