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About Exile

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  1. Exile

    The Gateway Site

    Yeah, you're right. My post probably belongs better in the "alternative history" thread.
  2. Exile

    The Gateway Site

    It opened after the Auditorium closed and was imploded, but only a couple months later. Timmons was already under construction, and I'm pretty sure--though my memory's pretty dim here--that Furman had already decided to build their own building on-campus before the Auditorium's fate was sealed. There were so many great games there. The place could be really loud. I still remember when Furman almost beat a Terry Cummings-led Ray Meyer-coached DePaul team--that also featured Cola's own Tyrone Corbin. 1982. DePaul in those days was a perennial sweet sixteen/elite eight kind of team. I guess that part of Furman's motivation for moving basketball to campus was student attendance. But that was back when downtown hadn't gotten over the hump--Furman students from that era and earlier pretty unanimously found Greenville boring (in my experience; I didn't go to Furman), and still don't think well of Greenville. But I wonder whether students wouldn't enjoy downtown games now, given what downtown's become. Because now, when I talk to high school seniors who are considering Furman, consistently one of the things they like about it is downtown Greenville.
  3. Exile

    The Gateway Site

    The layout of the seating was basically a two-tiered bowl--actually an "upper deck" with some fold out seating at court level--but at one end the seats went considerably higher, as if it were a hybrid of arena and theater. I wonder whether it could have been re-done into more of a large theater. Something like that would have been great for big concerts. But the Auditorium was squeezed between Bi-Lo/BSW Arena, Timmons Arena (Furman basketball at the Auditorium back in the 70's was outstanding), and the Peace Center. If it had been redone, it would have had to be a complete re-purposing into something very different. And distortedlogic is right--they thought the land would be valuable. So much for thinking.
  4. Exile

    GSP International

    Last month we had a bunch of horses fly through for the Equestrian games. I wonder if there was a matching human traffic bump. There were comments in the CLT forum that people headed for Tryon would deplane there. And I suppose Asheville might have gotten some of that traffic. But on top of Frontier and AA additions. Potentially a pretty sizable month.
  5. Exile

    821 S. Main St. Hotel & Mixed Use

    The article only tells part of the story. Ward's bankruptcy was a big factor, but bigger in my opinion (I've stated this before; I'll try to remember to make this the last time) was Dillards' purchase and closure of J. B. White, which was by far the best anchor store at GM, and arguably anywhere in Greenville, including present-day Dillards. Also, contrary to what the article implies, I'm pretty sure the owners who redid GM in the 90's were new owners--not the original investors, or even long-time-but-not-original investors. Their big mistake, IMO, was to increase the size of the mall, though JBW did take over some mall space in order to enlarge their store (a testimony to JBW's popularity). The old Wards space, which was one-story, was converted to mall space, and they built two new buildings: one for Ward and one for Parisian-then-Proffitts. I think that Oshmans and the furniture store on the back northeast side of the mall were in old Wards space, but it's possible they expanded the building a bit for them, too. Ward, which was hardly high-end, had been in financial trouble for some time, and its viability as a going concern predated GM's mid-90's redo. If they had shrunk the mall--significantly*--and, gotten rid of Ward altogether from the beginning of the refit, its repositioning as a high-end compliment to HM might have worked, especially since that would have opened up more space on the property to build other complimentary retail and/or office. They eventually did build some complimentary retail, but it was the theater and mostly big-box stuff, which clashed with high-end; though the timeline at that point is hazy for me--it could be that JBW and Parisian were already gone. But the point is, under those circumstances, it might have even survived the closing of JBW, which was, sadly, inevitable no matter what they did. Bigger's not always better. And hindsight's always 20-20. *say, to the original size of McAlister Square.
  6. Exile

    Higher-end department stores in Greenville

    I don't know--Birmingham has a Saks, and though Birmingham proper is a good bit bigger than Greenville, GSA is now bigger than greater Birmingham (which I think includes Tuscaloosa). I'm not sure Greenville couldn't support one, or something similar. I agree that the Sears space is too large--there's no way they'd want that much square footage, even if they were interested in opening a store here. A single floor might make sense, so the Seritage thing might work (I'm not familiar with Seritage). But that reminds me of what Meyers Arnold did when Haywood Mall opened: when HM opened and for a number of years thereafter, there was no food court. Meyers Arnold had a very large mall store where the food court now is, minus an entrance hallway that led from the current exterior food court doors, but plus the stores on the main mall-way: Haagen-Dazs, Pretzel place, etc. What about something like that, either in HM or in an outdoor retail center? Would that work?
  7. Exile

    Pleasantburg Drive Corridor

    I often wondered why a fourth anchor was never added to the front. It would have been very visible--right on 291. Come to think of it, they could still do it--if not enough room for a Target, something similar. That is, if "they" were a real estate investor and not Greenville Tech. I guess the timeline didn't work: Belk added ca. '74, GM opened in '78, HM in '80 or '81; Dan River went back to Danville in the mid-80's. J. E. Sirrine was bought out by CRS some time later. Greenville National's startup and HQ wasn't enough to stem the decline of that area.
  8. Exile

    Pleasantburg Drive Corridor

    Under the circumstances, it seemed inevitable that it would come down. Going all nostalgic: the Belk wing had Record Bar, Red Baron, and, I think, Chick-fil-A, among others. That was the part of the Mall I most visited, including Belk. Well, Baskin-Robbins, Eckerd, and Heyward Mahon, too. Eckerd at Christmas when I was really young to buy those cheap Ronco gimmicks that I thought my mother would like--and never worked.
  9. There are so many things that can derail a scheduled groundbreaking, etc., that I think it's fair to say not being on schedule is business as usual.
  10. Exile

    Pleasantburg Drive Corridor

    No doubt. Laurens could use the boost, too. South of McAlister, on the east side of 291, the commercial parcels are all really narrow. Sherwood Forest backs up really close to the road. A big challenge not to just build more little standalone retail buildings. On the other side, though, plenty of room. As long as Tanners survives unscathed... I suppose, in addition to McAlister's demise, the departures of both Dan River Mills (early '80's; from the building directly across from BB&T and the nearby ugly white 4-story box) and J. E. Sirrine (from what is now the Buck Mickel Center; some time later) deprived that area of a decent daytime population of engineers and other moneyed professionals. I don't know who inhabits the larger building in between--the "252 Building," as we called it. Walt Brashier used to own it and had his office there; maybe still does. I mention all that partially out of nostalgia, partially to observe that whatever Renaissance that part of 291 experiences will likely depend on some significant office component. Otherwise it'll be "flyover country." But pulling that off would require cobbling together parcels, which is way easier said than done. So I'm not holding my breath.
  11. Exile

    Pleasantburg Drive Corridor

    Incidentally, growing up in the 60's-70's, we never called it "Pleasantburg Drive," and that was at least largely true of, e.g., radio and television stations. It was, in fact named "Pleasantburg Dr.," but colloquially it was always "291" or "291 Bypass." Has that usage fallen by the wayside?
  12. Exile

    Pleasantburg Drive Corridor

    Imagination running wild here: The window of opportunity for this may have already passed (assuming such window ever existed), but it'd be great if a developer were to, say, attach an appropriate office building and a Hampton Inn-level hotel, and push it upscale (kind of like what they did with GM). Puppies&Kittens is right: Parkins Mill and Augusta Road did & would definitely support a well-done concept. I haven't paid any attention to McAlister in a long time, though. If Tech were to relocate student services, there's still the University Center, right? And if so, what real mall potential is there if non-retail tenants are still using a lot of space?
  13. Exile

    Pleasantburg Drive Corridor

    Seems to me it's the only way Greenville could become a >1 mall town. I can't remember the last time I saw a mall under construction. Anywhere. But maybe I'm just not looking in the right places.
  14. Exile

    Charlotte Off Topic

    Blackbeard's treasure?
  15. Exile

    Grand Bohemian Hotel

    Yeah. I was thinking that, with that roof pitch, at its highest point it might get close to Embassy Suites height. But hard to tell.