You know things are happening in Greenwood when the rumor mill gets going as much as it is lately. I’m not talking about salacious rumors or the rumors that circled Abbeville about the KKK rally. These rumors mainly pertain to good things, matters related to the area’s growth and progress.
For nearly two decades the rumors flew that Greenwood was getting an Olive Garden restaurant. It nearly happened about a year ago, by the way, but the parent company pulled the plug on this and a handful of other prospective locations.
For probably the same length of time the rumors circulated that Lowe’s was in for some competition, that Home Depot was going to set up shop a short distance down the bypass toward Abbeville -- maybe even just over the line and in Abbeville County. That hasn’t happened, either.
But as we all know, there’s usually a bit of truth to a good many rumors. The rumor that Publix was coming is a reality. What will it bring with it? There have been some rumors, maybe even a few solid guesses that simply did not pan out after all. Five Guys Burgers and Fries is one of those. We’ll see. And I suspect Publix will quickly succeed in filling the spaces it has put up near its future sight.


Rumors that the old Textile Building, which has had its starts and stops the past few years, is getting a facelift turn out to be more than rumors. Work has begun, and the project appears promising. While the in-city living accommodations the building will eventually house sound nice, I bet they’ll be a little out of my range. The idea is an attractive one. No yard to maintain. A more open floor plan. And even though it only takes about 10 minutes max to get to work now, the convenience of Uptown living as it relates to work is a plus. Then there is that other plus: A flat at 332 Main would make it great and convenient to get to and from Music on Maxwell, Uptown Live, Festival of Flowers, Festival of Discovery, great restaurants and so much else.
Of course, there are other rumors yet circulating and yet unsubstantiated. Whether Greenwood is on target for a Target remains unknown. Of course, another Wal-Mart is in the works. It likely will include some of those strip center stores that typically are Wal-Mart barnacles. That likely will benefit the folks living on the east side of the bypass, but who knows if it will inspire Target to come or hold Target at bay a while.
Lots here and there have been cleared, such as the large tract north on Montague Avenue Extension where it intersects with Calhoun Road, but nothing has set up shop. Yet. Same with the land behind Kmart. Lots of churned and turned soil, but all that’s happened around it so far is the closing of Shoney’s and a formal attire shop. Prime location, though, and both likely will become homes to newcomers because Greenwood County does seem to be in a growth mode.
It’s good to remember what helps spark that growth, too. Retailers, such as Target, don’t just light on a community because they like it. They do a market study. Will there be enough support (aka spending) to keep the doors open? One way to ensure the doors remain open and thus inspire new businesses and restaurants is to bring in industry and manufacturing that will bolster the number of employed residents. Furthermore, the better the pay, the better chances are they employed have disposable income that will land in the registers of the restaurants and retailers. The two go hand in hand.
Rumor has it that more projects with code names will be revealed in the future as they become realities. That’s a great rumor, one I believe is based in fact. Now maybe we won’t be getting that Budweiser distributorship some people have been chattering about, and despite the wishes of Partnership Alliance’s Heather Simmons Jones, we probably won’t be landing a Fat Tire brewery, either. That’s OK. Just getting ready to raise a toast with your favorite beer -- or other beverage of choice -- as new industry and business comes to the city and county.

Whiting is executive editor of the Index-Journal. Contact him at 843-943-2522; email rwhiting@indexjournal.com or follow him on Twitter at IJEDITOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.