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Spartan last won the day on May 27 2015

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  1. AC Hotel on West Main

    Not to get too far off topic, but Spartanburg probably won't see true gentrification like Greenville, Charleston, Charlotte, etc. for many years, but it will come eventually. The other factor is actually related to Greenville - I think that some businesses will like the lower prices of Spartanburg's downtown and we will benefit from that over time. As downtown continues to grow and become a more regional destination for business and tourism it will likely cause the nearby neighborhoods to gentrify. As far as our AC Hotel's architecture goes - I've learned that most architecture schools don't train architects to do traditional architecture. That's why all the contemporary designs you see tend to ignore the pre-war designs that most people find visually attractive. Architects are trained to take abstract ideas and find connections to real world materials and designs and turn them into buildings. I don't want to demean all architects because I know there are a lot of good ones out there, but in many cases they are out of touch with what the public actually wants, and they have a superiority complex about their ideas relative to us commoners. I know I'm over exaggerating a little, but my point is that the architects are the problem, not the local government. Most local governments don't regulate specific architectural styles.
  2. Renaissance Park Projects & Developments

    I would be surprised if the market could support a podium-style apartment, or even a true "Texas donut." Surface parking isn't a big deal though, as long as it's located behind the main structures. I think that it's important to at least not preclude Converse St from being built in the future.
  3. Misc. Uptown Projects/News

    I hope nobody takes my thoughts for bashing uptown. I've only lived in Uptown since I've been in Charlotte, and there's nowhere I'd rather be. I want to live in an urban place, and I think uptown offers the most urban environment even if it lacks ALL of the amenities of a neighborhood I'd like to see. I guess what I really want is for the full slate of urban amenities to come to me, rather than having to relocate to another part of town or another city to get them. We're so close to having it all... I just want the market to realize that uptown residents want the same things as other neighborhood. I think a completely off-topic question for residents in 28202 is what do you consider your neighborhood? Is it your ward or "Uptown" as a whole? I personally don't consider "uptown" my neighborhood - even if it might be functionally accurate. I always tell people I live in Fourth Ward, and then if I get a confused look I might qualify that by saying it's in uptown.
  4. Renaissance Park Projects & Developments

    That many apartments in downtown would be a great thing for the city. That said, I agree that the site plan doesn't feel right. The number of buildings in and of themselves aren't the problem - it's the arrangement on the site. If they would connect another street through the middle to create an additional block, then the buildings could be arranged in such a way that it creates a more urban environment. I hope the DRB rips this one up and makes them come back with something better.
  5. AC Hotel on West Main

    That building is a thing of beauty
  6. Misc. Uptown Projects/News

    I'm not saying Uptown is devoid of activity, just that I think that it lacks a singular neighborhood feel because most of the 'stuff' that there is to do is geared towards tourists. For example, when I go to Plaza, there are: a conveniently located Harris Teeter, yoga studios, breweries, good restaurants, coffee shops, a good variety of bars/pubs, Common Market, a good variety of miscellaneous retail establishments (including a future ABC store), a library branch, etc. It feels like if I lived over there, I would have everything I need to exist and entertain myself, and I wouldn't need to leave for anything unless I chose to. "Uptown" collectively has many of those things, but If you look at the types of things on my list above that I like about PM, the individual Wards lack most of those. It's hit or miss as to whether the things exist and whether or not they are easily accessible (ie: not in Overstreet Mall or in a skyscraper), or open past 5pm. I have most of the things I need, but I still find myself leaving frequently for the things I want to do. Again, as a local, I don't want another high end steak house. I don't want another hotel lobby that may or may not have a bar in it, and I don't want another tourist trap (like Lucky's). What I want is a place where I might actually meet my neighbors. I'd like to be able to walk to a brewery, I'd like to be able to walk to yoga (or even crossfit or something like that), I'd like to have more bars with a neighborhood vibe - by which I mean a bar that isn't geared towards the 2am club crowd where I have a chance of knowing the bartender (eg: I feel like I know more bartenders in NoDa than in uptown), a Sabor, and a few local coffee shops. I'd love it if Latta Arcade and Brevard Court had more restaurants open past 5pm (like that Vietnamese place). Now, I'm not bashing uptown. I've lived here for just over a decade, and it's gotten a lot better over the past few years. Places like Fourth Ward Bread Co (now defunct), CoCo and the Director, Que Onda, Murhpy's, and Rhino Market are all collectively making "Uptown" a better places for locals. I'll even give both 204 North and Flight credit for being good quality, even if slightly on the pricey side for what they offer.
  7. I think SMC as a ground floor tenant is fine. Clemson and Carolina do the same thing. It's not going to be a huge draw, but if they think it helps them then why not?
  8. Spartanburg County "Area Performance Planning"

    This kind of stuff cracks me up. Everyone is all about "my property rights" until someone comes in with a huge subdivision next to their sleepy country road. What's worse, is that the councilman in the article suggests that the "Performance Planning" ordinance may be able to address situations like this, but the reality is that it won't. It specifically encourages this type of thing - but it's possible that it may be able to get some off site infrastructure improvements that aren't currently required. Being involved in the urban development industry, one of the things that I've learned is that people in single family homes generally don't want the land around them to change, and usually traffic impacts are the #1 proxy issue that they use to fight it. I can guarantee you that if they were going to widen the road it wouldn't make the residents any happier. And what's worse is that this type of development is only going to keep happening, especially on the western side of the county. The thing that concerns me is that there is no growth management strategy from the county nor is SCDOT financially prepared to help deal with the infrastructure needs related to that growth. If you want to see what it's going to be like in 20 years, just head on over to Boiling Springs, or Fort Mill/Indian Land. This is a separate rant, but SCDOT has a huge lack of money issue due to our fiscally irresponsible legislature, and it's only going to compound the problem over time.
  9. Sort of. I left out Ivey's because it's not solely a hotel building. I completely forgot about the Dunhill. But those are both vintage construction that used a better architectural standard than most of the buildings today. I say that more because it seems like most of the hotels in uptown are afterthoughts of, and secondary/de facto accessory buildings to, a larger project.
  10. Misc. Uptown Projects/News

    Do we know what this new business is going to be yet? IMO, while "Uptown" offers a lot, it's designed for tourists and office workers. People who live in Uptown reap the benefits of convenience and access, but "Uptown" is not a neighborhood in the sense of Plaza Midwood, Dilworth, NoDa, etc. I think that the surrounding neighborhoods already have more appeal to locals than Uptown in many ways.
  11. Grand Strand Photos

    I've always liked the old part of Myrtle Beach. Their downtown has a cool festival-like atmosphere that you can't find anywhere else.
  12. Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

    I don't see the issue with slowing/stopping drivers for 30 seconds while someone gets on/off the bus. People are constantly complaining about how fast and reckless everyone other than themselves drive in this town. Seems like some involuntary speed management would be a good thing.
  13. Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

    The truth of the matter is that there isn't much you can do to prevent that situation - but I hear ya, It's tough when drivers are mildly inconvenienced. If I were biking in the bike lane and came across that condition, I'd ride up to the front of the line of cars and go around in the main travel lane (which is also partially blocked), or I'd hop on the sidewalk and go around the bus (assuming it's at a time point or something).
  14. Hotels are always fairly small an uninteresting though. The one behind 300 S Tryon is at least not boring. The Grand Bohemian has the potential to be the first one in Charlotte that is legitimately interesting. I hope that they are able to make the Tryon Place one exciting, but based on the current office building design I have pretty low expectations.
  15. So I'm just catching up on this thread. Is this really what they're proposing? This whole site continues to devolve from its original high hopes and promises. Even though I don't care for this style of architecture, the previous renditions were at least interesting to look at. I guess the good news is the ground floor should still be decent.