Some come for the bustling business climate. Others adore the active outdoor lifestyle. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure: More than a million people have decided Greenville is an ideal place to raise a family, start a business, and simply kick back. To find out why this city is causing such a stir, we turned to some of the area’s savviest residents—from a CEO to the chairman of the county council. Their voices—along with important stats on the area’s culture, workforce, and economy—tell the story of life in this friendly corner of South Carolina.
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Live in Greenville
“The housing options are plentiful and affordable in Greenville. Verdae, an 1,100-acre tract of real estate in the city, is taking shape as a mixed-use community, with Hollingsworth Park serving as the 300-acre residential district within it. This city has a history of strong leaders who continue to create opportunity. Most visitors would be surprised to learn that Greenville has been through an amazing transformation over the years. The landscape has changed dramatically since 2004—we’ve been able to grow even in difficult times, giving us an edge over other areas of the state and region.”
Director of Marketing
Verdae Development, Inc.
“Greenville is an energetic city in constant motion. Parks and recreation facilities have sprung up all over in the past few years, and we’re on the map as a center of innovation. The cost of living here is also surprisingly less than other places. Everything desired for wholesome living is available in Greenville. We have an excellent location and climate, plus great schools. There’s a spirit of optimism among folks around here.”
—H.G. (Butch) Kirven Jr.
Greenville County Council
“Not many cities have an amazing downtown filled with more than 90 restaurants and retailers, as well as wonderful historic neighborhoods within walking distance of workplaces. Companies like Zipit Wireless and Proterra are helping to fuel Greenville’s growth, and we’re also rapidly becoming a major financial center. In the years to come, Greenville will be an even more walkable and bike-friendly city, as well as a leader in sustainability.”
Economic Development Manager
City of Greenville
Facts of Life in Greenville
• Greater Greenville, which includes six counties, has a combined population of about 1.2 million.
• Greenville County, comprised of Greenville and the cities of Greer, Mauldin, Simpsonville, Fountain Inn, and Travelers Rest, is one of 10 counties that make up what’s referred to as the Upstate region of South Carolina.
• Greenville is located in the northwestern corner of South Carolina, centrally situated between Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina.
• The average November high is 64 degrees.
• Greenville County School District is the largest public school system in South Carolina, serving more than 69,000 students.
• In April 2012, CNN Money named Greenville one of the “10 Fastest Growing U.S. Cities.”
• According to the National Association of Realtors, $152,300 was the median price of homes sold in Greater Greenville during the second quarter of 2012.
• In the May/June issue of Where to Retire magazine, Greenville was named a top city for retirees, based on factors including cultural amenities and a low cost of living.
Work in Greenville
“Greenville has a very dynamic and innovative business climate. The business community is supported by corporate tax incentives, workforce development programs, and entrepreneurial networks. Because of the presence of global companies, there’s an international vibe here that you don’t usually find in cities this size. Greenville is a big plus for Michelin’s nationwide recruiting efforts. We know if we get recruits to visit, Greenville sells itself.”
Executive Vice President,
Chief Human Resources Officer
Michelin North America, Inc.
“Greenville is the business and manufacturing hub of South Carolina. Here at KENTWOOL, we manufacture the world’s best golf sock, worn by PGA and LPGA Tour professionals. There’s a plethora of innovative entrepreneurs and future business leaders here.”
Director, Golf Development
Facts of Work in Greenville
• The top three employers in Greenville, based on number of employees, are Greenville County School District, Greenville Hospital System, and Michelin North America, Inc.
• Hubbell Lighting and Michelin North America, Inc. are among the nearly 20 headquarters of major corporations located in Greenville County.
• In March 2012, Forbes ranked Greenville No. 1 (tied with Knoxville, Tennessee) on its list of “The Best Cities for Jobs This Spring.”
Play in Greenville
“There’s an energy here that fuels and rewards a passion for life. From a terrific downtown to a thriving arts scene to professional and amateur sports and amazing outdoor venues, this is a city that’s on the front end of a very dynamic transformation—and you can really feel it. Greenville is one of those rare places that offers surprise and delight around every corner, whether you’ve been here for a day or a decade. What’s not to love?”
Greenville Convention &
“Greenville has developed an art and culinary culture that is unique to the area, and Courtyard by Marriott is in the heart of the area’s most popular dining and entertainment options. Events take place in downtown more than 300 days each year—everything from a weekly music series to a farmers’ market. In Greenville, you can establish your roots in a community that respects one’s dreams for success.”
Courtyard by Marriott
“You’ll see runners, cyclists, and walkers constantly moving through our parks and downtown, and Pedal Chic was the first female-focused bike shop and boutique in the country. Since the Swamp Rabbit Trail opened, bike rental has become a large part of activity in Greenville. Our downtown is getting busier, but I’ve never have a hard time finding a place to park my bike!”
—Robin Lennon Bylenga
Facts of Play in Greenville
• Nearly 40 parks, playgrounds, and recreation centers can be found around Greenville.
• The Liberty Bridge, located in Falls Park, is a 345-foot-long pedestrian walkway over the Reedy River.
• Travel + Leisure included Greenville on its May 2012 list of “America’s Greatest Main Streets.”
• The Swamp Rabbit Trail is a popular 17.5-mile walking and biking trail which runs along the Reedy River and connects Travelers Rest and Furman University to Greenville.
• In June 2012, Bicycling Magazine named Greenville one of the best small cities for cycling in the country.
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