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Everything posted by Spartan

  1. That's great news. Personally, I hope Carolina Cash and MontgomeryWard and this Aug Smith spin-off are all separate deals.
  2. I didn't realize they were adding width to the sidewalk. That was my main issue. You need at least 16ft for sidewalk+amenity zone one a street with 40+ mph operating speeds. It looks like it necks down to 4-5ft back of curb on the east edge of the site based on the rendering, and IMO you need to have the wide sidewalk section connect to wide sidewalk at The George. I also don't like the way it's dealing with the loading zone for cars. I wish there was a way it could go in the back, or they could make it mountable curb and use bollards or something to delineate the pedestrian space.
  3. It's just a matter of time before department stores are history. Same for Westgate Mall.
  4. The street level could be A LOT better (ground floor units need to be at ground level), but overall it's not bad. I think apartments will do well in downtown. I also think that once these are full it will demonstrate a much stronger market for downtown living that will result in more momentum in terms of apartment construction. That, in turn, will make the existing condos more viable in the long run.
  5. I know its needed for the courthouse, but that thing is way bigger than I expected it to be. If anyone ever says they can't find parking in downtown they need to be slapped.
  6. It's better than a vacant lot, I suppose, but I am underwhelmed. The lack of windows was never my issue with it. The issue remains that the streetscape is not great, and the building looks like it could be built out by I-85 somewhere. Typically the DRB makes things better. This one might be a miss from a design standpoint.
  7. That background is a little trippy haha
  8. My guess is that they have a prioritization process that is applied uniformly across the SCDOT divisions. Thats typically how something like this would work, anyway. The process will appear very random to the public, and I would expect to see roads resurfaced across the state in all counties. I have seen several in Spartanburg that have been resurfaced that I wasn't expecting. So patience is key, and then monitoring the list and the map to see when your road of interest gets on the list.
  9. I read somewhere that also stipulates that they have to work with local communities to design streets based on local needs and conditions. This is a major step forward and will be transformative in the long run. They have already started. You can see the resurfacing plans on their website. https://www.scdot.org/business/pdf/tentativeLetting/Rehab_Resurface.pdf You can also see the condition of the roads on this map. It's going to take a LONG time to get caught up. 3 decades of deferred maintenance will definitely do that for you. The other component is that some roads will be redesigned and rebuilt. That process takes longer (5+ years), depending on the size of the project. So it may take a while before we start seeing major improvements. https://scdot.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MinimalGallery/index.html?appid=de87f3f11994456ca871b20dfb0070be#viewer=c49faa06e0904f9fa1b4b1ce78266a2c
  10. I don't mind the ridiculous nature of lower league baseball teams, but I've always hated this term , mostly because it sounds dumb, but also because of the culturally grey terminology surrounding the demonym of Spartanburg. I know in my life I've heard "Spartanburgian," "Spartanburger," and my personal favorite, "Spartan" (obviously). But colloquially I've always felt like we avoid the term relative to other cities. Living in Charlotte, we use the term "Charlotteans" a lot more, and dutifully roll our eyes at references/jokes about the word "charlatan." Tangentially, my other thought is that I'm not a fan of the "BURG" merchandise. That's the least original part of the name. I could never buy it and wear it in Charlotte because people would assume its a reference to Mecklenburg County. To my mind, "Spartan" is the more accurate term, because that's what the soldiers in the Spartan Regiment would have likely called themselves. But I suppose Spartanburger is a natural successor since cities ending in "burg/burgh" tend to use "-er" as their demonym (ie: Pittsburgh = Pittsburgher, Hamburg (Germany) = Hamburger). I feel like this team name will probably lead to more alignment around the term Spartanburger as awareness in the community increases. But it still feels awkward to me. My only question is how the team will style themselves. The "Spartanburg Spartanburgers" is weird. Hopefully they just stick with "Spartanburgers" and call it a day. https://www.goupstate.com/story/news/2021/02/18/spartanburg-coastal-plain-league-baseball-team-name-spartanburgers/4490987001/
  11. Ah ok. I either missed that or forgot about it haha
  12. They need to figure out something to do with the giant kudzu field along Butterfly Creek. My vote is to make it a large park, although, I feel like I saw a housing development concept somewhere for that land. Either way, making it so that it is something other than an empty field is a step in the right direction.
  13. So that means they decided to annex that property then? I agree storage units would be bad for downtown. To be fair, the code would probably require that they look fairly attractive, but I've never seen one that doesn't look terrible.
  14. IMO, apartments are a safe bet downtown. I'm not sure the market is ready for residential with structured parking, though, so it will be interesting to see what comes of it.
  15. Yeah they built an Embassy Suites in uptown Charlotte that looks exactly like this. It's not very attractive and it looks generic. I can't fault hotels for it, but I'm glad that people care enough to question it in a downtown area. I would agree, though, that the architecture would be less relevant if it were a top a large mixed use building.
  16. The DRB might be one of the best things to ever happen to Spartanburg.
  17. I really like it. I mean, its not perfect, but I think it's well designed and will last a long time. Glad to see this thing taking shape and moving forward! Now, any word on the city/county building?
  18. First, you are spot on. But I'd like to offer some insight on this. In 2007 the City adopted the Urban Street Design Guidelines. At the time, this was an incredibly forward thinking set of policies that determined how streets should be built in Charlotte. The national thinking was that bike lanes would provide a safe space for cyclists to operate, and Charlotte was a leader in that movement. This also established the 8ft planting strip + trees that you see installed on all new streets these days. Perhaps most importantly, this design ostensibly balanced the cost of bike lanes with the need for additional right of way along with being something that civil engineers could support. For nearly 15 years, streets have been planned and designed with these facilities, and due to the amount of time it takes to deliver a street project, you just now seeing these in enough places where more and more people are starting to make connection that you have: why the hell would any sane person want to ride in a bike lane like that? Fortunately, the City's new bike plan addresses this issue by recommending context-based bike facilities (context being speed + traffic volume)... however, its going to take a long time before you start to see projects on the ground (the 6th St/7th St cycle track is the first big project to get funded). Essentially, the latest thinking is that bike lanes are ok in certain circumstances, but more often than not you want to have a separated facility (ie: bike path or on-street cycle track) on streets with higher traffic volumes. You be surprised how difficult it is to get people to understand thins concept. The important thing to understand, too, is that adding a side path for cyclists increases the cost, and that has to be factored into the cost of building and re-designing streets. Thus the need for a funding strategy like Charlotte MOVES. So, to me it seems like the city has been listening to the decades of complaints and is finally turning a corner on cycling facilities. There are a number of processes underway at the city that will help construct true bicycle paths. Charlotte MOVES, the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, Vision Zero, the ADA Transition Plan, and the Unified Development Ordinance will all play a key part. I think if you look up the preliminary recommendations for Charlotte MOVES you will see steps in the right direction. IMO the future is bright for cycling Charlotte, especially if the transportation sales tax passes.
  19. That sidewalk sucks, y'all. Its maybe 8-10 feet wide, but right up against the street. You need to have a buffer space with traffic going 40mph+ on St John. Ideally with trees. If you want a sidewalk with that back of curb design to feel comfortable, then you need traffic to be about 20mph.
  20. Traffic is going to have to get a lot worse before people give transit a serious look. It's far too easy to drive in Charlotte. But reduced parking is a step in the right direction. I agree with whoever said its a generational effort. I'm mildly skeptical as to whether or not its truly achievable without allowing single family neighborhoods to be redeveloped. Also, this building gets props for doing something unique, but not for its windowless facade with a lacking ground floor.
  21. Scooters were approved for a 6-month pilot project. Should be fun times this summer! https://www.goupstate.com/story/news/2021/01/26/blue-duck-scooter-rentals-land-downtown-spartanburg-spring/6628053002/
  22. Tucked into the bottom of this article there is a blurb about scooters. City Council is considering allowing scooters in downtown. I think its cool, but if they think anyone is going to follow the rules, they're crazy. People will begin complaining about them almost immediately. Don't get me wrong, I think its a great thing for the city, just be prepared for growing pains. https://www.goupstate.com/story/news/2021/01/25/spartanburg-road-renamed-honor-crossing-guard-mss-emma-taylor-way/6679408002/
  23. I'd say quality of life is relative to ones own values, experiences, and preferences. Attempts to 'quantify' QOL is understandable but at the end of the day doesn't really matter, IMO.
  24. Oh, I agree the corner lot needs to be developed. But from a developers perspective I could see where the lot adjacent to the parking deck is more attractive. Parking is a huge problem for that corner lot if its going to be anything more dense than 2-4 stories.
  25. I think an easy compromise would be a redesign to close dunbar, and set up that block of Main Street to allow for vehicular traffic - but not look like it. Have you seen the redesign of Main Street in Greer? Ours needs to look like that. Works for SLOW traffic but easy to close down on nights/weekends/etc.
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