Simpsonville, South Carolina, has managed to retain its small-town charm while growing, adapting, and continuing to realize its potential. The Simpsonville community has become a popular residential area for young couples, families, and retirees due to its proximity to larger cities like Greenville and its convenient offerings for shopping, dining, and recreation. The population within city limits has increased by about 133 percent over the last two decades, and the trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
Simpsonville’s business landscape is best broken into four trending commercial areas: Downtown’s Central Business District, Fairview Road/Harrison Bridge Road, West Georgia Road, and the Five Forks area. Downtown offers the traditional Main Street business district with local shops and restaurants, community events and historic architecture. The Fairview Road/Harrison Bridge Road area features national retailers and large commercial developments. Five Forks has an intriguing variety of local and regional franchises. The West Georgia Road area includes the Brashier Campus of Greenville Technical College, medical offices, and grocery stores.
Each of these commercial areas is evolving to meet the needs of Simpsonville’s residents.
Downtown’s Central Business District
What once was the ruins of a defunct mill on South Street is now the site of Cotton Mill Luxury Apartments. Not only does this development provide competitive living space, it also pays homage to the former mill through its architecture and preservation of historic landmarks like the mill’s original smokestack. The Cotton Mill project is an example in Simpsonville of balanced, progressive, and smart economic development.
A couple of streets over, the building in which Burdette Hardware had served the City of Simpsonville starting in 1899 is being revitalized. Now called Burdette Central, the mixed-use development is getting a modern makeover that harkens back to its roots through its name and design elements. A pizza restaurant, coffee shop, and additional retail tenants and professional office space are all planned for the site.
Across the street from Burdette Central is the new downtown plaza on South Main Street. An under-utilized alleyway was transformed into a gathering space with bistro tables and chairs, planters, lighting, and public restroom facilities. The plaza serves as a gathering space in the city that will encourage foot traffic up and down Main Street.
Fairview Road Corridor
The Fairview Road area features many national retailers and convenient shopping destinations, and continues to grow while maintaining its greenery. A recent development in the area is a 22.5-acre shopping center, where most commercial building is taking place. The architecture of the buildings complements the heritage of the old farmland on which the center was developed. Newly established businesses in the shopping center are Chili’s and Sharonview Federal Credit Union, with more projects on the way.
Other retailers in the area include Petco, PetSmart, Michaels, Planet Fitness and Bee Safe Storage. A new Aldi store recently opened. Tracts of land remain available in this area, so it is certain there is more to come in the years ahead.
The Five Forks area of Simpsonville boasts a median household income that’s more than twice that of the state’s, and a lot of the commercial development in the area serves that market. Lowes Foods is a regional grocery chain that opened a new store model in the area to offer fresh local produce, made-to-order meals and a full-service deli and bakery, plus all the brands typically found at a grocery store. A boutique fitness studio, fresh smoothie shop, and a salon have also joined the shopping strip.
Five Forks also boasts a state-of-the-art branch of the Greenville County Library System. The 28,000-square-foot Five Forks Branch is the second largest out of all 12 branches, has two drive-up windows, and offers the latest technology that makes checking materials in and out fast and efficient.
West Georgia Road
Although the West Georgia Road area may be the least developed, this area too is rapidly changing. The current renovation of Cotton Mill Commons to bring Class A apartments to the area is expected to increase property values and improve quality of life. In recent years, a Neighborhood Wal-Mart has opened, several multi-family complexes are in process, and announcements of planned developments are anxiously awaited.
As the momentum of economic growth and development builds, it’s no wonder why the Simpsonville community continues to be a vibrant place for people to call home and earn a living. Simpsonville is proudly meeting the challenge of planning for its economic future while keeping its small-town charm with thoughtful sustainable growth.