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Proposal: Downtown Convention Center


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https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2019/10/01/greenville-county-sc-vote-funds-downtown-conference-center-reedy-river/3823126002/ 

House budget includes the $19 million for this project. Slated to pass by the end of the month with signature by the governor shortly after. 

^^ $26 million from each State, city and county.  City and County have already committed their part.  Land is being donated.  I think there is a private fundraising involved too. 

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6 hours ago, gman430 said:

No word on height yet. Still in the design phase. That construction cost and square footage I listed is ONLY for the museums and conference center not for the entire mixed use project which is slated to cost around $400 million to build total. Another article: https://www.postandcourier.com/greenville/business/master-plan-says-downtown-greenville-conference-center-can-work-now-its-down-to-design/article_024b614c-fefa-11eb-9eba-a3a1ecaf9d95.html 
 

Didn't realize there was a north and south option until now: https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/postandcourier.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/85/585acd64-fefc-11eb-8510-27518d73f544/611b1458df3c9.pdf.pdf I like the north option way more. 

I would suggest going ahead and detaching oneself from the previous renderings. They were concepts and will be very different from the reality of something constrained by costs and conditions. Just a word to the wise. 

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15 hours ago, gman430 said:

https://greenvillejournal.com/news/mayor-white-proposed-conference-center-about-creating-an-economic-nexus-downtown-greenville-sc/

$78 million and 184,000 square feet for the museum/conference center. 

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the space:

  • Conference Center
  • Junior ballroom: 10,000 square feet
  • Grand ballroom: 25,000 square feet
  • Meeting room: 8,000 square feet
  • Total rentable space: 43,000 square feet
  • Support Area
  • Front of house (lobbies, restrooms, terraces, etc): 24,000 square feet
  • Back of house (kitchens, loading area, staff office, etc): 37,000 square feet
  • Total support space: 61,000 square feet
  • Museums
  • Museum and gallery: 60,000 square feet
  • Greenville County Museum of Art: 20,000 square feet
  • Total museum space: 80,000 square feet

 

Here’s a look at the project’s timeline:

  • Initial ideas → Master plan phase (current phase) → City and County interim review and approval of master plan → Detailed design is worked out between public and private stakeholders → Design Review Board process → City and County review and approval of final design → Construction

Does anyone have a good idea of what types of conventions would typically fit here given the size constraints?  I feel like they need to go much  bigger in both scale and architecture given its location on the river and on Academy.

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1 hour ago, gvegascple said:

Does anyone have a good idea of what types of conventions would typically fit here given the size constraints?  I feel like they need to go much  bigger in both scale and architecture given its location on the river and on Academy.

I'm not sure about what the best size would be. Cola's is currently just 25k but they will be expanding to about 100k. Remember that the current convention center has 280k of exhibit space and 60k of meeting space for a total of 340k, so we definitely have the big space stuff covered.  This downtown convention/conference space will fill the needs for a different niche than what we can currently host.  I am not sure if 43k is enough or not, though for some reason about 60k seems to be a better number to me. It would be nice if it could be built to be expandable in the future, but that would probably increase the upfront cost. Regardless, this will be the type of facility that just does not exist in Greenville right now and will probably get a lot of use.

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1 hour ago, gvegascple said:

Does anyone have a good idea of what types of conventions would typically fit here given the size constraints?  I feel like they need to go much  bigger in both scale and architecture given its location on the river and on Academy.

Small ones. 

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2 hours ago, GvilleSC said:

I would suggest going ahead and detaching oneself from the previous renderings. They were concepts and will be very different from the reality of something constrained by costs and conditions. Just a word to the wise. 

I agree completely, and am quite excited about that, as I did not find the concept renderings very impressive architecturally. And we should probably temper our dreams about a lot of height as well. As much as I would love a true high rise, I would actually rather see a really good architectural project than a tall uninspired building. In a perfect world we would get both but...

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58 minutes ago, apaladin said:

Small ones. 

I think the market they're looking to fill is the high-end business convention. Small? Yes. Lucrative? Very.

Think medical conferences (continuing learning requirement), engineering conferences, legal conferences (continuing learning requirements), medical device, corporate marketing and sales gatherings, accounting conferences, regional or nationwide corporate gathering, etc. Basically, it's space to get a large number of people together for speakers, presentations, and seminars. Then maybe additional space large enough to host a party for hundreds of people at one time - in the middle of downtown nonetheless. Nothing involved with products (car-show, boat-show, garden-show, or wedding-show).

Greenville doesn't have this type of space right now. It probably is very risky for a private hotel group to build this type of space with this square-footage in this market. New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington DC all have hotels with this type of conference space and square footage. These "conference hotels" will host and profit from these events. I've been to all these cities and stayed at these "conference hotels" for continuing learning education requirements (you basically sit in a giant hall for a couple of days and listen to seminars, there is a separate large breakout hall for vendor booths and the free daily breakfast, and maybe a different space set-up for a buffet style dinner with an open bar/live music on one of the nights of the conference. Attendees all go out for lunch each day, and also dinner at night at a high-end restaurant for special meal with colleges or clients (plus drinks late into the evening). 

Greenville doesn't have this.   So Greenville loses out on revenue to the cities that get these events with all the high-spenders who stay in expensive hotel rooms, and put expensive food, drinks, and entertainment on the corporate card for an eventual write-off. Plus attendees might also do shopping, or see experience Greenville for the first time and decide to relocate. So the convention center could help indirectly attract new professionals and talent, too.  

Edit (examples):

DC: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/event-planning/business-meeting/wasjw-jw-marriott-washington-dc/#m-capacity-container

New Orleans: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/louisiana/hyatt-regency-new-orleans/msyrn/special-events

Chicago: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/illinois/hyatt-regency-chicago/chirc/special-events

Edited by ingvegas
Examples.
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20 minutes ago, motonenterprises said:

I know we joke about height. But it will be taller than this. Lol.

I know folks are joking around, but it really is TBD... The PRIVATE portion of the project should at least match the other heights at Riverplace. However, it's really not clear at this point what the public money is going to get us... All of us should really specify what we're talking about, or understand that this is a very complex development over a large parcel of land. A newcomer to the thread and subject matter may be rather confused.

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1 hour ago, motonenterprises said:

I know we joke about height. But it will be taller than this. Lol.

The conference center/museum complex is going to be three stories tall. The height of the mixed use portion is unknown. 

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3 minutes ago, gman430 said:

The conference center/museum complex is going to be three stories tall. The height of the mixed use portion is unknown. 

Interpretation….the sighting of a tower crane is unknown  :lol:

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15 minutes ago, gman430 said:

The conference center/museum complex is going to be three stories tall. The height of the mixed use portion is unknown. 

I spoke to someone at the event yesterday that is suppose to be the most knowledgeable on the physical structure. He said the museums would have additional levels above the three shown. 

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35 minutes ago, distortedlogic said:

There was a headline on Greenvilleonline yesterday about this project, and something about the mayor as well. It seemed to indicate a potential problem. It was blocked by a subscription wall, anyone get a chance to read it?

Basically it says how some people including two city council members (Dowe and Stall) are questioning the size and cost of the project. They want a bigger conference center if the city is going to spend all of this money on it instead of something similar in size to the Hyatt which they fear will compete with the hotel instead of complimenting it. The general manager of the AC Hotel downtown is also quoted in the article saying he wants a bigger conference center than what is currently being planned.

Edited by gman430
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1 hour ago, distortedlogic said:

There was a headline on Greenvilleonline yesterday about this project, and something about the mayor as well. It seemed to indicate a potential problem. It was blocked by a subscription wall, anyone get a chance to read it?

It was a much to do about nothing article. There are always a few people that will complain. This project is going forward, and it will be a good one. 

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5 hours ago, gman430 said:

Basically it says how some people including two city council members (Dowe and Stall) are questioning the size and cost of the project. They want a bigger conference center if the city is going to spend all of this money on it instead of something similar in size to the Hyatt which they fear will compete with the hotel instead of complimenting it. The general manager of the AC Hotel downtown is also quoted in the article saying he wants a bigger conference center than what is currently being planned.

Thanks; interesting. That kind of echos some of the discussion on here about the best size. It's probably good to get a couple of different opinions; they won't get a do over on this one.

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8 hours ago, distortedlogic said:

Thanks; interesting. That kind of echos some of the discussion on here about the best size. It's probably good to get a couple of different opinions; they won't get a do over on this one.

As we discuss size. I'm honestly having a hard time seeing how a big conference center would exist in this spot. I also want a larger conference center downtown, but I don't think this specific project should be the one to absorb that scope. At the moment, I think this project is about right for what it is, now it just needs some good architecture.

As I look at where one would make sense to exist, I'm wondering if the influential powers that be are thinking of either the "innovation district" east of Camperdown or in the county square development perhaps 5 to 10 years down the road.  I think it's going to have to happen eventually in Greenvilles future and I'm hoping they are at least giving that some thought.

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11 hours ago, NewlyUpstate said:

As we discuss size. I'm honestly having a hard time seeing how a big conference center would exist in this spot. I also want a larger conference center downtown, but I don't think this specific project should be the one to absorb that scope. At the moment, I think this project is about right for what it is, now it just needs some good architecture.

As I look at where one would make sense to exist, I'm wondering if the influential powers that be are thinking of either the "innovation district" east of Camperdown or in the county square development perhaps 5 to 10 years down the road.  I think it's going to have to happen eventually in Greenvilles future and I'm hoping they are at least giving that some thought.

I can see your point but I honestly can't see Greenville getting two downtown convention centers. I agree that County Square  would probably be able to hold a bigger center but I think this location is a little more desirable being right on the river, beside Riverwalk, etc. If they do it right, this location should be able to hold a center that is big enough for most of the demand. There is probably a "sweet spot" in size that is b/w the Hyatt and the Greenville Convention Center that would be the most flexible for the most number of years going forward. That sweet spot is what I think they need to try to find. Perhaps they could even make it so that additional space can be added down the road. But I agree with you that the more important ingredient here may be the architecture and "atmosphere." Something fairly unique and welcoming.

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City of Greenville, Greenville County, SC Arts Commission, LMN Architects, LS3P Architects, Windsor Aughtry, Hughes Investments, CSL International, HR&A Advisors, A Stan Davis Consulting, Hughes Agency, Bob Jones University, and Greenville County Museum of Art are now all involved with the project.


62ECC452-7891-4AB1-9446-E1B3F91DF82C.jpeg

6965B986-03EC-4A49-97AD-9FB38E576594.jpeg

CBE5FFC2-4F28-4156-979B-477D20400EBC.jpeg

Edited by gman430
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3 hours ago, gman430 said:

City of Greenville, Greenville County, SC Arts Commission, LMN Architects, LS3P Architects, Windsor Aughtry, Hughes Investments, CSL International, HR&A Advisors, A Stan Davis Consulting, Hughes Agency, Bob Jones University, and Greenville County Museum of Art are now all involved with the project.


62ECC452-7891-4AB1-9446-E1B3F91DF82C.jpeg

6965B986-03EC-4A49-97AD-9FB38E576594.jpeg

CBE5FFC2-4F28-4156-979B-477D20400EBC.jpeg

If the massing ends up actually being that boring (which could happen due to cost), then put it at the South location and preserve the River for the private investment. 

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5 hours ago, gman430 said:

City of Greenville, Greenville County, SC Arts Commission, LMN Architects, LS3P Architects, Windsor Aughtry, Hughes Investments, CSL International, HR&A Advisors, A Stan Davis Consulting, Hughes Agency, Bob Jones University, and Greenville County Museum of Art are now all involved with the project.


62ECC452-7891-4AB1-9446-E1B3F91DF82C.jpeg

6965B986-03EC-4A49-97AD-9FB38E576594.jpeg

CBE5FFC2-4F28-4156-979B-477D20400EBC.jpeg

Y’all got all worked up into a lather for this? Lol. For the most expensive Center for South-Mid-Atlantic Trade Shows/Exhibition of Homophobic Art in the 21st century it really leaves you wanting more

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