Northside Entrepreneurs are Working Hard!

The Northside Development Group is partnering with the USC Upstate Business School to pilot an entrepreneurship accelerator program. It is based on a successful model program in Atlanta, Georgia called Start: ME. Entrepreneurship accelerator programs work with aspiring small-business owners in their early stage of development to grow their business and business plan.

Start:ME began at Emory University in 2013 and has helped over 80 entrepreneurs kick-start their businesses. The program develops a small business environment in communities by identifying promising local entrepreneurs, providing them with 14 weeks of business training, connecting them with a robust business network, and financing the most promising businesses.

The George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics at USC-Upstate is a key partner in this effort, providing support for the 14 weeks of training sessions and pairing future business owners with mentors from the local community.

At the end of March 2017, our program entered Week 7 for our 13 entrepreneurs, who are working diligently with 30 mentors on their businesses. At the end of the 14 week program, entrepreneurs will present their business services and products at a Customer Experience Event and Showcase at the Farmers Market at Harvest Park. The event will be from 8am-12pm on Saturday, May 6th.

Stay up to date on the progress of our Start: ME program by visiting their website:

You can also follow their twitter updates at:


Brawley Street is Growing!

The NDG is delighted to announce that Phase 2 of the Brawley Street Housing Development is complete and the NDG is now working in conjunction with Homes of Hope on Phase 3 of the Brawley Street Development. Homes of Hope developed 8 new rental units to date to help meet the demands for housing in the Northside.

These new mixed income rental units will serve families earning 50%-120% of the area median income. Rents are expected to be in the  $575-$895 range for 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom units.

Current Northside Residents have the first choice to qualify for the new rental housing units. One of the first tenants will be a former resident of Oakview Apartments. Homes of Hope will be managing the new properties and continuing to work with the NDG for Phase 3 of the project. Phase 3 is planned to create an additional 7 new housing units.

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony took place on October 31, 2016. Community leaders, partners, and residents gathered together to celebrate the new homes. The Chairman of the NDG and former mayor, Bill Barnet, attended the ceremony and spoke about progressive plans for the future of the Northside. The Voyagers were also in attendance and expressed their joy after seeing changes within the community.

Northside Service Spotlight: AFL Global and Advent Service of Day

AFL Global recruited several hardworking volunteers in early September and again in October to begin construction and clean-up as part of the Cleveland Heights Neighborhood Improvement Program. On September 11, 2016, The Church of the Advent also helped homeowners with minor repairs and painting as part of their annual Day of Service.

Volunteers working hard outdoors!

Volunteers working hard outdoors!

Building in the sun!

Building in the sun!

In-door construction is equally as important! 

In-door construction is equally as important! 

A lot of progress was made by the volunteers! 

A lot of progress was made by the volunteers! 

We're Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light

On October 4, 2016, residents across Spartanburg rejoiced during the celebration of the City’s Annual National Night Out event. This year’s celebration was unique in that Spartanburg was also celebrating the beginning of City-wide initiative entitled “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light”. The City of Spartanburg was awarded a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, an organization that awards four $1 million grants to cities addressing critical issues through public art projects. Spartanburg will focus their efforts on the City’s dedication to crime prevention and the safety of its residents. Art installations are located in 10 neighborhoods across the City, all of which debuted during the National Night Out celebration.

The lead artist for the Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light project, Erwin Redl, is working with the Chapman Cultural Center to install the art and inform local residents of the movement. So far, the project has been a catalyst for sparking conversation amongst Spartanburg neighborhoods and communities.

For more information, please visit the project’s website,

Welcome to Carolyn Smith!


We are excited to welcome Carolyn Smith to the Northside Development Group staff as a Project Coordinator. Carolyn served as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer with the Spartanburg Housing Authority and the Northside Development Group through the United Way of the Piedmont in 2015 and 2016. During her time as a VISTA Volunteer, Carolyn helped develop and kick start the Cleveland Heights Neighborhood Improvement Program (CNIP), which currently provides repairs to homeowners in the Cleveland Heights Neighborhood of the Northside Community. Carolyn has been an invaluable member of the NDG Team since she began her work with the VISTA program.

Carolyn’s new position with the NDG, effective August 2016, will allow her to continue to focus on the CNIP and coordinate with contractors, volunteers, and community partners on Owner Occupied or NDG owned rental properties, in addition to other ongoing projects planned for the Northside revitalization process.  Carolyn is “excited to start [her] career with such a great non-profit with such a holistic view of helping this community, and [to] have the opportunity to learn many new skills along the way.”

Start:ME Spartanburg Coming Soon

Northside Development Group excited to partner with the University of South Carolina’s business school to bring training to the Northside area for aspiring small business owners. Northside will be hosting a four week Introduction to Entrepreneurship workshop and a 14 week pilot training course in the spring of 2017. The fall workshop will be hosted by Bernell Ingram, an experienced small business coach, and will cover key topics for starting or running a small business.


The 14 week spring program is modeled after an Atlanta based program designed by Emory University. The program is structure to provide knowledge, networks, and capital for promising entrepreneurs in a specific geographic area. Throughout the sessions, participants will develop their business plan, learn about their customer, learn to present their business to lenders, and build relationships with the individuals who will support their business as it grows. At the end of the program, the participants will vote on the best businesses, and the two or three top businesses will be awarded a loan of up to $5,000.


This program will be open to Northside and the surrounding neighborhoods that are in the Cleveland Academy of Leadership’s attendance area. Potential applicants are encouraged to attend an info-session in October (details below). The application will be accepted beginning October 14th and ending on November 30th. For more information call  864-598-0097.

Introduction to Entrepreneurship Workshop: Tuesdays, Nov 8th - 29th, 6PM to 9PM (Final location TBA)

Learn more:

Intro at Neighborhood Association: Thursday, Oct 13, 6PM to 7PM at the Cleveland Academy Library, 151 Franklin St, Spartanburg, SC 29303

Introduction to Entrepreneurship: Thursday, Oct 27, 5:30PM to 7:30PM at the Cleveland Academy Library, 151 Franklin St, Spartanburg, SC 29303


Apply or Request More Information:

Full application link (

Interest form link (

We are moving!!

As of Wednesday, September 1, 2016, the Northside Development Group offices are moving from 410 Magnolia Street to our new space next to Cleveland Academy at 698 Howard Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303. We would like to thank VCOM for allowing NDG to use their office space for over 3 years. We would also like to thank District 7 for providing NDG a new place to call home in the Northside. Our new mailing address will be PO Box 3362, Spartanburg, SC 29304.


SCC Scholarships Available for Northside Residents

Now available from Spartanburg Community College are scholarships for all recent high school grads, current high school students and all other adults living in the Northside who wish to better themselves with a college education. These scholarships are in an effort to increase the career and employment opportunities available to Northside residents. $25,000 per year is available to be spread among eligible applicants which can be renewed for up to 5 years to reach a total of $125,000 in scholarships being committed.

There have already been 12 applications for the SCC Scholarships from Northside residents so far. Residents interested in this opportunity should first contact Northside Development Group Case Manager, Kesa Whitner to set up an appointment. 

Oakview Apartments Update

Oakview Apartments, the location for the new Dr. TK Gregg Community Center has recently been acquired by the City of Spartanburg through eminent domain and was recently purchased for the fair market price of $1.9 million.

Residents had been informed of having to move back in December of 2015 and have been working with Northside Voyagers and Kesa Whitner, Northside Case manager since January. The Spartanburg Housing Authority is providing each household that qualifies with a Housing Choice Voucher while the City is providing $1,500 in relocation funds. All residents must move by December 2016. Kesa is working one on one with each resident to provide supportive services and help with relocation.

Construction on the approximately $7 million Community Center is scheduled to begin sometime in 2017.

New Partnership with Spartanburg Regional Hospital

Spartanburg Regional Medical Center is now hiring and through a partnership with Northside Development group is giving special consideration to Northside residents. Northside residents who meet the basic requirements for a job are now guaranteed an interview with the Hospital, giving them an edge over many other applicants. The new program gives Northside residents opportunities for a variety of job levels, including those requiring only a GED, and so close to home allows the residents to grow in an exciting and stable career field.

There was a recent event at Harvest Park on June 24th where Spartanburg Regional Hospital officials came out to the Northside to host a career fair.

Northside Neighborhood Neat Sweep- Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Neat Sweep is being hosted by the City of Spartanburg in an effort to help community members begin their spring cleaning. 

Community members and volunteers will be helping with yard debris clean up, and helping carry stuff from yard and inside homes for free trash removal (like old furniture).

 Volunteer enrollment was done by the Northside Voyagers walking through the community. Christmas in Action will also host their Spring ReBuild project on April 23rd! 

This is a great opportunity to get involved in improving the Northside for residents and community members! 

Free to the Public! Spartanburg Outdoor Jazz Concert-Sunday, April 24, 2016

Outdoor Jazz Concert

Food. Music. Family Fun.

Sunday, April 24, 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Northside Harvest Park

498 Howard Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303

This event is FREE to the public.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. As part of our 100 Year Anniversary celebration, the J.W. Woodward Funeral Home is partnering with the City of Spartanburg, Northside Development Group, the Butterfly Foundation, Monarch Café and Fresh Food Store, Northside Harvest Park, and Northside Voyagers for an afternoon of music, food, fun, family, and fellowship.

There will be refreshments, children’s activities, and live jazz performances.

Jazz Fest Event Hosts Stinson Ferguson and Kay Woodward with Debby Moore, Northside Voyager and NDG Board Member

Jazz Fest Event Hosts Stinson Ferguson and Kay Woodward with Debby Moore, Northside Voyager and NDG Board Member

Jazz Fest attendees during the event 

Jazz Fest attendees during the event 

Brawley Street is Growing!

Brawley Street is continuing to undergo renovations to make way for redevelopment and new mixed income housing choices!  

Homes of Hope, a nonprofit affordable housing developer, who has worked with several other Spartanburg communities, will be building 8 new housing units of mixed income rental housing that will serve families earning 50%-120% of the area median income for a family of four (between $25,500 and $61,000). Rent is expected to range from $575-$895 for the 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom units. The NDG is working with the Greenville based, Homes of Hope to develop the units.

Construction is expected to last until the beginning of August, 2016. Northside residents will have the first choice of rending these homes if they meet all other leasing requirements. Leasing applications will not be taken until later this year, but we will be sending information out to you once they are available.

Habitat for Humanity is Bringing our Community Together!

Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg recently began construction on sveral new homes in the Northside. Three new homes on North Frest Street are under construction with the hope that they will soon provide new homeownership opportunities in the Northside. These homes will be available for families earning income below 50% of the area median income and must qualify through Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg. Northside residents that meet all the eligibility requirements will be given preference.

One of the homes will be completed by Denny’s employees during their yearly Denny’s Habitat Build. The homes are scheduled to be completed early in 2016.

Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg has been very successful in building transformative housing across Spartanburg. The Voyagers were able to to our communities with Habitat Homes as well as tour the interior of homes under construction.

All Habitat homes are three bedrooms, two bathrooms with an open floor plan and are Energy Star 3.0 certified. They are constructed of HardiPlank and have

Architectural shingles. Homeowners must complete “sweat equity” hours working on their home construction or another Habitat home. Homeowners must make a down payment and have a 30-year, zero-percent interest loan.

Victoria Durham closed on a home on N Forest St. at the end of November, 2015. Her home is sponsored by the J.M. Smith Foundation, Bank of America, and the Eldred and Sarah Wooten Prince Foundation.

Shonta Minor and her three children moved into their home on N Forest St. in early January, 2016. She says “it’s a true blessing and I’m ready to be a part of the Northside, a place I’ve already heard great things about.”

A third home was sponsored by Denny’s Corporation. Michael and Loretta Singleton and their child will move into the first story-and-a-half construction that Habitat Spartanburg has built. The Denny’s Habitat Home was completed in late January, 2016.

The NDG is proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg in order to provide Northside residents with a safe and viable opportunity to live within walking distance of Harvest Park and the future T.K. Gregg Community Center, among other great additions coming to the Northside community. 

Let's NIP vacant housing in the bud!- The Northside Neighborhood Initiative Program

The City of Spartanburg has received funding as part of the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP). The aim of this program is to help prevent foreclosures in the Northside Neighborhood by eliminated blighted properties and stabilizing neighborhoods.

Most of these properties have been condemned for some time and have been hotspots for crime.  The hope is that, with the removal of these properties, crime will decrease, and the neighborhood will be more stable. 

The City is partnering with the Northside Development Group acquire and demolish identified homes and improve the remaining parcels. Fourteen demolitions have already taken place and several more will be planned for the future.

The NDG distributed door hangers in the areas where demolition will occur to inform residents of houses included in the program and detail the information about the Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP). Any questions about the program may be directed to the NDG either by email or phone:, 864.598.0097.