Greenville and Spartanburg Chambers to Host Intercommunity Leadership Visit to Raleigh-Durham

Published Tuesday, June 27, 2017

(Upstate, SC) The Greenville and Spartanburg Area Chambers of Commerce have announced their joint Intercommunity Leadership Visit (ILV) to Raleigh-Durham September 27-29, 2017. Presented together by Upstate real estate developers Hughes Development Corporation and Johnson Development Associates, the joint trip invites Upstate leaders to explore how Raleigh-Durham has worked together to build one of the most economically vibrant metros in the nation.

The 2017 ILV is a unique opportunity to see how Raleigh and Durham have come together to enhance and strengthen their region. The visit will focus on key drivers of regional economic success, including regional collaboration; strategic development and infrastructure; innovation and entrepreneurship; and workforce and talent.

The chambers are building the trip agenda to include visits to Research Triangle Park, American Underground, Raleigh’s Union Station, and Durham’s Downtown Entertainment District, as well as learning from top elected officials, corporate, community and higher education leaders with the goal to bring back key action items for how Greenville and Spartanburg can work together to advance our region.

Presenting sponsor Geordy Johnson of Johnson Development Associates notes, “The Greenville-Spartanburg region is growing quickly, and it is vital that we continue to develop the workforce and recruit the talent necessary to support a growing economy. This trip will help shape a better understanding of the strengths of both Greenville and Spartanburg as individual communities so that we can each grow in a way that is complementary to one another.”

According to presenting sponsor Robert Hughes of Hughes Development Corporation, “While the cities still must compete at times, Raleigh-Durham appears to be doing so with the idea of regionalism in mind. A rising tide lifts all boats and the continued success of both Greenville and Spartanburg will drive the entire region forward. It is my hope that this trip will build a stronger connection between the two communities and we can find ways to better collaborate on a regional scale.

Spartanburg Area Chamber President and CEO Allen Smith says, "As Spartanburg and Greenville continue to develop and grow in their own unique ways, the need for strategic partnerships will also increase. Perhaps no area in the Southeast has done that better than the Research Triangle in North Carolina. While both Raleigh and Durham have their own strengths and identities, they also understand their importance as the twin pillars of a region known for its high quality of life and one of the nation's most dynamic economies. I'm looking forward to learning more about their success this September."

Greenville Chamber President/CEO Carlos Phillips notes, “I’ve been in Greenville a little over a year now and can see clearly the potential we have to work together as a region. I look forward to the ideas and action items we’ll return from Raleigh-Durham with to help us strategically continue to develop a globally competitive Upstate economy where businesses succeed and people prosper.”

ILV 2017 Registration is now open online here. The cost to attend, which includes transportation, hotel accommodations, meals, receptions, etc., is $1250 per person. Several sponsorship opportunities are available, designed for businesses to gain visibility and exposure among the many leaders attending the ILV.

Contact Hank Hyatt or 864-239-3714 for more information.

Raleigh-Durham are two cities with distinct personalities in an economically vibrant region that have worked together for many years on issues of mutual advantage. They did some really smart things a number of years ago with the creation of the Research Triangle Park, leveraging the University presence that was already so developed in their region. They worked together to develop the RDU airport. They worked together to develop solutions to transportation infrastructure challenges. Now they are focused on creating more entrepreneurial and innovation-based opportunities as well as attracting and retaining talent. Their accolades and outside recognition of their successes include:

  • # 7 U.S. Market to Watch: Overall Real Estate Prospects – Urban Land Institute
  • “Strong example of an 18-hour market” – Urban Land Institute
  • “Top 10 Up & Coming Cities for Entrepreneurs” - Forbes
  • “Top 10 Most Educated Cities in the U.S.” – Yahoo
  • “Top 10 Cities for Creatives” – Smart Assets
  • “#2 Among the Next Top 10 Cities for Tech Jobs” - Fast Company
  • “Top 10 Best Places to Live” – U.S. News & World Report

Downtown Raleigh is booming. Consider these numbers:

  • $1.75 billion current pipeline of investment, including 3,672 new residential units, more than 1,000 new hotel rooms, 346,000 square feet of new retail space as well as 1.5 million square feet of new office space, driven by Raleigh’s investment in a knowledgeable and talented workforce.
  • $200 million renovation to Moore Square
  • $88 million multi-modal center at Raleigh Union Station
  • 308-acre destination park – Dix Park – a key to Raleigh’s future as a world class city.

Not to be outdone, Downtown Durham is also booming:

  • $100 million investment in new Innovation District – Durham.ID
  • 1+ million square feet of mixed-use space created at American Tobacco Warehouse with restaurants, residences, and class A offices all situated beside the Durham Bulls Triple A baseball park.
  • $26.7 million in funding secured by entrepreneurial firms headquartered at American Underground
  • 27-story, $88 million One City Center project under construction in downtown Durham

In addition to these happenings within each City, the power of regional collaboration has created some pretty spectacular results:

  • $3.3 billion over the past 10 years in construction, enhancement, and advancement of more than 250 miles of highway infrastructure, including relief of the region’s most severe bottleneck and the construction of the largest freeway project in state history.
  • $3.2 billion in 2016 new capital investments and 30,894 net new jobs announced in the Raleigh-Durham region
  • 7,000 acres comprise the Research Triangle Park, one of the region’s most unique economic development assets.
  • 100 acres will be the basis of the new Park Center project, creating a mixed-used, live/work/play concept in the very heart of the Research Triangle Park.


If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.


Media Contacts:
Greenville Chamber: Marion Mann | 864-239-3729 |
Spartanburg Area Chamber: Will Rothschild | 864-347-6080 |

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