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Greenville County Square redevelopment


gman430

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17 hours ago, GVLover said:

Anyone at the meeting?

Mostly a big sales pitch from the developer about their previous projects and experience, and an overview of the entire county square project.  Also stressed out how we should all be completely honored and impressed that the world class architect Foster & Partners is gracing little old Greenville with their wonderful design. Not too much time spent on changes to the existing Haynie Sirrine PD, other than they are proposing changing the height limit from 6 stories to 20.  Taller buildings would be limited to the central zone, and step down to a 4 story limit at the west and south edges. There were a lot of comments raised about a lack of public input and affordable housing, which were generally blown off in typical political fashion by county leaders. 

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5 minutes ago, sc smitty said:

Mostly a big sales pitch from the developer about their previous projects and experience, and an overview of the entire county square project.  Also stressed out how we should all be completely honored and impressed that the world class architect Foster & Partners is gracing little old Greenville with their wonderful design. Not too much time spent on changes to the existing Haynie Sirrine PD, other than they are proposing changing the height limit from 6 stories to 20.  Taller buildings would be limited to the central zone, and step down to a 4 story limit at the west and south edges. There were a lot of comments raised about a lack of public input and affordable housing, which were generally blown off in typical political fashion by county leaders. 

Thanks for the info. So the developer wants 20 story high rises in the central zone then? Hope so. :) Anything about county council and the plan to kill the project? 

Edited by gman430
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2 minutes ago, cabelagent said:

Dont they meet & vote next week to determine its fate?

Yep. May 21st. If it passes then this meeting was pointless. Expect an updated Greenville News story later this week on this subject. 

Edited by gman430
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41 minutes ago, gman430 said:

Thanks for the info. So the developer wants 20 story high rises in the central zone then? Hope so. :) Anything about county council and the plan to kill the project? 

So are these restrictions just for a number of stories,  but not height in feet? We all know that not all stories are created equal. 

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Glad they are effectively removing the height restrictions at these for part of the site.  Long overdue, IMO. Was there any objections to this?

The posters on hear that are always complaining about lack of height and poor architecure should be contacting their councilman to support moving forward.  

 

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1 hour ago, gman430 said:

Yep. May 21st. If it passes then this meeting was pointless. Expect an updated Greenville News story later this week on this subject. 

If it passes and county council gives up on the project without attempting to keep their emotions in check and figure out a solution, they should just go ahead and hand in their security access badges as well. 

That would be totally embarrassing for the region and a black eye for any future private development.

Edited by NewlyUpstate
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1 hour ago, NewlyUpstate said:

If it passes and county council gives up on the project without attempting to keep their emotions in check and figure out a solution, they should just go ahead and hand in their security access badges as well. 

That would be totally embarrassing for the region and a black eye for any future private development.

I agree. They had three years to get the details right, and at the first hiccup they bale, that is a terrible look for the region.  

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Video of news conference on alternate County Square plan that was proposed today: https://www.foxcarolina.com/council-members-opposed-to-greenville-county-square-redevelopment-plan-will/video_1e141ae9-ef04-52c1-9a9b-381aa76f7414.html

News story: https://www.foxcarolina.com/news/six-greenville-co-council-members-outline-list-of-reasons-behind/article_bb092d36-78b0-11e9-9681-97cdf82bcfde.html

Dill said since since the council previously voted unanimously to approve the project, plans have been in motion and contracts already laid out. He said one of those contracts requires the county offices to remain within Greenville city limits.

Edited by gman430
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WSPA: https://www.wspa.com/news/future-of-greenville-county-square-discussed-by-council/2008775930 It’s actually not a half bad idea as it does free the entire site for commercial development and lowers the office vacancy rate. Would it work and is it even allowed with the current contract signed are the questions though. 

Edited by gman430
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The opposition group seems to be trying to kill the project without appearing to oppose it. They don't want to be blamed for killing it, yet that is what they want to happen by throwing this monkey wrench into the discussion.  Obviously having office workers in the project from the start is appealing to the developer or else they would have requested that the offices go elsewhere from the beginning.  If the deal dies, then no one can do anything with County Square for 10 years. They obviously know that and are trying to change the original deal such that RocaPoint will bail. Once that happens they simply stay where they are for 10 more years or longer.  

These are the same folks that balked at paying $33mm for the state offices yet are completely confident they can replace both the state and county offices for less than $65mm.  Remmeber that two other options for the state offices alone were significantly more than the $33mm figure.  That doesn't make any sense.

They are purposely confusing the issue to deflect the blame they would take otherwise, if it were a traight up yes/no vote. 

Where is this $160mm figure they are throwing out with no backup or explanation?  What is this other building they are refering too in the article?

    

     

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56 minutes ago, vicupstate said:

Obviously having office workers in the project from the start is appealing to the developer or else they would have requested that the offices go elsewhere from the beginning. 

Why would having county offices on the property be appealing to the developers? I would think they would want to maximize the land available to develop.  I always thought having some government offices remain on site was a requirement by the county for selling the land, but it's hard to know without being a part of those discussions.

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3 minutes ago, NewlyUpstate said:

Why would having county offices on the property be appealing to the developers? I would think they would want to maximize the land available to develop.  I always thought having some government offices remain on site was a requirement by the county for selling the land, but it's hard to know without being a part of those discussions.

It’s appealing due to the amount of foot traffic that is created from people doing business at the county offices. Let’s say just 10% of these same people decide to grab lunch before or after doing their business there. That’s 10% extra business and revenue for any restaurant that locates on site.

Edited by gman430
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1 hour ago, NewlyUpstate said:

Why would having county offices on the property be appealing to the developers? I would think they would want to maximize the land available to develop.  I always thought having some government offices remain on site was a requirement by the county for selling the land, but it's hard to know without being a part of those discussions.

Agreed.  I was reading an article about mixed-use properties, and if I recall correctly, if you already have a mall or other retail/restaurant commercial development, adding offices and other things like hotels helps, and a successful commercial development will become even more successful.  But if you're focusing on having office space, simply throwing some restaurants and stores into that won't result in enough traffic to make much of a difference.  E.g., add some office buildings around SouthPark Mall, and the mall will get some more traffic and do even better.  But add stores to somewhere like downtown Atlanta (which is primarily office) and it won't really work and the stores won't make it.

I still don't see why government offices wouldn't be moved to somewhere perhaps near the train station: an underused area that could really benefit from some development, and it'd be within walking distance of downtown, and near transit.

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This isn’t your average office building though due to the large amount of visitors coming and going from it during the day throughout the week. Both County Square proposals have their positives and negatives.

Edited by gman430
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16 minutes ago, PuppiesandKittens said:

The county offices have been on University Ridge for 35+ years and how many stores and restaurants have opened because of them?  There is a cafe in the back of the building where the Karmelkorn store was, but that's about it.

Kind of hard for them to open without any space built for them by developers which is where RocaPoint comes in. Oh and Chamber of Commerce fully supports original plan: https://www.greenvilleonline.com/get-access/?return=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.greenvilleonline.com%2Fstory%2Fnews%2F2019%2F05%2F17%2Fcouncil-members-propose-moving-county-government-out-downtown%2F3681377002%2F

Jason Zacher, senior vice president for business advocacy at the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, attended the press conference and said afterward that he could not comment on the details of the proposal without seeing hard numbers. However, he said, losing the downtown county building — which developer RocaPoint has pitched as an anchor for the entire $1 billion development — is an 11th-hour stumbling block to an exciting project already a year in the making.

The chamber's board met Thursday night, he said, and voted unanimously in support of the County Square project as originally envisioned. The project is expected to create 3 million square feet of cutting-edge office space, enough to recruit a corporate headquarters, as well as space for an organic grocery store, a possible movie theater, hotels, street-front restaurants and shops, and hundreds of apartments, according to a community presentation RocaPoint made earlier this week. 

Edited by gman430
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It is not just the traffic  government offices bring in, it is also the base of employees that work there. The buy breakfast, lunch, birthday cards,  office party items, etc.  Now that said, that ALONE is not sufficient to  support much, but it is a significant  augment to the residential base the project wil itself supply. 

Plus there is the 'showroom' aspect of having a building there. A developer is always going to be eager to get the first building out of the ground on a project this size.  Until a building is there, it is more of a concept than something real, something that has some real substance behind it. 

I honestly think this last minute ploy is disingenous.  They could have thrown this idea out long ago.  Either the idea did surface but did not gain traction , or they know it is an excuse to derail the project, which I assume is their end game.  

None of the six developers submitting proposals sought to eliminate the County offices. I think that says volumes. 

 

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5 hours ago, gman430 said:

Kind of hard for them to open without any space built for them by developers which is where RocaPoint comes in. Oh and Chamber of Commerce fully supports original plan: https://www.greenvilleonline.com/get-access/?return=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.greenvilleonline.com%2Fstory%2Fnews%2F2019%2F05%2F17%2Fcouncil-members-propose-moving-county-government-out-downtown%2F3681377002%2F

Jason Zacher, senior vice president for business advocacy at the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, attended the press conference and said afterward that he could not comment on the details of the proposal without seeing hard numbers. However, he said, losing the downtown county building — which developer RocaPoint has pitched as an anchor for the entire $1 billion development — is an 11th-hour stumbling block to an exciting project already a year in the making.

The chamber's board met Thursday night, he said, and voted unanimously in support of the County Square project as originally envisioned. The project is expected to create 3 million square feet of cutting-edge office space, enough to recruit a corporate headquarters, as well as space for an organic grocery store, a possible movie theater, hotels, street-front restaurants and shops, and hundreds of apartments, according to a community presentation RocaPoint made earlier this week. 

I’d love for the city to buy the land the county planned for the County offices, in order to preserve the Foster + Partners building as City Hall + the police headquarters. If the county feels so strongly about moving from downtown, then this presents an excellent opportunity to sell the current city hall building, move city hall and put the upwards of $33m for a new police HQ towards this project (police HQ locates there as they’ve already stated their desire for a downtown location but have concerns about downtown land cost). Again, Greenville County Council will approve this project in some form, but the City will definitely need to step up in another way. 

Edited by GVLover
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^^ I wish I shared your optimism that this will not be killed outright.  This would be a great opportunity for  the city and county and state to  look at office space holistically. That said I don't think the city is ready to spend that kind of money when there are several other things they are doing such as Unity Park and the potential Conference center/museum.  

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