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mallguy

Parking lot after parking lot on downtown's east side

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One thing about Greenville that has long annoyed me is the glut of parking lots and B-grade, low-rise buildings scattered around them, on downtown's east side, mostly in the blocks north of Washington and east of Main, and to a lesser extent east of the Greenville News building.  There is plenty of space for a large-scale development in those blocks, such as a a slew of office towers, an expansive residential development, or even a large retail complex, but they sit underutilized.  Further, they create an unattractive entry into downtown.

 

Does the city or a private developer have any long-term plans for these blocks, other than an office building here and there?  Why did the powers that be let the South Financial bank build a big campus along I-85 when it could have been built easily on these blocks?  And why are we building large developments on the suburban fringes when these blocks sit underutilized?

 

Something like Charlotte's Metropolitan Midtown complex (with big-box retail, office and residential), in my view, would do great here.  So would perhaps a mid-size office campus.

Edited by mallguy

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One of these blocks is already slated to be the federal Courthouse. Otherwise, there's more prime space available for development (I.e. ONE, Main @ Broad). Every city has open land that is ripe for development. I would probably say that price has the highest impact upon your dismay. Maybe the Federal Courthouse and redevelopment of the Gateway site will be a good influence on these properties..?

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One thing about Greenville that has long annoyed me is the glut of parking lots and B-grade, low-rise buildings scattered around them, on downtown's east side, mostly in the blocks north of Washington and east of Main, and to a lesser extent east of the Greenville News building.  There is plenty of space for a large-scale development in those blocks, such as a a slew of office towers, an expansive residential development, or even a large retail complex, but they sit underutilized.  Further, they create an unattractive entry into downtown.

 

Does the city or a private developer have any long-term plans for these blocks, other than an office building here and there?  Why did the powers that be let the South Financial bank build a big campus along I-85 when it could have been built easily on these blocks?  And why are we building large developments on the suburban fringes when these blocks sit underutilized?

 

Something like Charlotte's Metropolitan Midtown complex (with big-box retail, office and residential), in my view, would do great here.  So would perhaps a mid-size office campus.

 

Two of those lots will probably be filled in next 5 years. The parking lot behind SCNB building is own by JHM Hotels (itself based off I385). They will undoubtedly want to put a hotel there. 

 

The new federal courthouse will take up the parking lot between Coffee and E. North.

 

 

As for the I85 businesses. They want the eye appeal of the highway.

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The courthouse sounds great--looks like its size will be substantial, from the other thread.

 

Maybe if the blocks and blocks of parking lots were spruced up, it would at least help?  Looking from Christ Church into downtown is just a bleak experience.

 

Maybe zoning changes, creating some kind of economic development zone or the like would help get those blocks developed?

 

I just am sad to see all of the life and activity generated in so many large suburban developments, all of which could easily have fit into those blocks.  Haywood Mall, the Fluor Daniel campus, etc., which both lured stores and offices from downtown, could have been built there.

Edited by mallguy

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The courthouse sounds great--looks like its size will be substantial, from the other thread.

 

Maybe if the blocks and blocks of parking lots were spruced up, it would at least help?  Looking from Christ Church into downtown is just a bleak experience.

 

Maybe zoning changes, creating some kind of economic development zone or the like would help get those blocks developed?

 

I just am sad to see all of the life and activity generated in so many large suburban developments, all of which could easily have fit into those blocks.  Haywood Mall, the Fluor Daniel campus, etc., which both lured stores and offices from downtown, could have been built there.

 

Looking west, the courthouse will take up the lot behind the Palmetto Bank, but also USG bought park of the block the bank sits on. So in two years time, that will be filled. The Gateway site across the road (former home of the Memorial Stadium) was recently bought by a new developer, so hopefully we will hear something on that soon.

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Sure are a lot of negative nannies on this forum lately. Must be something in the water.

Large parking lots are part of life in any large city's downtown area. Look at satellite images of Uptown Charlotte if you don't believe me.

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...or phoenix. It has more parking lots than buildings. 

 

Luckily our parking lots are going the way of the dodo.

Edited by ausrutherford

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The South Financial Group would have relocated to Florida if the Millennium Campus site had not enticed them to build along I-85.

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Haywood and Fluor both built outside of when DT was dead and boarded up. The cost of building at The South's Financial Center would be dramatically lower on a highway than DT. 

 

Offices are starting to move back DT from the suburbs, here, which is the trend we all want to see. They didn't leave overnight and they won't all come back overnight either.

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Well, there is hope in that:

 

(1) Even 5 years ago, Greenville had about 45% of the county's office space downtown.  That is a very high percentage for a Sunbelt downtown- higher than Charlotte's.

 

(2) Fluor and Haywood Mall were indeed built when downtown was dying, but just as they were built in suburbia, the Hyatt, the office towers north of the Hyatt and the building where Leatherwood the law firm is were built- so some leave, some come.

 

Thanks for the responses- very helpful.

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Is it confirmed that the Gateway site has been sold? I don't see any transactions on greenvillecounty/gis.

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