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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

CU-ICAR, Housing Recovery, Future of Old Allan Bennett Hospital, Downtown Greenville Airport

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More To Come At CU-ICAR

Auto InterriorSage Automotive Interiors recently acquired the automotive body cloth division of nearby Milliken Co., and will build a new headquarters at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). Milliken is well known for their textiles research and Sage takes over a strong company with 1000 employees at the South Carolina plants of Marietta, Abbeville, and Spartanburg, plus Toccoa, GA and Brazil. Sage makes materials for automotive seating, door panels, and a segment they want to focus on growing, headliners. Locating at the CU-ICAR complex keeps their headquarters close to their manufacturing base and provides synergy with Clemson, also well known for textile research and education. The Sage development comes on the heels of an announcement that electric bus maker Proterra will put a manufacturing facility at the CU-ICAR campus this year.

Housing Recovery
Housing Greenville SCAccording to Builder Magazine Online, the Greenville Upstate area made the top 20 list of areas that will lead the housing recovery in 2010. They based their findings on several factors, but primarily on the number of housing starts in 2009 and forecast starts in 2010. The number of starts in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson area jumped 13% in the fourth quarter of 2009, with a total of 1,591 for the year. That is forecast to increase another 20% in 2010 for a total of 1918 starts. Other factors that put Greenville into the 19th spot include affordable housing with a median sales price of $139,000 last year, a strengthening job market, strong population growth and prime location on I-85 between Atlanta and Charlotte. The top three areas in the study were number one Austin, TX, followed by Raleigh and then Charlotte, NC.

The Future Of Old Allen Bennett Hospital
The City of Greer is working on a plan to redevelop the old Allen Bennett Hospital on Wade Hampton, left empty after the new facility on Buncombe Road went into operation. The current proposal is to convert the existing building into an assisted-living facility, with adult and child day-care services, pool, shops, and gardens. Negotiations are still underway, but if approved, this phase one redevelopment could be finished by 2011. Additional phases could include a 90-room hotel and a skilled-nursing center. The redevelopment would bring more activity to that area of Wade Hampton as the economy picks up as well as put more tax dollars into the city coffers.

Downtown Greenville Airport A Family Spot?

If you are an aviation buff, the Greenville Downtown Airport may soon be a better place to enjoy aircraft activity. The Airport wants to add a restaurant and park next to one of the busiest runways, making it a nice public destination. The proposal is modeled after Atlanta's restoration of the Peachtree Dekalb Airport which has been a hit with families. The plan includes a hangar for parties, playground, walking trail and retired aircraft displays. In other aviation news, the Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport plans to renovate and expand their terminal, add two T hangars, and improve the landscaping.

Greenville SC WeatherCurrent Weather
Wow, it's snowing again as I look out the window. That's such a rarity for this area, but indicates the El Nino weather pattern is still affecting us when spring is normally here. The kids will be happy to hear that 2-4 inches is possible in Greenville today and school will probably be out tomorrow. With highs predicted into the upper 40s and sunny weather in the next few days, that snow won't last long.