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About ingvegas

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  1. I think the 12-story height limit is a wise decision at that particular site. Some really smart and experienced urban planners would agree (Sasaki Associates, Inc., Downtown Greenville Master Plan page 41-42). To each his own, but the city made the right call. I think this will turn out very well. Now, if we could just get a 30-story building built at the Gateway site....
  2. In my legal opinion, I would challenge it, and I think I would win - based on this set of facts.
  3. Contracts can be found unenforceable on grounds of public policy not only to protect one of the parties involved, but also because what the contract represents could pose harm to society as a whole.
  4. A 10 year statement might be in the agreement, but I don't think it is enforceable. If the government can take your private property under eminent domain then it can ignore a private developer's contract to terminate future development of a government owned property. If this falls through, which I don't think it will, then I suspect the County would be on the hook for refunding RocaPointe for their actual time costs and actual investment as damages. However, Roca will not have standing to stop future development of the site by another developer. Roca was aware of the city's zoning requirements and the city's control of future development at the site at the time of purchase (so the County would actually have arguments to not even pay actual damages if Roca tries to pull out because they didn't get the zoning variances they want). Plus, assuming Roca is even compensated for their time and actual investment, then I don't see how it would be a wise business move to risk a large sum in attorney fees just to stop the County from developing the site at a later date with someone else. It does not help Roca's future bottom line. In short, I believe the "10-year mothball" is an unenforceable contract provision and carries no real weight.
  5. From the article: County Councilman Ennis Fant said Tuesday. "It's either 3.5 million square feet with green space, trails and organization. Or 6 million square feet of chaos with nothing. Do you have a choice, really?" I'm still confused by the argument. So Ennis threatens our county with "six million feet of chaos" because of six stories and oversight from the DRB on pre-existing requirements? Wouldn't that 3.5 million sq. feet be more valuable with green space, trails, and organization anyway? How can he threaten "chaos" if any development is still required to follow DRB rules? Someone needs to run against this guy. https://www.wyff4.com/article/greenville-county-councilman-ennis-fant-owes-dollar55k-in-property-taxes-anderson-county-assessors-office-says/27498514
  6. I hope the city tells them to pound sand. This is a public shakedown.
  7. I'm optimistic for compromise resulting in a win-win-win (developer-county-city). Government is not perfect, but it stands to represent the desires of many (local citizens), rather than wishes of a few (corporation). Realistically, the land is too valuable for Rocca to walk away from. If they do then someone else (better?) will more than happily step in and do it right.
  8. Haynie Sirrine, Alta Vista, and West End
  9. ingvegas

    The West End

    Wow, yes, this could be a great development. It's a mini-version of the what is outside the new Atlanta Brave stadium, Suntrust Park. I thought that the best part and experience of going to Suntrust Park was actually outside the stadium in the community area with outdoor music, shade, and the ability to drink and eat outside. Everyone likes to lounge to music in the shade, eat/drink, and people watch. That apartment developer, and the stadium, should consider building a few restaurant and bar areas that open to this street, and leave room for a live music stage. The street to be easily closed for live music events on game days and Friday nights in the off-season. A perfect community and revenue building space.
  10. I haven't heard anyone say that Greenville should not have any tall buildings. Project One, Camperdown, etc. - all great projects and appropriately placed. They could have been made even taller. Some people just don't think tall buildings on County Square promotes the best overall long-term outcome. I think their opinion is supported by prior master plan recommendations, road infrastructure, the nature of the surrounding neighborhoods, and topography. Tall buildings should be built. Build them on Main Street, the Broad / River District, West Washington, or the Gateway site. You don't need a tall building to say you live in a great city. Neighborhoods and the character of the local citizens and leadership make a city, not a 20 story building.
  11. Not sure I follow the math. As my 8th grade math teacher said, "write down the work you did. Two, 20-story buildings are in the current plan. Capping them at 12-story cuts 8-stories of potential square footage. I'm not an architect, but wouldn't allowing another 12-story building gap the deficit?
  12. True, that, Vic. I would be okay with a 12-story cap. Maybe there is room for compromise between the developer the city?
  13. Agreed, Sasaki might say it's a great idea, but the problem is we don't know that. Any argument to the contrary is consequently subjective speculation. Arguing that downtown has changed over the last 10 years is really not new evidence. The Sasaki Master Plan pretty much envisioned the growth and change that has already occurred in other areas of the downtown area (pretty remarkably, btw). I think the Sasaki plan carries a lot of weight based on the development that has occurred since it's recommendations were made, and also all subsequent Master Plans seem borrow rather heavily on it. I've pasted what the report says for County Square below (a link to the entire plan can be found at: https://www.greenvillesc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/283/Downtown-Master-Plan-PDF). County Square A redeveloped County Square on University Ridge has the potential to become an exciting new intown neighborhood complemented by a complex of county and other offices (Figures 5.14 - 5.15). New development can take advantage of the hilltop location and views of downtown, while responding carefully to the context of the Governor’s School for the Arts and the small scale residential buildings on Howe Street. Church Street gives the site visibility and direct access out to Interstate 385. Redevelopment of County Square can also reinstate a stronger connection between Church Street and the West End and down to the Green Necklace along the river. Located on a high hill overlooking the Reedy River, this site was the historic campus of Furman University before it moved out of downtown in 1961. The gracious campus was redeveloped into a one story shopping mall and movie theater surrounded by surface parking lots. The historic alignment of University Ridge as it meandered from Cleveland Street through the site to the West End was changed. With the demise of the shopping center, the buildings were renovated into county offices and a family court employing 683 workers and providing services to many residents. Encompassing approximately 30 acres, County Square is large enough to feature a range of housing types, meeting the needs of different people who may want to live downtown. On the western edge, smaller scale townhouses will complete the character of Howe Street. Four to six story loft buildings could step up the hill from Howe Street and the Governor’s School, with greater heights and density along University Ridge and moving to the west side of the site, where ten to twelve stories would be appropriate. At a similar scale, the County offices could command the corner of Church Street and University Ridge. The main street for this district will be the realigned University Ridge extension that connects to the existing rotary. Since shared parking between the stadium and the county offices will continue to be a factor, a strong connection is warranted and will help organize the district. A network of new streets and smaller blocks will open up development opportunities and make the site permeable for walking. As the buildings step up the hill, each will take advantage of the striking views of downtown and the riverfront parks in the foreground. A series of civic spaces on the hill will allow for more public views opening to the north. If a civic building is warranted, a prominent location overlooking downtown and along the main street should be considered. This new residential and office development will increase the population of people shopping and dining in the West End and on Main Street. The site is within walking distance (5 to 15 minutes) but can also be accessed easily by bicycle, an expanded trolley route, or of course automobile. As such, retail uses in County Square should be limited so as to not compete with the Main Street experience. A coffee shop and other neighborhood scaled retail will add convenience, especially on the Church Street side. Big box retail and “lifestyle centers” that would detract from downtown should not be considered for this prime redevelopment site.
  14. I'm for the development, but I disagree with opinions regarding the impact that height will have. I'd rather see a dense community of 6-8 story buildings that are mixed use. I think that would create a better overall community and mitigate traffic concerns on surrounding roads. Scott Towers is not a similar analogy. The Scott Towers were 14 stories. And they stuck out, bad. And I'll keep a straight face and argue Camperdown is not similar until someone can tell me that County Square is at the exact same elevation as the Camperdown. It's not. County Square sits on a hill overlooking the Camperdown project. Again, I'm not against the development. I'm just against 20 stories. Why? One reason is Sasaki Associates, Inc., Downtown Greenville Master Plan, 2008 - recommended limited height at this site. That recommendation is the basis of the current zoning law. They're pretty smart and successful urban planning group. Sure, it's a recommendation that is 11 years old, but can someone give me another study from an objective third party urban planner that says the best use at the site is multiple 20 story buildings? (Citation desperately needed).
  15. I hope the city continues to deny the 20-story heights. It's a bad idea. Not a good look, doesn't match the area, and I don't think the roads support it. County Argument: "That affects our density," Kernell said. "And density is the key for us because we are trying to maximize our value." "Our value." Kernell sounds like he is on the side of the developer, not the citizen. Would Kernell care about unsustainable density at that site if the County wasn't lusting after an ostentatious and pretentious government building that will be used by less than 0.5% of the county population? There would be no pressure if the county just built a normal building, big enough for future needs, at 1/3 of the cost, or at another site to give the developer more acreage. Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. - Epictetus
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