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gman430

Greenville County Square redevelopment

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The Greenville News calling a five story building a tower is nothing new. They’ve been doing it for years. 

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1 hour ago, gman430 said:

The Greenville News calling a five story building a tower is nothing new. They’ve been doing it for years. 

One has to wonder what The Greenville News considers the office building going up in Camperdown; a super tall? Lol apparently, their offices at Camperdown are a tower too. 

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Finally got a chance to read the full article and I honestly don’t see how this project is moving forward like the headline says. Sounds like county council members are still going at each other’s throats and aren’t any closer to an agreement.

Edited by gman430

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4 minutes ago, gman430 said:

Finally got a chance to read the full article and I honestly don’t see how this project is moving forward like the headline says. Sounds like county council members are still going at each other’s throats and aren’t any closer to an agreement.

It sounds like they are getting overly emotional and are getting caught up in Kernell's shadiness. I'm glad they are doing a 3rd party appraisal of the Fluor offices, that was always my issue.  Pay a fair price for those offices and move forward with the damn project and stop the bickering.  

It sounds like the only additional roadblock is confidence in Kernell. Might be time to look at replacing him if he is the only thing preventing a $1 Billion project from going forward.

Edited by NewlyUpstate

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Quote

 

Before considering Kernell's $33.1 million offer for the former Fluor buildings earlier this month, councilmen Rick Roberts and Willis Meadows had demanded first to see an appraisal, but Kernell said at the time it was unnecessary and would take too long. With other potential clients in mind, the buildings' owners wanted an answer from the county by April 12, Kernell said.

After the council rejected the deal, the owners extended their deadline, Councilman Bob Taylor said, and Kernell ordered the appraisal.

"We are still in the game," Taylor said.

 

^^ The good news. 

Quote

Fant said he does not care what the buildings will appraise for now. He said he has completely lost confidence in the process, as well as in Kirven and Kernell.

"I think at this point it doesn't matter," Fant said of the appraisal. "If I tell you I want strawberry shortcake, and you bring me strawberry pie. And the second time, you bring me strawberry shortcake, I don't want any of it. That's where many of us are now."

Beyond the technical aspects of the process, he said, until the council reestablishes trust in its chairman and administrator "it will be extremely difficult for us to proceed with any confidence."

^^ The bad news. I don't follow County Council that closely but  if several of the others feel this way, they need to find a new Administrator. More likely though, Fant and the other members are the real problem.  

 

Quote

The South Carolina Legislature has not made matters easier for the county, Kirven said, by failing to reimburse the county for its costs to house the agencies. The state has a formula set by law that determines how much each county ought to receive. 

Its funding to Greenville County, county records show, fell short by $9.6 million in 2019. Since 2009, the state's annual shortfalls have totaled $58.8 million.

^^ Excellent example of how the Legislature rooks local government and forces property tax increases that the local Councils could not control.  Legislators are never held accountable for this stuff either.    

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Can anyone speak to the value of the Halton Road buildings?  If the owners got a great deal, and the price they want is the true market price,  the county should go ahead and buy it.  Getting 235k SF of office space off the market wouldn't be a bad thing.  If the owners bought it at market value and are trying to gauge the taxpayers, then that is a different story.  In that case I would rent space for Family Court and go back to the drawing board.  

The city is doing a reelvaluation of their facilities. Maybe some joint project could be worked out to share a building or campus.    

Hopefully the many years of effort doesn't go down the drain.   

 

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3 hours ago, GVLover said:

One has to wonder what The Greenville News considers the office building going up in Camperdown; a super tall? Lol apparently, their offices at Camperdown are a tower too. 

Ludicrous Tall. You'd need oxygen to go to the top of that thing.:lol:

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Not News, Just Thoughts.

I was thinking.. with the most recent Downtown Masterplan (draft) and it’s calls for an innovation district + an “education presence”, if the County Square redevelopment were to fall through, it would make for a wonderful opportunity for a new university or perhaps a downtown campus to Furman. It would be the opportunity of a lifetime for PRISMA, which already wants an innovation district and Furman/New University to team together on such a project. 

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^^ Actually there is no reason you couldn't do those things with the current plans for County Square. There is office space in those plans that could just as easily be used for classrooms, etc.  The WestEdge project in Charleston , which is directly partnered with MUSC would be an obvious example to follow. 

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Not good but at the same time I don’t see it passing: https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2019/05/07/greenville-county-council-weigh-plan-kill-county-squares-1-billion-dollar-redevelopment/1133939001/ Unfortunately, I don’t see the project ever getting built either due to the council being divided. You can pretty much kiss it goodbye. Oh and: 

“Council members also learned Tuesday night that an appraisal that County Administrator Joe Kernell ordered two weeks ago on the Halton Road buildings has been completed.

The appraisal, conducted by Integra Realty Resources out of Columbia, came in at $33.56 million.”
Edited by gman430

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This will be a black eye for Greenville if this falls through. Unless the county has an escape clause, I would expect RocoPoint will want damages too. To have spent three years or better to get to this point and abort immediately  is a  clear sign of bad management. 

A project this big should have had contingency funds included to begin with. An overage on this part could be offset in the future by an underage later too.  It seems the county expected to get ofice space for much less than $100 a SF, which wasn't realistic. Given that, the county should have bought the Halton buildings themselves.   

Fant seems to be the one leading this, but the others supporting him are just not comfortable dealing with a big price tag.  

Hopefully, the business community will come together to pressure council to right this ship, a lot is at stake.  

I have lived here since '96 and County Council has never gotten one big project done right.  If the county  does any of the management of the Conference Center, it will be a disaster too. The city needs to drive that one 100% and the county just provide it's share of the money.   BTW, if this falls through that will put the kabosh on the new West End parking garage, which  is getting to be needed  much more these days.   Not to mention  the office vacancy rate would have dropped pretty significantly overnight which would have made the remaing space more valuable and increased the likelyhood of new construction elsewhere.  

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Everybody on county council including the administrator are to blame. I am still absolutely baffled as to why they waited so long and until the last second to try and get office space for the state. Why didn’t they get an appraisal done months ago? I feel like the county needs to hire a new administrator who actually know what they’re doing honestly. 

Edited by gman430

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56 minutes ago, PuppiesandKittens said:

For all of the people who worship government and dislike the private sector:

 

How’s this for an example of government accomplishment?

This is a weird takeaway dude. You can yell at people about Ayn Rand elsewhere 

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2 hours ago, PuppiesandKittens said:

For all of the people who worship government and dislike the private sector:

 

How’s this for an example of government accomplishment?

Nobody dislikes the private sector. Nobody would even be interested in doing this project if the public sector (the city) hadn't done such a good job for the last 40 years.  Elect competent people and this wouldn't happen as often. There are plenty of times when the private sector rooks up .Take Enron, Sears, Wachovia AOL, etc for example.     

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I would like to see the appraisal, but if it holds up to scrutiny then they should buy the Halton Rd. property and move forward.  The cost overage isn't even one year of the projected tax revenue they will get when it is completed. 

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2 hours ago, Spero said:

This is a weird takeaway dude. You can yell at people about Ayn Rand elsewhere 

I don't like Ayn Rand.  She's irrelevant in this discussion anyway.

The County Square site should have just been sold to the private sector, with minimum requirements ("by 2020 you will provide 150,000 sf of office space for X, Y and Z") and this could have been redeveloped a long time ago.

Bernie Sanders, Bill deBlasio and their ilk just need to take note of the mess here, created by government.

The new Charlotte train station is another example: that project should have just been turned over to Brightline or another private entity to handle in its entirety, and it would have been done by now.  More than 10 years later, it's still just a plan.  Same story of incompetent government doing something that the private sector could have handled better.

Edited by PuppiesandKittens

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3 hours ago, PuppiesandKittens said:

For all of the people who worship government and dislike the private sector:

 

How’s this for an example of government accomplishment?

It's not, because this is a rarity in Greenville. Private and public needs to work together and usually does. We've had much success with it in Greenville.

Edited by motonenterprises

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12 minutes ago, PuppiesandKittens said:

I don't like Ayn Rand.  She's irrelevant in this discussion anyway.

The County Square site should have just been sold to the private sector, with minimum requirements ("by 2020 you will provide 150,000 sf of office space for X, Y and Z") and this could have been redeveloped a long time ago.

Bernie Sanders, Bill deBlasio and their ilk just need to take note of the mess here, created by government.

The new Charlotte train station is another example: that project should have just been turned over to Brightline or another private entity to handle in its entirety, and it would have been done by now.  More than 10 years later, it's still just a plan.  Same story of incompetent government doing something that the private sector could have handled better.

Bernie Sanders and deBlasio  are as irrelevant as Rand.   

If the private sector could do those projects at a profit, it would have already done them.   It hasn't.  

The train station is not funded, which is why it hasn't happened. The private profit is only there once the public investment has been made.   

The County Square deal was structured the way it was to maximize return to the county. A strict sale would not have done that.  The cost to replace the buildings would cover all of the land sale proceeds. The deal was structured to allow the County to share in the land appreciation as the project proceeded.  We will never know if it worked or not if the project doesn't proceed.  

I could be hidden agendas at play here, but if not they are simply leting personality conflicts and cold feet rule the day.   

    

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In my humble opinion, canceling this project would be an epic mistake. This is a landmark project with a world renowned architect and from my (limited) perspective it appears to be very prudently structured financially.

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Well...if we’re talking politics. It’s all Obama's or Trump’s fault. :P 

Edited by gman430
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28 minutes ago, vicupstate said:

If the private sector could do those projects at a profit, it would have already done them.   It hasn't.  

   

Huh?

A $1 billion real estate investment won't be profitable?  All of the projections about net income from the new construction are false? 

This hasn't been done because government owns the site and wants to run the process.  Not because the private sector can't or won't do it.

The Charlotte train station has received more than enough dedicated funds to start work, but it's been over 10 years and it's still talk.  Conversely, Brightline in Florida has built numerous stunning new train stations and complexes around the Miami area in a fraction of the time.

The score so far:

Government: 0

Private Sector: 1

14 minutes ago, gman430 said:

Well...if we’re talking politics. It’s all Obama's or Trump’s fault. :P 

The latter at least is certainly an example of my rule of thumb: people in the public sector are often people who can't succeed in the private sector.  See what he's done with Daddy's money (the NY Times reports that he's lost $1 billion in the 1980s and 1990s, and if he had just invested Daddy's money in index funds, he would have made a lot more).

Edited by PuppiesandKittens

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3 hours ago, vicupstate said:

Nobody dislikes the private sector. Nobody would even be interested in doing this project if the public sector (the city) hadn't done such a good job for the last 40 years.  Elect competent people and this wouldn't happen as often. There are plenty of times when the private sector rooks up .Take Enron, Sears, Wachovia AOL, etc for example.     

But none of those entities can reach into your pocket to solve their problems.

That is, unless a governmental entity gives them leave to do so.

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