Business Rediscovers West Greenville


Numerous artists have opened studios there; now others are following suit

June 18, 2008

By Angelia Davis – Greenville News

The influx of artists’ studios and galleries in West Greenville is fine in Michael Watts’ view. But Watts said the community needs more diverse businesses “to really grow and thrive.”

To that end, he is moving his financial services office from The Parkway to a 3,000-square-foot site being renovated on Pendleton Street.

“I think that that area has a future from a plain, old economic value,” he said. “One of the things that area needs is more business people, businesses that are open 8:30 a.m. to 5 every day.”

Watts expects to use more than 2,000 square feet for his own office. The remaining space will be available for lease, preferably for a professional such as a public accountant or an attorney, or “some type of retail.”

The migration of artists and new studios and galleries is being credited for a revival of the West Greenville and Brandon commercial district along Pendleton Street, west of Academy Street in downtown Greenville.

Painter Diane Kilgore Condon set off that migration by renovating the former Brandon Mill General Store — now known as Art Bomb — to provide affordable studio and gallery space for herself and other artists.

Entrepreneurs and art lovers Richard and Gwendolyn Heusel helped fuel the move by transforming the old Murphree Furniture Store on Pendleton Street to Village Studios and Gallery, which offers affordable space for artist studios and galleries.

Today, more than 30 artists work from sites in West Greenville. And many of the old buildings in the commercial district there have been rehabilitated into studios and galleries.



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