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When Will Greenville Be Ready For Height?

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The Camperdown office building will be built on top of a parking garage so in reality it will not be much shorter if at all than the buildings of the same height further up Main Street. 

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5 hours ago, distortedlogic said:

Our developers and architects just seem unwilling to build them even though we have always heard it is cheaper to build up than out. One, Flournoy, and several other of the big residential developments could have easily had a highrise, but low to mid rises were chosen instead. And I think it is ironic that Rick Thoenes had proposed a new tallest right before the crash a few years ago, and now it could have actually been built there but he sold it to a developer looking at a 4-5 story development. Cola has a proposal for a couple hundred apartments going over the lady st garage and they are talking about adding 22 stories. We have had several developments with that many and we get 4-7 story developments with large footprints. I guess developers and architects could better answer this question about height.

I am neither a developer nor an architect but I believe a lot of it has to do with timber frame vs. steel construction costs. 

More office space is definitely needed downtown but it seems developers and/or banks are still gunshy about going gangbusters with spec space.

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Though College would seem to the be the best place for height due to Liberty and Landmark being there, its really the last place I would want my office tower now. Theres not enough public space, retail, or housing in that part of downtown. 

Think about it. All the newer office space in the CBD is where there is healthy amounts of public space, retail and housing.  There is a reason for that. 

Before any new office space should be placed above College, the road (and Academy) need to go through its road diet first to better connect to the southern portion of downtown. Academy needs to have its planted medians put in and the sidewalks replaced in order to connect McPherson Park better the CBD, which will benefit housing and retail.

Then there is the need to remove the Towers East Apartments. That building is an eyesore (including the surroundings), its not safe to its residents (the fire department would love to have it closed due to the calls they have to respond too), and putting mentally ill and elderly people in such dense quarters just isn't smart. An alternative elsewhere is needed as its replacement that would be safe for all. 

PS: The city also needs to move on replacing the municipal court building after the new park is completed. 

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Just a thought, but perhaps the Landmark Building could be renovated, given a full exterior update, and have something nice added to the top?

* Its website states that it's a Class B building with about 13% of its space vacant.  Surely the owner realizes that a building in that location could be totally renovated, become a Class A building and generate significantly higher rents.

* The Landmark Building is, to put it nicely, "aesthetically challenged".  Plenty of older office buildings have their exterior paneling removed and replaced with something more modern.  The Landmark Building has a problem of small windows, which I don't find attractive, but at least the exterior could be re-clad with something more attractive.

* As part of the renovations, perhaps a more attractive roof could be added?

Just a thought!

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37 minutes ago, PuppiesandKittens said:

Just a thought, but perhaps the Landmark Building could be renovated, given a full exterior update, and have something nice added to the top?

* Its website states that it's a Class B building with about 13% of its space vacant.  Surely the owner realizes that a building in that location could be totally renovated, become a Class A building and generate significantly higher rents.

* The Landmark Building is, to put it nicely, "aesthetically challenged".  Plenty of older office buildings have their exterior paneling removed and replaced with something more modern.  The Landmark Building has a problem of small windows, which I don't find attractive, but at least the exterior could be re-clad with something more attractive.

* As part of the renovations, perhaps a more attractive roof could be added?

Just a thought!

I agree and it would really help the skyline. 

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Perhaps all of you who have the answers can pool your money, purchase your own site, build at your expense, and then lease it up.  You make it sound so easy.

 

 First question, what is so dang important about a "skyline?" 

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On 10/16/2017 at 12:51 PM, Daulaw said:

Perhaps all of you who have the answers can pool your money, purchase your own site, build at your expense, and then lease it up.  You make it sound so easy.

 

 First question, what is so dang important about a "skyline?" 

It's really subjective. Some of just enjoy and benefit from the town growing. Just something most of us wouldn't mind seeing. In due time of course. We have some really nice mid-rise density going up. Welcome to the board.

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Yeah I get that some people like height but it gets overplayed. I'd be more concerned about density and walkability, which is only indirectly related. Height is nice but it only comes after density makes it economic. 

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The thing is you only need 8-10 stories to have a skyline to begin with.  With only a few  exception that is what our skyline is already made of.  Three 10 story buildings do a lot more for the skyline than one 30 story building would do. 

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I agree with the argument for density over height. Would much rather have three buildings filling in the empty spots than one big one that towers over everything else around it. We do have a good deal of infill going on right now and it's nice to see things being built off of Main St. Greenville is becoming a city of square blocks as opposed to 15 blocks of Main St. 

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36 minutes ago, ausrutherford said:

Question: Will the Camperdown Office/Condo building be Greenville's tallest building?

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Landmark might have more floors, but its floors are not very tall I don't think. 

Landmark is 305ft....this does not appear it will be taller. 

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By my calculations this building will be 256ft tall at it's highest point. Landmark is about 50 feet taller coming in at 305ft.

Still, 250+ft!

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7 minutes ago, Jet-set said:

By my calculations this building will be 256ft tall at it's highest point. Landmark is about 50 feet taller coming in at 305ft.

Still, 250+ft!

If you don’t mind me asking, how did you get 256 feet? Just curious more than anything else. :) And if that’s the case, another tower crane will definitely be needed. 

Edited by gman430

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Scale legend at bottom of page shows about .75" equals 32ft. The total building height is about 6" on my screen. Simple math after that. 6"/.75"=8. 8x32=256. It's not entirely accurate per se, but it's fairly close. Someone with more time could put it in PhotoShop or Sketchup and get a much more accurate estimation.

Edited by Jet-set

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On 10/16/2017 at 12:51 PM, Daulaw said:

Perhaps all of you who have the answers can pool your money, purchase your own site, build at your expense, and then lease it up.  You make it sound so easy.

 

 First question, what is so dang important about a "skyline?" 

A little dramatic perhaps? 

What's important about a skyline?  Not much really.  There's a bit of a cool factor, but that doesn't really matter in the end. Still, fair or unfair, skylines have become a visual scale on which people often judge a cities size, importance, and opportunity. I think people just want to see Greenville s better represent it's true nature.

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On 10/17/2017 at 10:54 PM, Spero said:

 Height is nice but it only comes after density makes it economic. 

That's often true but then you have situations like in Mobile where they have much taller buildings without the density. I don't think people expect Greenville to build a 70 story building or 3-4, 35 story ones, but it makes sense if we can get 15 , 8 story ones over the past ten years we could have also gotten one 24 story one and twelve 8 story ones, or even a 32, a 24, and eight 8s.  A little variety and layer never hurt.

 

Edited by distortedlogic

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2 hours ago, Jet-set said:

By my calculations this building will be 256ft tall at it's highest point. Landmark is about 50 feet taller coming in at 305ft.

Still, 250+ft!

Should be some good height, but remember this is a pretty low spot in DT. I also would have liked to see something not flat on top, maybe a pointed top penthouse or office or something.

 

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On 10/16/2017 at 12:51 PM, Daulaw said:

First question, what is so dang important about a "skyline?" 

A skyline (or the exterior of an individual building) is like a book cover.  Nearly everyone sees the cover, whether or not they ever look at its interior pages.  It may be decorative or plain, but it is the most common visual representation of the whole book.

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14 hours ago, Skyliner said:

A skyline (or the exterior of an individual building) is like a book cover.  Nearly everyone sees the cover, whether or not they ever look at its interior pages.  It may be decorative or plain, but it is the most common visual representation of the whole book.

Greenville's skyline is always going to be an issue because of the topography. There are a lot of angles from which you can barely see it, even if you're at a higher elevation. And I don't know of any single panoramic ground-level view-from-a-distance.** This is in contrast to similar-sized cities like Roanoke and Chattanooga, whose downtowns are in wide, flat valleys and can be seen from some distance, even though they're technically in the mountains (Birmingham, too; Knoxville's probably more like Greenville in that sense). Greenville will never have a prominent skyline until there's enough critical mass for a few more Landmark-height buildings.  And even then, a lot of the skyline will still be hidden. Even if the office building at Camperdown tops out at 250', it will probably be invisible from a lot of angles because of its location (which, according to Google Earth, is about 63' lower than the base of the Landmark).

Until then, Greenville will have to be content to be like, e.g, Memphis, whose skyline looks low and unimpressive from across the river, but once you're in it, you're impressed (or should be, unless , maybe, you're from New York or Chicago) by all the vintage architecture and the density of 10 to 15 story buildings.

**The view from Eastlan Baptist Church across from Greenville Tech used to be the closest thing to a panorama that I knew of, until Tech's newer plantings of trees obscured it.

Edited by Exile
Added a sentence to the end of the first paragraph--additional observation.
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1 hour ago, Exile said:

Greenville's skyline is always going to be an issue because of the topography. There are a lot of angles from which you can barely see it, even if you're at a higher elevation. And I don't know of any single panoramic ground-level view-from-a-distance.** This is in contrast to similar-sized cities like Roanoke and Chattanooga, whose downtowns are in wide, flat valleys and can be seen from some distance, even though they're technically in the mountains (Birmingham, too; Knoxville's probably more like Greenville in that sense). Greenville will never have a prominent skyline until there's enough critical mass for a few more Landmark-height buildings.  And even then, a lot of the skyline will still be hidden. Even if the office building at Camperdown tops out at 250', it will probably be invisible from a lot of angles because of its location (which, according to Google Earth, is about 63' lower than the base of the Landmark).

Until then, Greenville will have to be content to be like, e.g, Memphis, whose skyline looks low and unimpressive from across the river, but once you're in it, you're impressed (or should be, unless , maybe, you're from New York or Chicago) by all the vintage architecture and the density of 10 to 15 story buildings.

**The view from Eastlan Baptist Church across from Greenville Tech used to be the closest thing to a panorama that I knew of, until Tech's newer plantings of trees obscured it.

I like the view coming north on Church St, at University Ridge. That is a nice view of our downtown. 

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1 hour ago, gman said:

I like the view coming north on Church St, at University Ridge. That is a nice view of our downtown. 

That and coming down Wade Hampton Blvd towards downtown.

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On 10/20/2017 at 3:25 PM, gman430 said:

That and coming down Wade Hampton Blvd towards downtown.

 

On 10/20/2017 at 1:43 PM, gman said:

I like the view coming north on Church St, at University Ridge. That is a nice view of our downtown. 

I agree. Both of those are great views. But as for U. Ridge, when you're there, you're already practically downtown--it's not really from a distance, and you can't really see what's on the other side of the Landmark building. I think the Wade Hampton view may be the best, but you can't tell whether the stuff to the left is the tops of towers or just low- or midrise buildings ("you" meaning a first-time visitor). But I suppose that if you're in those locations, you're probably headed downtown and will discover how great it is, anyway.

This is not a complaint, by the way. I love Greenville's topography; wouldn't change a thing. But the flip-side of the topography is a partially obscured skyline. There have been a number of comments over the years in this forum about how a skyline creates positive perceptions about the city, which I don't dispute. If you can't fully see it until you're practically in it, it's not a negative; just no way to capture a potential positive. That is, until Greenville starts building 30-50 story buildings.

But I'm not sure it really matters, because it's clear that the news is out about downtown Greenville. And I, for one, don't want Greenville ever to go the way of Charlotte, much less Atlanta. I much prefer the more European approach that seems to be evolving there: a dense collection of midrises with a high rise here and there.

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