gman

Camperdown (Greenville News Building Site)

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^^  I figured the Spartanburg hotel was either getting incentives or a benefactor was involved.  It was obvious they were spending more than necessary and that usually isn't done with hotels.  

 

I agree that pedestrian interaction is key and that the plaza is indeed a great idea that if done right, will easily compensate if any one of the individual buildings is not ideal.  One of the office building designs looked pretty good to me, but it got substituted to something less appealing. I can live with it, but the hotel needs significant improvement. 

 

I disagree about the classic architecture for the hotel though. If the hotel was done that way, the entire project would have to go that route. 

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So what is the current status of this project anyways? It never went before the DRB. It just all the sudden vanished. Hope it's not dead.

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If all some people want is an Italian-inspired design, then you're getting it at 121 Rhett. It just isn't brick.

I don't get the cries for safe, traditional design that in theory lies about its history and structure. We have plenty of that, both actual old structures and recent projects. I'm hopeful that we will see a better AC hotel design, and I'm confident that the staff comments on this last application will yield a stronger product w greater details.

Edited by GvilleSC

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I don't get the cries for safe, traditional design that in theory lies about its history and structure. We have plenty of that, both actual old structures and recent projects. I'm hopeful that we will see a better AC hotel design, and I'm confident that the staff comments on this last application will yield a stronger product w greater details.

Traditional design does not necessarily mean you are trying to make a building that is a recreation of the past, or lies about its age.  It simply is using time tested design principles and architectural elements that give a building proper scale and character.  There are buildings all over this country that are architectural masterpieces that borrow building forms and design elements and from Greek and Roman buildings 2000 years ago. Is this considered creating a false sense of history?  One of Greenville's own DRB members recently said at a meeting that architecture is always looking forward, and not looking to the past, completely ignoring this fact.  I'm all for taking from past building traditions, and reinterpreting them for today, so a building is truly an expression of it's time, rather than strictly trying to copy historic styles.  This very site should serve as a lesson against simply trying to follow the latest design trends.  The Greenville News building was very forward thinking and modern for its time, but in a span of 50 years, is considered ugly and outdated by most, and headed for demolition.  I think architecture deserves to have some more thought put into creating a place that will stand the test of time, and not be treated as a disposable commodity that will be demolished in another 50 years when tastes change again. There are plenty of examples of good and bad design in both modern and traditional buildings.  It's not necessarily the building style that makes it well designed or not, but how the details, form and proportions are carried out, and like others, I haven't been impressed lately in how this has been accomplished in most new buildings here. 

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So what is the current status of this project anyways? It never went before the DRB. It just all the sudden vanished. Hope it's not dead.

 

The DRB does not schedule a regular meeting in July for some reason, so it will be August, unless a special meeting is called.  No reason to think this is dead. The prior submission was not likely to be approved, so it behooved them to pull it. 

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Traditional design does not necessarily mean you are trying to make a building that is a recreation of the past, or lies about its age.  It simply is using time tested design principles and architectural elements that give a building proper scale and character.  There are buildings all over this country that are architectural masterpieces that borrow building forms and design elements and from Greek and Roman buildings 2000 years ago. Is this considered creating a false sense of history?  One of Greenville's own DRB members recently said at a meeting that architecture is always looking forward, and not looking to the past, completely ignoring this fact.  I'm all for taking from past building traditions, and reinterpreting them for today, so a building is truly an expression of it's time, rather than strictly trying to copy historic styles.  This very site should serve as a lesson against simply trying to follow the latest design trends.  The Greenville News building was very forward thinking and modern for its time, but in a span of 50 years, is considered ugly and outdated by most, and headed for demolition.  I think architecture deserves to have some more thought put into creating a place that will stand the test of time, and not be treated as a disposable commodity that will be demolished in another 50 years when tastes change again. There are plenty of examples of good and bad design in both modern and traditional buildings.  It's not necessarily the building style that makes it well designed or not, but how the details, form and proportions are carried out, and like others, I haven't been impressed lately in how this has been accomplished in most new buildings here. 

 

This. Exactly. 

 

^^  I figured the Spartanburg hotel was either getting incentives or a benefactor was involved.  It was obvious they were spending more than necessary and that usually isn't done with hotels.  

 

I agree that pedestrian interaction is key and that the plaza is indeed a great idea that if done right, will easily compensate if any one of the individual buildings is not ideal.  One of the office building designs looked pretty good to me, but it got substituted to something less appealing. I can live with it, but the hotel needs significant improvement. 

 

I disagree about the classic architecture for the hotel though. If the hotel was done that way, the entire project would have to go that route. 

 

Don't worry, they are getting a ton of incentives too. Essentially, Spartanburg has finally figured out what Greenville figured out years ago - and that's a way to make opportunities happen. Everyone at the City seems to be working together and with the private sector in ways that didn't happen before.

 

I agree with your comment on the architecture though. I think the whole site needs to be consistent in terms of style.

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Its not dead, they are changing it to comply to what the city wants.

I gotcha. I honestly didn't see anything wrong with their current or now previous proposal. It looked like a state of the art mixed use development with all of the amenities one could want IMO.

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Its not dead, they are changing it to comply to what the city wants. 

 

Its good to see that. When things get rushed a lot of mistakes happen. I talked to some folks from the city. Some liked the design and others just hated it. Guess we will see a comprise on the opposing views in a month or so. 

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The city of Spartanburg may not have a natural river and waterfalls to showcase, or vivacious commerce and tourism today.  However, Greenville's leaders and developers have much to learn beyond creating or attracting "the next new thing" without well-guided consideration of its long-term effect on the city's visual character.  Spartanburg's leaders and developers appear to be capitalizing on rare opportunities to establish a higher standard (a solid foundation) for future architectural design that will increase the longevity of the city's visual appeal.  It is important to note that architecture, like food and music, is an indelible form of art with power to affect our mental state.  High quality art is attractive, especially in the midst of mediocrity.

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What specific examples of architectural design in Greenville's recent history (past 10-15 years) are actively degrading the city? And what elements of those designs are holding us back? I'd be interested in seeing some examples to back up all of these rather extreme assertions.

Edited by GvilleSC

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Traditional design does not necessarily mean you are trying to make a building that is a recreation of the past, or lies about its age.  It simply is using time tested design principles and architectural elements that give a building proper scale and character.  There are buildings all over this country that are architectural masterpieces that borrow building forms and design elements and from Greek and Roman buildings 2000 years ago. Is this considered creating a false sense of history?  One of Greenville's own DRB members recently said at a meeting that architecture is always looking forward, and not looking to the past, completely ignoring this fact.  I'm all for taking from past building traditions, and reinterpreting them for today, so a building is truly an expression of it's time, rather than strictly trying to copy historic styles.  This very site should serve as a lesson against simply trying to follow the latest design trends.  The Greenville News building was very forward thinking and modern for its time, but in a span of 50 years, is considered ugly and outdated by most, and headed for demolition.  I think architecture deserves to have some more thought put into creating a place that will stand the test of time, and not be treated as a disposable commodity that will be demolished in another 50 years when tastes change again. There are plenty of examples of good and bad design in both modern and traditional buildings.  It's not necessarily the building style that makes it well designed or not, but how the details, form and proportions are carried out, and like others, I haven't been impressed lately in how this has been accomplished in most new buildings here. 

Well spoken, hopefully the city fathers/mothers listen...

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What specific examples of architectural design in Greenville's recent history (past 10-15 years) are actively degrading the city? And what elements of those designs are holding us back? I'd be interested in seeing some examples to back up all of these rather extreme assertions.

 

Well I think that saying designs are "actively degrading the city" or "holding us back" would be extreme assertions in themselves. I don't think anyone is saying anything that dramatic - "that building there is degrading our beautiful city!"  :P

 

I do think there are recent examples of buildings and projects that have left much to be desired architecturally, and the impact of the project was not perhaps fully accomplished as a result. I also agree with others that many of the recent projects and proposals will not "age" well, and we may very well have quite a few future "Greenville news buildings" or  (shorter) "Landmarks" either already built or waiting in the wings. Doesn't mean they will "degrade" our city, hold us back, or keep people from moving here of course (or diminish QOL), it just means we will have lots of crappy looking buildings down the road and probably some "man I wish they had done this", or yeah, "we should have built that instead." And as the city continues to get built, there'll be less lots available, meaning we need to be even more intentional about what goes there. 

 

A couple of examples that I think were good and bad proposals or builds:

 

Good:

Peacock Hotel - Creative but classy, would have made a great visual impact.

Pinnacle on Main - was a good mix of elements that we see DT - not awesome, but very nice

Camperdown Condos- Better, IMO, than just about any apartments being built now

Current Camperdown and Main proposal - one of the best to come out for DT in a long time. 

Rivers Edge - Certainly not boxy (but too flat on top for my taste) good mix of color and brick - better in real life than in rendering.

Palmetto bank HQ

First N Main/ Stone Prposal - liked it a hundred times better than what is being built. 

Flour Field

 

Bad: 

One Project (especially elevator shaft and phase 3)

Current NMain/Stone

Univ Ridge/ Church - Huge waste of opportunity

Entire Gnews site plan

McBee Station Apts  :sick:

Hughes Library

Several of the current appt proposals that are just modern boring boxes

 

Note what I am saying here - almost all the projects are great, and bring a lot to the city. But the architecture was not equally as engaging, thus missing an important co-piece of the project and resulting in buildings that, IMO, don't fit the projects themselves, or will need replacing before they should have, or do not make very good use of the space/lot/area on which they inhabit. They were rushed through because they were "good enough" and the architects were too lazy to put good effort into them, or our review board was not very good at it's purpose.

 

Hughes Library is a great example. It is ok - good enough. But, IMO, it does not really look like, or layout well for, a library. We really missed the boat on creating a really nice, state of the art library for this and future generations. See the Florence library and the Easley library - now those are libraries! Hughes - great and needed project - lousy architecture. Same with many of the projects either being built or proposed today. Unfortuantely, some of the better proposed projects from a few years ago never got built, and look what we ended up with. Pinnnacle on Main to Home to Suites. :sick:  Peacock to 98 E McBee. These lots remained empty for awhile so we settled for something over nothing. Same thing with  renderings we have seen from the Gateway site. See the difference?  

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^^ I don't remember a 'first' design for Stone and Main, only an 'example' rendition from the firm that did the master plan. Is that what you are referring to?

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These lots remained empty for awhile so we settled for something over nothing. Same thing with renderings we have seen from the Gateway site. See the difference?

There has to be a valid violation of zoning or architectural design guidelines for the City to reject any proposal. We can't sit back and have them pick and choose which projects are worthy of our city-- unless it's public land. i agree that 98 East McBee is horrendous. However- they can't deny them the right to develop private land because it pales in comparison to what was probably an unrealistic previous proposal. No one is settling for anything other than the developers who have found a way to make the financials works for any given project.

We have only heard rumors for what may come to the gateway site for the past 20 years. So, should we reject anyone's bid to develop that land until we get a proposal that lives up to our imaginations? Meanwhile, we will be neck deep in lawsuits.

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There has to be a valid violation of zoning or architectural design guidelines for the City to reject any proposal. We can't sit back and have them pick and choose which projects are worthy of our city-- unless it's public land. i agree that 98 East McBee is horrendous. However- they can't deny them the right to develop private land because it pales in comparison to what was probably an unrealistic previous proposal. No one is settling for anything other than the developers who have found a way to make the financials works for any given project.

We have only heard rumors for what may come to the gateway site for the past 20 years. So, should we reject anyone's bid to develop that land until we get a proposal that lives up to our imaginations? Meanwhile, we will be neck deep in lawsuits.

Gville, you are probably way more knowledgeable about that kind of stuff than I. Admittedly, I know very little about zoning and procedural issues surrounding these developments, so you may be 100% correct. I am just looking at it from the perspective of the average citizen viewing the aesthetic and functional value of the architecture for these projects. It just strikes me that with some tweaking and creativity the architects/designers/developers could make some of these so-so looking projects look good, and some of the good looking projects look great; without really spending more. There really isn't any excuse for lazy architecture, it seems like it would be easy to play around with designs given the computer programs of today. 

 

As for the Gateway site, we have seen a couple different proposals just in the past year or two, and I did not like either one. I have some ideas about that site but that is for another thread. And I don't see why asking developers and architects to submit better looking plans and designs should result in lawsuits. That is supposed to be the job of review boards, mayors, city councils, etc. All cities big and small have guidelines or restrictions that developers are supposed to follow and there is no reason developers and architects cannot design good looking buildings within those guidelines.

 

 

BTW, Skyliner and SCsmitty; excellent posts above, some very good thoughts on this subject (Spartan too).   Great discussion everyone, Gville I enjoy hearing other opinions and ideas without people getting feathers rufffled!  :good:  :console:

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^^ I don't remember a 'first' design for Stone and Main, only an 'example' rendition from the firm that did the master plan. Is that what you are referring to?

Someone else posted that concept renderings were released by the company that did the master plan - those are probably the ones I am referring to. They were released when the project was first announced so I thought that was the direction they were going in. Those were a much more traditional brick architecture with angled roofs and some decorative features that I think would have suited the N Main/ Park Ave/ Earle St area MUCH better. What is being built does not fit in with the "neighborhood" in any way (again, in my opinion only). It would look fine in some areas or in the suburbs, but not there.  

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http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/money/business/2015/06/30/camperdown-development-air/29537591/

 

Uh-oh

 

 

Camperdown development up in the air
1409420649000-dolphbell.jpg Rudolph Bell, [email protected]7:03 p.m. EDT June 30, 2015
 
 
CONNECT 2TWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE

Trammell Crow Co., the national developer that had planned to buy The Greenville News property, has backed out of the deal, throwing into question previously announced plans to redevelop the prominent site and change the face of downtown.

Another developer that was working with Trammell Crow, however, Centennial American Properties of Greenville, said it was continuing to pursue plans for the massive Camperdown development.

"We think it's a good project," Brody Glenn, Centennial American's president, told The Greenville News on Tuesday. "It's the right project for Greenville. It's a viable project to get done."

Glenn said he wasn't at liberty to say more.

Dallas-based Trammell Crow had signed a contract to buy the site of nearly four acres along Main Street from Gannett Company Inc., parent company of The Greenville News.

Dave Neill, the newspaper's president and publisher, said Trammell Crow exercised its right to terminate the contract.

Neill said other parties have expressed an interest in buying the property, but he declined to identify them.

"We don't have a buyer, but we have some interested parties," Neill said.

The Trammell Crow executive who had been working on the project, Larry Pantlin, managing director in the company's Atlanta office, couldn't be reached.

The plans called for four high-rise buildings arrayed around a center plaza directly across Main Street from the Peace Center.

The developers proposed a hotel, apartments, offices, condominiums, a dine-in movie theater and a fitness center.

They also planned an entirely glass building at the corner of Main and Broad and lots of ground-level space for shops and restaurants along the edges of the plaza and along Main Street.

Trammell Crow and Centennial American were in the process of getting numerous approvals from City Hall, and city officials hired a consultant to advise them on the project.

JHM Hotels of Greenville filed plans at City Hall for a seven-story AC Greenville Hotel after it was selected to develop the hotel.

Edited by adrockc2

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Certainly hope this doesn't act as a red flag to other big national real estate development companies.   When they see a company as big as Trammell Crow backing out of a deal they might get cold feet themselves.

 

The last thing we want is another Auditorium site sitting around useless for years.

 

At least the Greenville News site is much better situated.  It could always be subdivided, I suppose.

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This site is as important if not more important than ONE.  I am fine with slow rolling this to make sure its done right and we have a developer that shares the city's vision/needs for this location.  We have been doing just fine with the building as is and we will continue to do so until the right plan and develop come along.  The city left the ONE spot as a vacant lot (which I was at times against) until the stars aligned and I am fine with doing the same here.  Any chance Trammell Crow is trying to play hardball?  This location seems like a no-brainer in regards to development and with all of the resident and hotel guest density being added.   Lets not rush to get anything built here that isnt a good fit.

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The hotel and office building plans were both withdrawn and therefore did not go before the DRB for approval. Capllc is not commenting. Ruh roh.

Called it. This reminds me a lot of the situation that developed at ONE when Cousins Properties backed out and Hughes came in to develop the project themselves.

Edited by gman430

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Trammell's vision and the city's vision just didn't coincide. The city's first priority is to the citizens first not the developer's. Gman is right about how this is similar to how the one project happened. If cousins had had their way we would not have main and Washington in its present form. Which would not have been as good. There will be another developer, that is to be sure. And they'll hopefully know what will be needed to maximize the property's potential.

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