What does GRC do?

GRC was formed to be an economic stimulator in the “Textile Crescent” area of Greenville County. This once vibrant center of business and industry has fallen on hard times since the textile industry left the County. GRC seeks to work with small businesses, industry and individuals to repurpose existing buildings, construct on vacant land or partner with other developers to bring new commercial or industrial projects to the Crescent.

Is GRC a Government Agency?

No. GRC is a non-profit tax-exempt entity that relies on contributions and grants to perform its duties. Although it was formed by the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority in 2013 to create economic opportunity in the Textile Crescent, it is a separate agency. Being a non-profit corporation, it has the flexibility to partner with other non-profits, for-profit organizations and businesses to create business opportunities and jobs.

Does GRC charge for its services?

Typically no, we do not charge for our services. If GRC owns a commercial property, as it did with the former Woodside Mill office building, it will charge the tenant rent, but when it partners with other organizations to bring about a business or community service, it does not charge for its services.

What projects have benefited from GRC’s assistance?

GRC has been involved in four significant projects. First, GRC purchased the former Woodside Mill office building at the corner of W. Main Street and Woodside Avenue, rehabilitated it, rented it to Goodwill Industries for a job training program and has since sold it to Goodwill who will be bringing many of its job training programs to that location. Second, GRC is in the process of building a Textile Heritage Park across from Monaghan Mill in order to preserve the history of the Textile Industry and Textile Mill Life and provide needed recreation to the area. Third, it is working with existing property owners and developers to revitalize and rebuild the commercial corridor on Woodside Avenue between Parker Road and Bramlett Road. Finally, it is working with property owners, Greenville County and developers to revitalize the Poinsett Highway Corridor.

What is the biggest need in the “Textile Crescent”? 

The Textile Crescent is a food desert, a medical desert, has an unemployment rate twice that of Greenville County as a whole and lacks many of the services that the rest of the county enjoys, i.e.drug stores, hardware stores, cleaners, florists, clothing stores, gift shops, phone stores, etc. But the biggest need in the Crescent is jobs. Many residents don’t have the education, training, skills or opportunity for jobs that are within the area. Those that do have the ability to work often don’t have adequate transportation to get to the jobs that are available.

What is GRC’s biggest need?

Money and property. In order for GRC to attract businesses and jobs to the Textile Crescent, it needs seed money to invest in the projects; provide gap funding for developers to make projects financially feasible; acquire land or buildings for repurposing; or perform environmental, market and other studies necessary to attract developers to the Crescent. GRC is tax-exempt, so money, land or other property contributed to it are tax-deductible.

What services does GRC provide developers?

GRC serves as a facilitator. During the last two years, GRC has worked with developers and property owners to acquire property, improve their existing property or establish their business in the Woodside Avenue and Poinsett Highway corridors. It works to help cut through red tape associated with zoning, permitting, land development regulations and inspections at the County; connect developers and property owners with sources of funding or needed services; introduce new businesses to neighborhood associations; obtain publicity for new and existing businesses; and when appropriate provide investment of its funds in a project.

What is the Greenville Textile Heritage Park?

The Park is dedicated to preserving the history of the textile industry and mill village life. For nearly 100 years, Greenville County was said to be the Textile Capital of the World. The industry employed tens of thousands of people and impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of residents of Greenville County and the Upstate of South Carolina. Mill villages were self-contained units, with their own schools, stores, medical, recreation and other services. When the textile industry left Greenville and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s, all the jobs and services left the Textile Crescent, as well. The Park is an effort to provide needed recreation to the area and preserve its history through a Mill Walk, which will be a trail with alcoves dedicated to the history of many of its former mills and a museum and event center that will have memorabilia and exhibits showing the mill life as it was back in the day. With the Swamp Rabbit Trail only two blocks away, walking trails, a children’s playground and other features will give residents and visitors a chance to enjoy nature and learn about Greenville’s history.

Is GRC a part of GCRA?

No, but they work together. GCRA realized several years ago that while it had been doing a good job stabilizing the Textile Crescent and former Mill Villages housing, it had not been able to do much to bring economic opportunity back to these areas. So it formed GRC as its economic development arm. Since GRC is a non-profit corporation and not a government agency, it can enter into partnerships and joint ventures with developers and access other resources that are not available to GCRA.