DDA to take field trip to Greenville

SUWANEE -- Greenville, S.C., is a city Suwanee officials have their eye on when they brainstorm ideas to develop their own city.

So on Wednesday, a handful of members from the Downtown Development Authority will take a field trip to upstate South Carolina to find inspiration and ideas. Alison Starnes, Suwanee's downtown and business development manager, said the group would hear a presentation about Greenville's downtown from the city's economic development director, then take a sight-seeing tour.

"They've done a lot to completely change the face of their downtown," Starnes said. "And they've done a lot of it with public art."

This trip was originally planned to be a formal retreat for the DDA, but that will be postponed until July because all members couldn't make the trip.

One connection, Starnes said, is Greenville has renovated a lot of old buildings, as Suwanee is trying to do with Pierce's Corner.

Starnes said city officials have looked to Greenville and Chattanooga, Tenn., for ideas, and Suwanee's City Council visited Greenville for a retreat several years ago.

Starnes said Greenville leaders put plans together 20 years ago that have come to fruition today.

"That's what we hope to take away," Starnes said. "Things we're doing now will impact our community for years."