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By Trevor Anderson, Upstate Business Journal
A grassroots effort aimed at improving gateways to the city and county of Spartanburg took a step forward. Construction crews placed a new sign bearing the Spartanburg County seal on the northbound side of Interstate 85 at Highway 14 near the off-ramp at exit 56. A similar sign welcoming visitors to the city was placed at the intersection of California Avenue and the I-585 spur across from Spartanburg-based Milliken & Co.’s corporate headquarters.
“This is part of a larger gateway improvement project that is a collaboration between several public and private entities in Spartanburg,” said John Montgomery, principal of Spartanburg-based Montgomery Development, which is assisting the effort. “It’s very exciting. For a long time now, we’ve needed beautify our gateways. It sends the message that we care about our community.” Montgomery said the project has its roots in a beautification project completed in 2014 by Pacolet Milliken, a private investment firm founded by Spartanburg-based Milliken & Co. shareholders in 2007. The project included landscaping at the intersection of I-85 and I-585 (exit 72) on 30 of the 100 acres Pacolet Milliken owns around the interchange.
In the coming months, residents and visitors could see the projects occur at the I-26 and Highway 14 intersection in Landrum, at I-85 and Gossett Road near Cowpens and at I-26 and Highway 221 near Dorman High School. Plans are in the works beautification projects at each interchange along I-85 in Spartanburg under the effort coined “Eyes on 85.”
Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt said county officials have met with private entities and companies in hopes of creating more interest in the project. “We’re looking at all of the major gateways,” Britt said. “We’ve had other meetings also with some other companies to get them to buy into this at their interchanges.”