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Everything posted by Sparkleman

  1. Actually the Local Hiker can't sniff the inventory and selection a Mast Store has and to even try and compare the 2 is embarrassing. I for one would be all in on a Mast Store even if it put Local Hiker out of business. The walk up traffic it would invite and positive energy it would create would far outweigh anything Local Hiker could ever do. Honestly I came away depressed the last time I was in LH. I am somewhat surprised they are still in business.
  2. I guess the positives for the city are Drayton Mill Village & Vanderbilt Hills which sit just outside the city limits with get a fresh load of tar. Who knows the last time Drayton was ever paved.
  3. This link is broken. Is there another or can you copy and paste?
  4. I heard it also might become a QT which is slightly better but not much.
  5. More news on Morgan Square: Sunshine on Morgan Square By Betsy Wakefield Teter Shady Morgan Nov 18 The future redesign of Morgan Square took some key steps forward this week when members of Spartanburg City Council met in small groups on Zoom with one of the most widely regarded urban planners in the country, Craig Lewis. Photo from Level 10 by Carroll Foster Spartanburg is indeed lucky to have a consultant of Lewis’s ability in its hip pocket. With clients all over the world, he and his Dallas-based employer, CallisonRTKL, provide global leadership on issues of downtown walkability, livability, sustainability, and landscape design. Lewis currently has a contract with the city to advise Spartanburg’s Design Review Board, and it’s nice to see City Manager Chris Story pull him in to initiate discussions about the future of the Square. Lewis, who lives near Charlotte, has always had a special place in his heart for the little city of Spartanburg. Word is, there soon will be an official Request for Proposals (RFP) for an outside urban planning firm to lead local discussions and to create a plan based on community response. It would be great to have Lewis as a partner to council all the way to the end. At this point, it’s worth talking about why the alarm bells went off for lovers of Morgan Square with the news that a redesign was coming. Over the past five years, there has been an intense lobbying campaign from prominent downtown developers and OneSpartanburg Inc. to increase the amount of hardscape on the Square, to create a space to serve thousands, to “leverage” it for more economic impact. This campaign, directed at elected officials, has included a questionable economic impact study, push polls about programming, the arranging of two flights for community leaders to view Sundance Square in Texas, independent pursuit of federal funding, and a suggestion to put the square into the hands of a non-profit entity. The 2019 economic impact study, co-funded by OneSpartanburg, the city and county, was a true source of concern. It indicated a “reconfigured” Morgan Square could accommodate up to 5,800 attendees at a public event. Think of the home-side grandstand at Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium at near-capacity—that’s how many people this study put into the Square. (An aside: I asked a downtown observer recently how you get 5,800 people into Morgan Square. He replied, “You don’t. You build crosswalks to Barnet Park.”) The concert venue at Barnet Park. Photo by Kevin Ruck That study also suggests a Morgan Square overhaul costing $9.6 to $12 million—something that could be disruptive to downtown businesses, not to mention putting some of the mature oaks and elms into the crosshairs. OneSpartanburg has been serving both as the city’s economic development department and as an impatient proponent of a substantial alteration of the Square. To its credit, City Council—despite an increasing propensity for discussing its business in private—has so far resisted the pressure to give powerful stakeholders what they have been pursuing. This is not to say we shouldn’t make adjustments to the Square. Bushes and mulch and fences need to come out. To take full advantage of the shade that’s been created, the Square should have moveable furniture so that when it’s not being used for public events like Music on Main, tiny clusters of people can find an intimate home there. A do-nothing fountain can become an interactive water feature. We don’t need massive events in the Square to activate it. Outdoor diners already have done much of that work. Now, white collar jobs are arriving, thanks to the hard work of local leaders. A growing residential population around the Square will do far more for bringing liveliness than any one-night giant concert will ever do. This week, a city board gave the green light to Greenville’s M Peters Group to design three residential towers along East Main. That may just be the beginning. On the horizon is a yet-unannounced Johnson Development project behind the AC Hotel reportedly with hundreds of residential units, retail and restaurants. This enormous project has been described as akin to the Drayton Mills redevelopment. (Can we get a food hall, please?) Just around the corner from that, Greenville’s Blackstock Development is said to be nearing an announcement of a big residential conversion of an old industrial site that now houses Cohen’s Clothing. Spartanburg residents care deeply about the future of their downtown. In these partisan times, it’s something that holds us all together. Meanwhile, it was good to see a recognition in the city’s new comprehensive plan that public transparency must be a part of the way forward. Lately, there have been an unprecedented number of City Council discussions in private. From 2016-2018, City Council meetings ended in executive session 44 percent of the time. From 2019-2021 (discounting Covid-related video meetings), sessions ended behind closed doors 82 percent of the time. This year alone, 95 percent of public meetings ended in executive session, all but one of them on the broad topic of “economic development.” Spartanburg residents care deeply about the future of their downtown. In these partisan times, it’s something that holds us all together. The more that discussions about downtown occur in private, the more distance the public feels from its elected government. And that brings us back to Morgan Square. Why am I so passionate about it? I believe that throughout its history Spartanburg has been too casual about its distinctive features. We have destroyed important historic places that could provide character to our city, and we have continually re-landscaped downtown streets that might today be enveloped in the shade of large hardwoods. I don’t want to see our city led down a path of compromising the intimate loveliness of the existing public square. In the five years since the lobbying campaign began, the Square’s graceful hardwoods have grown to impressive heights, revealing an enticing vision for this important common space. Let’s hold on to what we’ve got.
  6. Not sure if its been mentioned or not but Star Lanes (a fixture on the east side since the 1980's will close at the end of the month for....a Circle K convenience store. Not sure that's what the doctor ordered but that's what we are getting.
  7. Thanks for the info westsider. I guess I am just bitter about how and when my tax dollars are spent. I honestly don't mind being taxed, I just like to see results every now and then when it concerns infrastructure.
  8. So if I am reading the tea leaves correctly, PAL is gonna put bike lanes in on Country Club Rd at some point as they have had all the trees that would be in the way taken down. I have to assume when this happens the road might possibly be repaved because God knows it needs it. However in the mean time the city decides to come out and patch the road AGAIN and makes the road even worse than it was. Who are the idiots that are in charge of this project?
  9. I heard a medical outfit has leased the 2nd floor of the MB and is bringing 75 jobs with it. No idea who it is though.
  10. Sophia's is the real deal especially when sitting outside now that the weather is cooler. The service is outstanding and the menu is very approachable and reasonable in cost. It's everything Renato's was not.
  11. There is probably not a correct answer to this problem that was brought on by a pandemic that no one could foresee. I was around when the powers that be decided it would be a GREAT idea to make an outside mall out of downtown effectively killing it as djh1963 mentions. Is there any way the city could expand the sidewalks further out where the parking is now (basically eliminating it) to give them some more dining space and open the road to 2 way traffic? You wouldn't be able to park but you could still let folks out there and then go park wherever.
  12. If the city or county are actually doing any real paving, I'd sure like to know about it so I could see where my dough is going. Growing up I remember see asphalt laying going on all the time by either the city/county. Now it must be subbed out or just not done and that's why people like me beotch about the roads all the time as there is little to no progress.
  13. I haven't been since Wofford used Duncan Park for homes games and the Gamecocks came calling in 2001.
  14. Yep, me too. I have been waiting for a big white collar project almost since these boards were founded. ESH was it for a while, then nothing.....
  15. I actually walked into the mall today for the first time in at least 2 years. Damn what a depressing place it is now. I needed a pair of Oakley's so I stopped at the sunglass hut. I picked them up and remarked to the guy about how times had changed. He said that the mall is going to close this fall as it doesn't make money and the owner CBL is bankrupt. Most of those stores are not a big loss, but the Belks store is still a main go to for the older crowd. I have mentioned on here before that I believe the play would be to move back downtown and make the store more upscale. I guess we will soon see what the future holds.
  16. Anything that changes the current configuration of CCR is a win in my book. Its easily in top 10 of worst and most dangerous roads in town.
  17. The city (and county for that matter) seems to be on an endless tear regarding new housing. Seemingly every spec of available land is being used for new housing. I think that's great but I also think we need to maintain what we have and I don't see any evidence of the city doing that at all. If you look at any of the major in town neighborhoods (Converse Heights, Hampton Heights, Duncan Park, Fernwood, Hillbrook, Beaumont, Drayton, Woodland Heights, etc.), I never see any signs of maintenance anywhere other than Duke Power independent contractors cutting limbs away from power lines. The sidewalks in neighborhoods lucky enough to have them are crumbling, the storm drains are crumbling, and the roads, well I could talk about that all day. I see no sign whatsoever that the city is even interested in repaving roads in the city anymore. Driving through the city these days is an exercise in avoiding pot holes or man holes covers that have dropped. Its pretty frustrating and not a good look at all.
  18. Just contact D7 Darelle, they'll be more than happy to throw our tax money at this dilapidated POS.
  19. Is there any way to know or find out what the occupancy rate is at places like Church St Lofts, Montgomery Building, Drayton Mills Apartments, etc?
  20. Renato made it pretty clear that he was moving out of downtown due to what he called sky rocketing rents. 10K a month sounds pretty extreme to me so I don't blame him. Word is that he may land down at the old Clancy's building on Union St. I think that could be very cool and I am sure the rent would be drastically less.
  21. Since I moved into my house in Hillbrook back in 2007, the city has been trying to annex me. I bought a house that was "outside" the city limits but just in a figurative way since some but not all of the houses around me were in the city. I happened to have a septic tank and while not pristine and new it still functions fairly well. This is where the city can annex though is when your septic tank fails, it is illegal to fix it and you must tap onto city sewer and be annexed. All the plumbers in the county know not to fix a Hillbrook septic tank unless it is on the other side of Zion Hill Rd. That said I would welcome annexation if the city would pay for the cost to tap on. That cost is 10K plus whatever it costs to fix your yard/driveway after its torn up for the pipe to be run to the street. If they would be open to that, I am sure that 6 houses could be added to the city's tax rolls.
  22. I was talking with a well respected downtown business owner the other day and the question of restaurant health came up. I asked him how many restaurants won't make it back from the Covid 19 crisis. He said that he knew of 5-7 downtown that were already on the ropes before this thing really got cranked up and most others really only had enough money to make it a couple of months AFTER laying almost everyone off. Not sure how its going to break for a lot of folks downtown especially at FR8yard and bowling alley, but hope they find a way around it. Unfortunately I feel this crisis has stopped the Burg's momentum dead in its tracks although it felt things were beginning to slow a little anyway. I am not sure there is an answer for how a restaurant survives going forward although if you are built for take out like TNT hot wings or New China, you haven't missed a beat.
  23. I was driving out Cannons Campground Rd yesterday past where Floyd Rd runs into it and a lot of acreage on the left side has been cleared all the way down to the cemetery at Plainview Dr. There are Morgan Corp trailers all around so this probably isn't going to be residential. Any idea what is coming here?
  24. I heard a couple of things around town this weekend. Nacho Taco (name may change) is moving into the old Mellow Mushroom. Renato is moving out of downtown in September after his lease is up (there is a bigger story in Goupstate about rents downtown raising). His building owner is raising the rent 17% and Renato doesn't think that's fair. He has enough of a following to survive anywhere in Spartanburg so he will be fine. I vote for a move to the east side where he would be very well received. Tate Meatworks is booming since the move to the stand alone location on the corner of Avant/ E Main. I was in there on Saturday and it was hopping. Grant says sales are up across the board since the move.
  25. I would think an Aldi or Lidl would be a slam dunk to replace that Sav-A-Lot and do really good business. Not exactly sure why they haven't already done so by now. There are a ton of folks on the south side where the closest grocery is 3-4 miles away or more.
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