When I was in college, I had the opportunity to take a class in Greek history and culture and travel with my classmates and professors to Greece as part of the course. We began our trip in Athens and traveled up the country until we reached Thessaloniki. For ten days, we were immersed in Greek history and culture.
What stuck with me the most about the experience was not the impressive grandeur of the large cities but the charming small towns that made you feel like you are in a Hallmark movie.
Sure, the string lights and cute cafes made me feel like I was stepping into a special little world, but what really made those places so rememberable was the warmth and hospitality from the people in those towns.
What I found in Greece and my other traveling experiences, I also concluded is to be true in my own back yard.
Small towns are special. They should be celebrated. And for some, like Inman, S.C., there is dynamic growth happening that fosters great potential for businesses, investors, and the like.
Nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and on the outskirts of the bustle of Greenville and Spartanburg lies Inman: a small town with big opportunities. Here’s some facts about Inman that will get you up to speed about this market:
Key Facts to Know about Inman:
Downtown Occupancy has grown 200% since 2019.
In 2019, the occupancy levels downtown was at 20%. As of today, the occupancy level is 60% and growing. This is quite impressive considering the impact COVID-19 has had on the sustainability and growth of small businesses. Despite the rising occupancy levels, real estate is still very reasonable in Inman relative to other local towns, and there is still space in the market for additional restaurants, stores, and other businesses.
…And the city has resources to facilitate additional growth
The city celebrates its local businesses and takes efforts to encourage growth. There are currently façade grants new businesses can apply for to enrich and preserve the beauty of the buildings in downtown Inman. The city is currently looking to expand the applicability of the grants they offer and would like to see the downtown area, that dates back to 1822, be marked as a historic district. This would aid in providing tax incentives to those who invest in these downtown buildings.
Inman has not reached its peak
In the next few years, a sewer line will be run down Hwy 292 to I-26 which will be a game changer for development in the area. CCIM Commercial Investments 2022 Winter Magazine cited Greenville-Spartanburg as one of the top three best locations in North America for distribution. The sewer line and the fact that Spartanburg County does not have zoning will make undeveloped parcels of land in Inman prime development land as Greenville and Spartanburg development sites become more scarce.
I have talked about the commercial growth. What about Inman’s residential market?
The National Association of REALTORS © named Spartanburg one of the Top Ten 2022 Housing Market Hidden Gems for the nation. In this report, the highlights for Spartanburg were affordability and the fact that it ranked second for the highest cumulative population growth from 2017 to 2020.
Inman has felt the effects of this growth. Over the past two years, 200 new homes have been built. This is a large number relative to the less than 100 homes that were built in the previous three years.
Inman is at a unique point since prices are relatively inexpensive despite the rapid growth the town has experienced over the past few years. Factors such as available grants, the future sewer line, and the growth of Spartanburg should all contribute to the continued growth of Inman and the surrounding area.
A very special thank you to Inman’s City Administrator, Joe Lanahan, and Inman’s Planning Director, April Gibson, for meeting with me to discuss Inman and give their insight on what the town has to offer.