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gman430

Greenville County Square redevelopment

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1 hour ago, gvegascple said:

Sooooo back to the topic of county square redevelopment...

The mentions of walkability around malls or lack thereof does bring up a good point with county square.  The planning needs to have tree lined thoroughfares having sidewalks, benches, etc.  I think this redesign is something haywood and other malls could benefit from.  Most developments now benefit from being mixed use and in the case of malls, that would include bringing the experience outside and connecting it with walkways.  County Square appears to have this covered.

May we all be able to forget that Bell Tower mall ever existed!

This should be viewed less as a mall redevelopment effort, and more of a revitalization of a neighborhood. The former just makes me think of a glorified Greenridge, where you know exactly when you enter and exit. I fear that you'll feel this a bit at University Ridge & Church Street, but I'm hopeful that this will just feel like a natural extension of downtown (and should when coming from the West End). The road network itself should go a long way toward that. 

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11 minutes ago, GvilleSC said:

May we all be able to forget that Bell Tower mall ever existed!

This should be viewed less as a mall redevelopment effort, and more of a revitalization of a neighborhood. The former just makes me think of a glorified Greenridge, where you know exactly when you enter and exit. I fear that you'll feel this a bit at University Ridge & Church Street, but I'm hopeful that this will just feel like a natural extension of downtown (and should when coming from the West End). The road network itself should go a long way toward that. 

Agreed, I was desperate for a segue out of the comment mess and grabbed onto the mall mention to get back to the thread topic.  Interestingly, after googling Bell Tower Mall, the history behind the original development ideas for this location were very forward thinking.  Imagine that we could have had an early iteration of county square as early as 1961 according to an article I found.  

"A 1961 feasibility study suggested an upscale development, with high-end anchor tenants, heavily-landscaped parking, and condominiums" 

unfortunately, an early version of a walmart parking lot is what won out in the form of the Bell Tower Mall.

Edited by gvegascple
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19 minutes ago, apaladin said:

So what is next for County Square? A couple of years of planning before any dirt is turned? Is 2 years too optimistic? Let the countdown begin. 

Construction starts May 4th, 2020 according to the construction bid package: 

49B4F250-4C66-4424-99E6-86E9A3BB8EE8.jpeg

Edited by gman430
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7 hours ago, gvegascple said:

 

"A 1961 feasibility study suggested an upscale development, with high-end anchor tenants, heavily-landscaped parking, and condominiums" 

unfortunately, an early version of a walmart parking lot is what won out in the form of the Bell Tower Mall.

Very interesting. It sounds like it would have been a very nice project for its time but I wonder what would have happened after. Not long after this (70s) was when all the major players fled to the suburbs and other stores and DT essentially died. I wonder how that would have affected such a development, or how such a development would have affected downtown's decline. Until the past 20 years, the 20s through the early 60s time period was the prime for DT before declining quickly for a couple decades. 

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10 hours ago, apaladin said:

So what is next for County Square? A couple of years of planning before any dirt is turned? Is 2 years too optimistic? Let the countdown begin. 

Well, to be clear -- the County's new building and parking garage begins this year. But, you're right: we're probably 2 years out from the rest of the site seeing any vertical construction (UNLESS they can develop some of the perimeter lots without the intensive infrastructure work or relocation involved with the rest of the site). 

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3 minutes ago, distortedlogic said:

Annnnnd, now... back to county square? 

The opportunity to redevelop a parcel of land this large (and connected) with the core of a city is incredibly rare. Generally, I think Greenville has made good decisions in this process, and is not going to squander this opportunity. That's something to be excited about! Despite some of the County's stumbles and hard-headedness, I will give them credit for envisioning this possibility and for having the will to pursue it. 

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1 minute ago, motonenterprises said:

For sure. How does everyone feel about the 12 floors versus the 20?

I was a fan of 20, building more density etc, but glad the 12 got approved. Is it in the cards for a zoning exemption in the future if the site warrants a taller building by the time everything gets rolling? Or was that prevented in the negotiations?

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33 minutes ago, motonenterprises said:

For sure. How does everyone feel about the 12 floors versus the 20?

I thought the 20 was good and would have allowed for more density and that the neighborhood would not have been more threatened by it. And, in fact, may be more affected by sprawl sooner because of it. The 12 is a missed opportunity in my view, maybe a compromise of 16 could have worked?

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I have accepted the 12 story limit and moved on. I'm just glad this project is finally at the stage of breaking ground. Before you know it, a few will asking when the crane will arrive on site! 

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1 hour ago, Spartan said:

Ok everyone, I removed the off topic posts and suspended the offender's account for one month.  Thanks to those who tried to be civil and tried to bring the topic back on track. I also want to apologize for letting it go on this long. I only let it go on this long because his toxicity issues are only in the Greenville forum. If it weren't for that I would ban him entirely. If he posts in this forum or any topic pertaining to Greenville again I will ban his account entirely.

 

I prefer not to reprimand people on the message boards, but I feel like its necessary in this case.  I'm assuming that CLT_sc will read this at some point too, so I'm going to point out that this is not a knee jerk reaction - this is a response to a repeated pattern of behavior demonstrated by this person. I think we have all been more than patient and it's time to end the madness. I am not inclined to believe that a group of people - including many who have been members here for over a decade - have all of a sudden turned rogue and become jerks. As I told CLT_sc via direct message, when you blame everyone else for your problems, then the problem is often you. He made his decision to keep antagonizing, so  I made mine. Let's all move on. 

 

If anyone wants to talk about it, please feel free to send me a DM.

Thanks Spartan....apology accepted. :D

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On 2/13/2020 at 12:19 PM, distortedlogic said:

I thought the 20 was good and would have allowed for more density and that the neighborhood would not have been more threatened by it. And, in fact, may be more affected by sprawl sooner because of it. The 12 is a missed opportunity in my view, maybe a compromise of 16 could have worked?

12 was already a compromise considering the current PD only allowed for 6 stories. 

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12 stories should still look really good especially if it’s office space due to the site being on the top of that hill. 

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Questions:

 

  1. Is there a site plan for this project? I looked around (admittedly not very hard) and did not find one.
  2. I'm intrigued by the last few posts about the 12 vs 20 story height limit, but I unfortunately don't have time to go back and read up on this topic. Can someone please give a quick summary of the discussion? Is the County or City putting a lot of stipulations on the site design, or is this just a market/demand issue?

 

On 2/12/2020 at 12:20 AM, apaladin said:

That will never happen but I get what you ate saying. There are a few really nice lots being used fir surface parking now, namely the one at Main and Broad across from Camperdown. Atlanta has many surface parking lots as does Charlotte.

 

On 2/12/2020 at 8:27 AM, GvilleSC said:

Yes-- It will be nice to get those prime real estate surface lots developed into more productive uses. Others will follow over time. I would not go as far as to justify the existence of surface parking simply because Charlotte and Atlanta have it. There are things Greenville does do, can do, and should do better than other cities in the urban development/redevelopment realm. 


My thoughts on the parking situation:

The reason cities of all sizes have so many surface parking lots in downtown is because they tore down much of the historic building stock in the 1960s-1980s. The thought was that it would help "compete" with suburban malls and that sort of thing. Right or wrong, it was devastating to the urban environment in most cities. Greenville was smart about saving most buildings along Main Street - not every city did.

 

So, what's happening in Charlotte, Atlanta, and a ton of other cities that is worthy of emulating is the removal of surface parking in downtown areas. This is done by way of infill projects, of which Greenville has many. The key thing here is that the parking lots get converted in to buildings that wrap or enclose parking structures. The parking still exists, but the building activates the street and encourages people to walk and overall makes the area more pleasant to be in.

 

The dream is that you would someday have a pocket of urban living in Greenville where car ownership isn't required, and parking requirements can be reduced or potentially eliminated for new buildings. I think Greenville is still a long way from this (hell, so are Charlotte and Atlanta), but Greenville has deep enough market to support structure parking, which means more of mid-rise buildings to replace parking lots are sure to be in Greenville's future.

 

 

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