Live. Work. Slave away.

Two new mill redevelopment projects in the West Greenville area are moving forward, Plush Mill and Woodside Mill, because apparently what this city needs is more apartments that are out of reach for most downtown workers.

Perhaps your social circle is different then mine, but I sure as shit don’t know any food and bev workers, cops, or nurses who can afford to pay $1,000-$1,500 a month for a downtown apartment. At least these developers aren’t calling mill villages the original live-work-play communities this time.

With Jerry Richardson announcing he’s selling the Carolina Panthers — a move that came after allegations surfaced that he’s a routine sexual harasser — Coach Ron Rivera is taking a page from the Penn State playbook and urging fans to rally around the creepy old man.

Two Greenville County Council members are calling for their fellow councilman Rick Roberts to resign following allegations he beat a man with a pipe outside a Pickens County bar. Who knew there was redneck version of Clue?

Speaking of County Council, they continue to play coy about which developer they’ve selected to redevelop County Square and the media continues to act like they don’t know who it is.

Uh-oh. Former S.C. governor, current U.N. ambassador, and diehard Tiger fan Nikki Haley tricked by a couple of Ruskie comedians in a variation on the “should be bomb Agrabah” gag.

Hey, what are the odds on Greenville businessman John Warren actually running for governor? There’s already four Republicans in the race and two gobbling up the cash, Henry “Slumlord” McMaster and Catherine “Queen TB” Templeton. Our bet: Warren won’t run, and he won’t announce that he isn’t. In the end, we’ll all do our best to ignore it, kinda like I’m trying to do with that drunk sext I tried to send last night to Knox White at 2:30 a.m.

Surprise, surprise, former Clemson coach Danny Ford, former S.C. Rep. Chip Limehouse, and a member of Anderson’s powerful Garrison family are awarded three of 20 permits to grow industrial hemp in South Carolina. Over 100 applied.

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The Great Wall of Brandon Mill in West Greenville

Believe it or not, ladies and gentlemen, there was a time not too long ago when you could live in downtown Greenville on the cheap, whether it was in the North Main neighborhood or around Pettigru. Back then, the high dollar apartments were all along Haywood or Pelham.

But those days are behind us and the time of skyrocketing rents is here. Some say to stay, others to bubble up before the big bust.

Right now, developers are rushing to throw up brand-new quasi-luxury units in the West End and transform once derelict mills into parakeet-cage enclaves where young professionals can feel like they’re slumming it because their apartments have exposed brick and there’s a crumbling mill village house a block over, a tiny 500-square-foot hovel that three generations call home.

Needless to say, the haves and have-nots aren’t merely separated by the price of their rental units. A high fence and a key card gate takes care of that.

And in the case of Brandon Mill, there’s a wall that would make Trump weep separating the undesirables from the working class men and women who’ve called West Greenville home for generations.

Meanwhile, the line cooks, the bartenders, the servers, and the bus boys that work in downtown’s restaurants have to rent well outside of downtown or live like sardines packed into two-room apartment cells in the heart of #yeahTHATgreenville. Let’s call it prison chic.

And that says nothing of the hotel workers, cops, and underpaid office workers who work downtown. Nothing. Then again, if it doesn’t happen at 1 Million Cups, a Ted Talk, or Business on Tap does it really happen?

How long can this go on? Well, no one knows for certain. But the word is already out: Greenville has built too much too fast.

Where does that leave these two new mill redevelopments, the Camperdown project/Grand Bohemian/East Gateway District projects, whatever is supposed to transpire at County Square, and West Greenville? Who knows?

But look for the hard-sell to get even harder, as the number of potential dwellers drops and the these projects begin fighting over the white-collar scraps and cash-flush, empty nester leftovers.

In the end, it might not be the high-price of downtown living that causes the bust, but a simple lack of bodies, rich, poor, or otherwise.

–Wyatt Duvall 

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