UpstateBizSC: A Conversation with Knox White, Mayor of Greenville

June 10, 2010

This article was reprinted with permission from UpstateBizSC.com.

Greenville was recently featured in an issue of US Airways, the first ever profile of a downtown as opposed to an entire city. You have been Mayor for fourteen years and presided over a remarkable transformation in Greenville.

Knox White:
US Airways did a great, 28-page profile piece on Greenville and we are proud to have been included in this publication.

Over the last decade certain key projects have driven our success. The Poinsett opening in 1999 was pivotal to bringing downtown revitalization past the Hyatt block. Falls Park blasted open the river corridor and the stadium did the same for the far end of the street. Like the earlier Hyatt project and the Peace Center, all were public-private partnerships and catalysts for redevelopment but I like to point out that all the big projects are not the whole story. Our commitment to a walkable, pedestrian friendly Main Street connecting all of these projects also plays a big role in creating the magic that is downtown Greenville.

UpstatebizSC:
How did the idea for Falls Park come about?

Knox White:
Opening up the Reedy River corridor has always been a major part of our strategic plan. Before Falls Park, however, the south end of Main Street on the river corridor was mostly deserted warehouses and dilapidated buildings. The concept of a park was a hard sell because we were basically saying "let's spend $13 million to build a public park around a waterfall few have ever seen and tear down a highway bridge that is a major artery into downtown."

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