The town of Mauldin is growing in terms of residents and entertainment options

MAULDIN, SC (FOX Carolina) — Friday nights at Mauldin didn’t look quite as busy, but that’s all about to change.

The town of Mauldin, like many other small towns just outside of Greenville, is growing rapidly. Mayor Terry Merritt says that last year there were 6-8 new subdivisions built in the city. Now that they have people, the city is working on ways to keep them there and keep them entertained.

“Generally, Mauldin has been kind of an underserved community when it comes to the arts,” said Jeannie Harmon, director of marketing for the Mauldin Cultural Center.

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like much is happening in the town of Mauldin, but the Cultural Center has been the catalyst for what’s to come.

“There aren’t many large public spaces where you can just go out and gather. So the Mauldin Cultural Center provides that kind of community center,” Harmon said.

Theater, dance, live music and art class events attract thousands of people.

Mauldin Mayor Terry Merritt says it’s like a hub for the centerless town.

“We had to create a sense of belonging, why do people want to come to Mauldin? There was nothing,” Merritt said.

But something happens. Mayor Merritt says the population is expected to increase by about 14,000 over the next 2 years.

The multimillion-dollar BridgeWay Station project is progressing, as is the installation of the 6-acre downtown. Both offer living units, restaurants, entertainment and retail.

“Now you have a reason to come to Mauldin, now we have to give you a reason to stay here past 9:30 p.m., so that’s what we’re working towards,” Merritt said.

The Cultural Center that started it all, will not be lost in all that is to come

“We keep being told that you’re also bringing in more programming, more stuff and we really like doing that. We need to grow as the community grows. So every year we add a little more,” Harmon said.

BridgeWay Station’s grand opening is set to take place in the middle of next year, but they will start renting apartments as early as January. The cultural center has several other upcoming events, you can check them out here.

James C. Tibbs