As recently as fifteen years ago, there would be no chance of Greenville making anybody’s list of top downtown areas. Suffering from decades worth of neglect losing business to the suburbs, the city engaged in an aggressive renewal project that has been enormously successful in transforming the downtown into a thriving cluster of new homes, shops, restaurants, and arts offerings. “There are pedestrian areas where people are walking around and shopping, and it’s really different from the other cities in South Carolina,” says Clampet. The addition of a BMW plant 30 miles outside the city has had a big impact on the workers coming in, and has changed it, in Clampet’s terms, “from a backwater to a really functioning and beautiful place.”
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