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 (http://bit.ly/NDG_BizApp17)

Interest form link (http://bit.ly/NDG_BizWS).

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: info@spartanburgNDG.com, 864.598.0097. 

CNIP Is Here!- The Cleveland Heights Neighborhood Improvement Program

The Northside Development Group has initiated an owner occupied rehabilitation program to support emergency and minor repairs needed by existing homeowners in the Cleveland Heights area.

The Northside’s Cleveland Heights Neighborhood Improvement Program (CNIP) will provide opportunities for home repairs for homeowners, starting on Howard and Leonard Streets.

Northside Voyagers will serve as CNIP Field Coordinators who reach out to residents wishing to begin the application process, and as a central point of contact to access information about the program.

As of March 8th, 2016 three homes have been approved for repairs and are in the process of choosing contractors. Four additional homes will be going to the Housing Advisory Committee for approval within the next few weeks.

The NDG has partnered with Community Works Carolina for case management support, and the Butterfly Foundation to leverage additional emergency repair funding through the South Carolina Housing Trust Fund. The Mary Black Foundation, The Episcopal Church of the Advent, Carolina Foothills Federal Credit Union, BB&T, Carolina Alliance Bank, and the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development have also partnered with the NDG to provide funding and support for CNIP. 

Let's Help Build Cleveland Park's Playground... TOGETHER!!!

Let's Help Build Cleveland Park's Playground... TOGETHER!!!

Cleveland Park is getting a new playground and we need to work together to help build it.  Spartanburg County Parks Department is hosting a community build October 20-25.  They need lots of help.  Here are some facts:

  1. 17 - 4 hour shifts
  2. 2,650 people needed
  3. 150 people per shift
  4. 12,000 square feet of playground
  5. Lunch/Dinner provided - AND childcare is provided

This is a great opportunity to work on one of Spartanburg's special places.  To volunteer call Marcia Murff at 864-494-1801 or email at marciamuff@spartanburgparks.org

Transformation Plan Completed!

Along with our many partners NDG submitted our Transformation Plan to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  This 400 page document is the compilation of many meetings, conversations, and countless hours of work.  The plan embodies the voice of the residents and stakeholders and serves as a road map to the future.  A future that includes a safe, strong and thriving Northside!

If you would like to read the plan please click HERE and you will be taken to a link so that you can download the plan.

 

Harvest Park-- Northside's Healthy Food Hub

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Urban farm, Farmers Market, and teaching kitchen. Oh My!

Often, the most simple, straightforward statements or questions produce the most innovative, impactful solutions. Case in point: Harvest Park, a concept that was hatched more than three years ago when, at a neighborhood meeting, a resident asked the following question:

 “The ice cream trucks have no problem selling ice cream in our community — I just wish there was a truck that sold vegetables!”

That idea was the impetus for the Mobile Farmers Market, a service of the wildly popular Hub City Farmers Market.  That “truck that sells vegetables” is today 3 years old, and has sold tons of fresh fruits and vegetables to Northside residents and many others throughout the county simply by bringing the option to their neighborhood. Last year alone the Mobile Market sold 5 tons of veggies!

But while the truck was and remains a great resource, Northside residents made it clear it was not enough. The area has long been classified as a food desert, meaning access to fresh fruits and vegetables was non-existent with the nearest full-service grocery store more than a mile away along a heavily traveled thoroughfare not conducive for travel except in a motorized vehicle. Indeed, for years, Northside residents have dreamed of a place where the community could learn how food was grown, buy it and learn to cook it.

And that is the concept behind Harvest Park, a development that will house an urban farm and greenhouse, the Saturday Hub City Farmers Market, and the Monarch, a retail space and teaching kitchen. A concept like this takes more than just wishes to come true. It takes multiple partners, and Harvest Park is a testament to the power of the partnership between the Northside Development Group, the City of Spartanburg, the Butterfly Foundation (which will own and operate the Monarch), and the Hub City Farmers Market (which will manage the farm and market space). All four parties are committed to a development that will ameliorate the food desert and create a significant new community amenity that will draw residents from throughout the Northside and beyond.   

Harvest Park is set to open in late August and will be the first commercial development to result from the Northside Initative.

 

Butterfly Branch-- Northside's future daylighted creek

A river (OK, creek) runs through it!

Talk to folks who either lived or worked on the City of Spartanburg’s Northside decades ago, and it won’t take long until the conversation turns to water. In fact, the stories about the old artesian well there are some of the most entertaining you’ll hear about the Northside of the past. Longtime residents talk about walking to the well for water and all the fun and mischief that routinely accompanied the journey.

Shortly after the Northside Initiative began, the Mary Black Foundation made a grant to the USC Upstate Watershed Ecology to investigate the spring that fed this well and fed a creek that winds through a good chunk of the City, including right through the heart of the Northside. Sometime in the mid 20th century, to support the industrial and development needs of the time, most of the creek was covered and piped. Only a small portion on the backside of the old Spartan Mill parking lot remained “daylighted.”

The USC Upstate study identified the creek area, recommended daylighting it, and worked with students at the Cleveland Academy of Leadership to rename the creek Butterfly Branch.

In January 2014, the plan to daylight the Butterfly Branch and transform it into a defining feature of the area emerged from a two-day community planning charette. The plan includes a linear park along both banks of the creek, while will provide an amazing new opportunity for people to be physically active or just enjoy nature.

Here is where good planning and good fortune intersected. At the same time it is heavily investing in the future of the Northside, the City of Spartanburg has plans to significantly lengthen the runway at the Downtown Memorial Airport, a project that will only elevate what is already a powerful regional economic development facility. Because the runway expansion work will disturb a creek on the site, federal watershed protection regulations require the City to mitigate that disturbance. The current plan, subject to Army Corps of Engineers approval, is to use the Butterfly Branch project to satisfy those mitigation requirements, allowing the City to use part of the federal grant for the airport runway extension project to help pay for the daylighting of the Butterfly Branch.  Phase 2 of the Butterfly Branch project will include additional park amenities.

 

T.K. Gregg Center-- Northside's Community Center focused on community programs

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If you program it, they will come

For as long as cities have invested community revitalization work, those efforts have largely focused on physical structures. Building new housing and new school buildings. New recreation centers and playgrounds. Sometimes even new strip shopping centers or office parks.

But if you talk to Mitch Kennedy, the City of Spartanburg’s Community Services Director, about the Northside Initiative, 30 minutes or more might go by before you ever hear a word about anything that will involve bricks and mortar. For good reason: the focus of the Northside Initiative is on people. Creating better opportunities for education and job training. Providing new amenities for physical activity and healthy living. Enhancing their access to health care. And on and on.

Which makes a conversation about the planned new community center especially interesting. The City Council has committed to building a new Dr. T.K. Gregg Center by 2017, somewhere in the Northside footprint, possibly next door to the Cleveland Academy of Leadership. Once constructed, it will no doubt be a beautiful facility, though as of now no architectural work has been done. It will include many of the bells and whistles a modern-day recreation/community center should have. Think C.C. Woodson Center as a starting point.

But the physical structure isn’t what excites Kennedy the most. It’s the people who will be there every day — the children in after-school programs, people in computer or financial literacy classes, the workout and exercise classes, and the steady rotation of community and service groups using the center for meetings.

“It’s not about the building,” Kennedy said. “It’s about the programs. You have to program a facility to bring it to life and make it relevant and essential to people. That’s what helps people build better lives, and that’s what in turn helps to build a community. That’s what I live for and that’s why I’m so excited about what’s happening on the Northside. We’re keeping the people and the programs first.”

Which isn’t to say the building itself won’t be important. It is estimated that the new T.K. Gregg Center will cost about $7 million, a hefty price tag for a City with an annual operating budget of just more than $30 million. 

“There is no doubt in my mind we are going to design a beautiful center, and it will be a place where people love to be,” Kennedy said. “But the programs the community wants and needs will drive the design. Function and form will eventually come together and create a special facility for a special neighborhood.”

Mary Black Foundation Announces Grant Awards

New grant awards will directly help the Northside Initiative. 

The Mary Black Foundation, a local non-profit that has been greatly influential in the Northside Initiative awarded several grants to several Northside Initiative projects.  Project grants include $84,250 to the Hub City Farmers Market for the Healthy Food Hub and $50,000 to the Butterfly Foundation for a culinary training program that will be located at the Healthy Food Hub.  

Grants such as these have made up a large part of the financial contributions directed at the Northside Initiative.  

To learn more about this round of grants awarded by the Mary Black Foundation, visit the Spartanburg Herald-Journal here

NDC Closer To Deal With The Old Sunshine Inn

Deal signals another step forward in area revitalization.

Northside Development Corporation is close to closing a deal to purchase the old Sunshine Inn, located within the Northside community.  The deal signals another step forward for the Northside Initiative and the effort to revitalize the area.  The old hotel is mostly unused due to code violations.  If successful in closing on the property, the plan is to demolish the building and grass the lot.  

NDC has settled on a price of $535,000, with a possible increase to buy an adjacent lot.  The Northside Development Corporation has worked diligently to help purchase other property within the community.  City Communications Manager Will Rothschild stated that the acquisition will signify a great step forward in that it “opens up possibilities for the Northside community” and “changes the entire gateway into the city”.

Read more about the acquisition and the Northside Initiative here

 

Milliken & Co Offers Support For Northside Initiative

A substantial boost to the Northside Initiative.

The Northside Initiative received a substantial boost from Milliken & Co. in the form of volunteers and a contribution of $250,000.  Milliken, with its dedication to Spartanburg as a whole, held a volunteer-day during its annual company meeting.  The efforts serve to support the financial contribution Milliken made earlier.  Volunteers were spread out around the community.  Projects included building a community garden at the Healthy Food Hub, working on a Habitat for Humanity home, and landscaping projects.  

Director of Milliken's public affairs, Richard Dillard, stated that the company “wanted to back up [their] financial commitment with hands-on support”.  The support of Milliken demonstrates the continued efforts of area companies, organizations, and leaders to ensure the success of the Northside Initiative.  

Learn more about Milliken’s support of the Northside Initiative in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal here.

Mary Black Foundation Awards $1 Million Grant For Early Childhood Development Center

A major commitment to the Northside Community.

As part of the continued efforts of the Northside Initiative, the Mary Black Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant for the construction of an early childhood development center within the Northside.  Community leaders, residents, and organizations all agree that education, especially early education is going to be critical to the success of the revitalization of the Northside as a community.  The grant comes along with other commitments from area organizations, including the anonymous donation of an additional $500,000 towards the project.  

The Mary Black Foundation’s chairwoman Ruth Cate announced the award and characterized the need for a child development center as “critical to the success of the transformational plan”.  There are still organizational details to be flushed out regarding the center, but this donation demonstrates the community’s commitment to the Northside and the Northside Initiative.  

Read more about the Mary Black Foundation’s grant at the Spartanburg Hearal-Journal here.