Second Mural Project Approved

Tonight Council unanimously approved the design for the second mural project in downtown Simpsonville. Special thanks to County Councilman Butch Kirven Mr. Hunter Howard, and Simpsonville Arts Foundation, Inc for their donations toward this project. Other funding is provided from A-Tax funds. The second mural will be located on the wall beside Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Cafe near Danny’s Fixin’ and Fillin’. The design incorporates elements of the city’s new branding, a nod to the state flag, and invokes a sense of nostalgia appropriate to our downtown area. Work should start October 19th weather permitting, so stop by and watch Ms. Hennesy’s progress. Then, prepare to take your car to our new drive-in for a photo shoot later this fall. #SimplyHome

Reducing Speed on South Main

One of the things Council voted at last night’s Committee of the Whole: lowering the speed limit on South Main. Council voted unanimously to reduce the speed limit to 20 MPH, and staff will begin the process to determine what, if any, other traffic calming measures may be necessary. The vote comes after several citizens called, emailed, and spoke at Council about problems with speeders in the area where our new shared use path/trail begins. As we create a more walk/bike friendly environment in downtown, we must ensure the safety of our residents and visitors. Additional safety measures like the “armadillo” barriers have already been planned and should be installed in the near future. Council and staff also discussed the need for better enforcement in the area. Chief Hanshaw will work on that. The new speed limit would be in effect from Trade St to Fairview. This is South Main, which is the road that runs directly in front of Vaughn’s (between Vaughn’s and the Pumpkin Patch location) down to Goodwill. It is where the paving for the trail was just completed. This is not Main St., which runs in front of Powderhorn, Chancellor’s Park,  etc. Final vote: February 11.

Q&A: Master Plan and Youth Engagement

Q: I would like to hear more about the “Master Plan” and the Youth Council please.

A: Thanks for your interest about these initiatives. You can read one of my posts about the Downtown Master Plan here: http://ow.ly/B6NO30pQKWC.

That includes a link to the city’s website page with additional information. Mayor Curtis and Councilman Hutchings serve on that group with our City Administrator and other staff. I understand they met yesterday, so one of them likely have the very latest updates.

Other posts I’ve provided about downtown are here: http://ow.ly/DIvl30pQKWX

You can read about the Youth Advisory Board here: http://ow.ly/7HpR30pQKXf.
Our Community Relations Specialist, Justin Campbell, is responsible for that. You can email him for additional information (jcampbell@simpsonville.com).

Hope that helps you with the information you’re looking for. Have a great day!

Railroad Ties @ Coachwood

Serving on City Council isn’t just about showing up to meetings. Sometimes, for example, it’s showing up to a neighborhood in your Ward on Saturday morning to check out a constituent concern. Today that neighborhood is Coachwood and the concern is this giant pile of railroad ties. I discovered that it’s taller than I am in places! And I agree with the citizen who expressed concern: it’s unsightly and needs to be removed ASAP. I spoke to the City Administrator and Public Works Director, and they assure me that we are working closely with the railroad to have them remove their debris in a timely fashion. I’ll keep following up with staff. As I’ve said before, I’m proud to live in Simpsonville and proud to live in Ward 3, and I will always advocate for the best interests of the city and my neighbors. Want to share your own concern? You can always use the website like this citizen did. Here’s the link: http://ow.ly/wG1W30pA2l2. Alternatively, my email is JHulehan@simpsonville.com. Have a wonderful Saturday!

Oktoberfest: A Big Success!

We had a great time at Oktoberfest last night, and the turnout was huge! We’ve worked hard since 2016 to make downtown the kind of place where people want to come and stay awhile. Why? Because, as I told you in 2015, community development IS economic development, and economic development is good for Simpsonville. Miss last night but want that Oktoberfest vibe? Check out the Simpsonville Area Chamber of Commerce Sippin In Simpsonville Oktoberfest Presented by H2E Construction on Friday, October 4th. And don’t forget to vote #JennAgain November 5th!

Next Downtown Master Plan Meeting

Downtown Master Plan work is progressing well! We had a great turnout at the initial public meeting on July 30 at Exchange Company. The next public meeting will be a day long, charrette-style drop-in on Monday, September 23rd at Vaughn’s on South Main. Join us and share your thoughts by dropping in anytime between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM!

The City website is regularly updated with progress on the Downtown Master Plan. Here’s the link.

clock tower

Promises Made & Kept: Downtown Master Plan

This time 4 years ago, I was telling you about how we need a Downtown Master Plan. You voted for me. And we worked on it. This is the year we’re getting it done!

On May 14, 2019, we voted to approve a contract for MKSK Studios to be the consultant on the Simpsonville Downtown Master Plan project. Our approval was based on a recommendation by a steering committee that interviewed and scored multiple firms.

A public meeting was held by firm MKSK and the City of Simpsonville on July 30, 2019 at 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Exchange Co., or 110 S. Main St. The purpose of the meeting was to invite input from the public about the issues and opportunities facing downtown Simpsonville. Topics discussed included pedestrian and bike connectivity, traffic on Main Street, revitalization and incentivizing businesses to move downtown. For a complete list of the topics discussed, download the Excel spreadsheet here titled Community Input from July 30th Public Meeting.

Promises made, promises kept. Let’s keep Simpsonville on the right track!

The City website will be regularly updated with progress on the Downtown Master Plan. Here’s the link.

Cotton Mill Apartments: A Past to Remember, A Future to Build

On Wednesday, June 19th, I attended the ibbon-cutting for the Cotton Mill Apartments. I was honored to be asked to share a few words on behalf of the City of Simpsonville. Here’s (basically) what I said:

Wow! What a difference a few years makes! When Council was first presented with this project idea in September of 2017, the undeveloped portion of the Cotton Mill was a contaminated blight on our community. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much the City could do about it alone. It would take millions of dollars to remediate the site, and developers didn’t really want anything to do with that. Until Graycliff Capital came along with an “outside the box” idea. Good partnerships are based, in part, on a shared vision for the future, the ability to see, together, what is and what could be and the willingness to work together to make that happen. And that’s the kind of partnership we found with Graycliff. We shared a vision for a revitalized, rejuvenated neighborhood right here in the heart of downtown Simpsonville. Today we see that vision realized. I don’t think you can look around the Cotton Mill site now and NOT see what an asset, what a value add, this development is to our city. But what I really love about this project is the blend of history and modernity. Graycliff and Creative Builders managed to pay homage to the neighborhood’s working class roots while creating the kind of 21st century luxury living people today want. You may know that the words that adorn the City of Simpsonville seal are “A Past to Remember, A Future to Build.” This project is the embodiment of those words. Here we see the preserved offices and the iconic smoke stack and remember our past as we work together to build a better, brighter future. “A Past to Remember, a Future to Build.” The City of Simpsonville is proud of this project and grateful to the partners who helped bring our shared vision to fruition. And we’re excited about the future we’re building together.

In 2015, I promised to work towards “One Simpsonville” working together: local government, local business owners, local non-profits, and residents.  This is just one example of how that promise I made was kept. 

Some photos from the event: