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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Southwest Airlines and Expansions Come to GSP, New Reirement Community, New Recreation Park, I-385 North Open

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Southwest Airlines and Expansions to Come to GSP

PlaneThe Greenville Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) has gotten a lot of press lately after the announcement that Southwest Airlines would offer flights here. But for some time, they have quietly been laying plans for a major expansion and upgrade that will bring GSP into the 21st century. The plan includes a total revamping of the terminal core to improve traffic and security, centralize ticketing, connect the two concourses, plus add five new gates and a full service restaurant. There is also a commitment to a more eco-friendly campus that includes harvested rainwater, skylights and solar panels to reduce the power consumption by 70%. Under the leadership of Dave Edwards, who was recently hired away from Asheville Regional Airport where he made similar quantum leaps of progress, GSP is ready to start phase one without incurring any additional debt. Edwards believes that GSP will obtain $30 million in grants from the FAA, EPA, TSA with the remainder coming from airport reserves. Work on phase one will probably start in 2011 and completed in 2012.

New Retirement Community Plans

Near GSP at Highway 14 and I-85, the often touted and debated development project to attract a Bass Pro Shop is officially dead, but the City of Greer has other ideas. In place of the 200-acre mega Bass Pro project, they have begun marketing a new conceptual plan dubbed Infinity Place that would create 75 acres of medical, office, hotel, residential, and retail space. A 15-acre portion has been proposed for a phase called Hospital Walk, and will include an upscale retirement community that will have walkways to the nearby Village at Pelham Hospital.

New Recreation Park

The destiny of the abandoned Municipal Baseball Stadium on Mauldin Road has finally concluded with the announcement that the city of Greenville will create a huge recreational baseball complex. The city will rent the land to the Greenville County Recreational District, who will renovate the old stadium as well as add four additional baseball fields that will become the home of the local Little League program. The project is part of a visionary recreational area that will include the adjacent 400-acre Lake Conestee, a connection to the Swamp Rabbit Trail, and other urban park possibilities on 200 acres owned by Renewable Water Resources (ReWa, the regional sewer authority). There is also a 150-acre parcel owned by the city that could be made into a golf course or green space. So by the summer of 2011, you can expect to see the fields complete and more parking available, and a lot of happy Little Leaguers running around. Check out Greenville SC real estate by schools!

I-385 North Open

Travelers heading northbound on I-385 will be pleased to note that the freeway is has reopened after a construction detour rerouted traffic for several months. There is still a lot of work being done to upgrade the highway, but beach goers and truckers can both breathe a sigh of relief.

Greenville SC Weather
Current Weather
After the heat wave of July which was one of the hottest on record, we are off to a cloudy and cooler August. Expect mostly cloudy skies this week with a chance of thundershowers. Look for highs in the low 90s.