Just take a look at paducah, ky, startkville, ms. oxford, ms. thomasville, ga., several small cities in North Carolina and many many more small cities I have traveled through have made a big turn around by shutting down building more and more strip malls.
G'ville must stop the movement to the south if we want to begin to grow the downtown area. The city needs to call or visit these places or ones like the cities mentioned above. It works and they can help us to jumpstart our city by learning from them.
It's not by steadily fleeing south but improving the downtown area. Whatever it takes it must be done to save G'ville. The downtown committee and the chamber of commerce need to work together along with the commercial real estate people. They are the first to know who is looking for a place to open a business. They should recommend the downtown area first and foremost. Then have grants and incentives for them so good it would be impossible for them to turn down.
The writer speaks the truth... for most small communities, but the one thing lacking for Greenville is hope. Most residents have totally given up on the belief that our downtown will ever come back. Much of that belief has to do with our downtown's proximity to major crime, drug dealers and the poverty that surrounds it.
Casinos only made it worse by attracting alcoholics and drug users to their "domain". The few establishments that remain are churches, banks, Jim's Cafe and Mr. Nelkin's Greenville Museum, which is a wonderful treasure... that most Greenvillians have probably never seen.
When the Greenville Mall closes, and it will soon, perhaps we will reconsider that we have failed as a "metropolis", but may have hope to once again become a charming community. If it takes three guards on every block of Main and Washington, it will still be cheaper than Mall rent!
Greenville is on life-support... but to abandon the downtown area as our future is simply pulling the plug on our last hope.