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821 S. Main St. Hotel & Mixed Use

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This was informally reviewed at DRB today.  I saw the presentation and was impressed. I would give it an A or A+. Obviously it is subject to change.

Essentially it is a  Hotel with a ground floor restaurant and an amenity level/Event space on the top floor.   The 2nd floor is a two-level garage. The first floor and parking levels form a 'podium' upon which the hotel rooms sit. The upper floors are pulled back from the edge of the podium.  There are 3 or 4 floors of rooms. The amenity/event space level sits atop the hotel rooms. The rooms are mostly 1 bedroom, but there are a few rooms with 2 or 3 bedrooms. Suites can be rented for a night or for extended stays of several weeks. It is not a branded hotel.  All the rooms have a cantilevered balcony and all of them are pretty spacious, some are even more so.  The parking totals 79 spaces. 

There will be multiple murals on the sides of the building. The video walkthru had the name of the hotel as Chimney Hotel and there was a Chimney feature on the backside of the building.

The walkthru showed the restaurant name as (I thought) Mimi's restaurant but it may be a placeholder and I could not read it very clearly.  I thought I heard someone say 'Henry's' though.  The restaurant, the hotel lobby  and the parking access constitute the ground level. There is a recessed covered outdoor seating for the restaurant. The restuarant will have a morning and evening 'concept'.  

The amenity/event level has a rooftop pool and meeting/breakout rooms and lots of terrace and corridor spacing.  It will definitely give Zen some competition (albeit I know nothing about respective pricing etc. ) and looked  impressive.  

The architect is Wakefield-Beasley from Alpharetta.  They took cues from the Fieldhouse and Custom House and the area's mill heritage. The building is almost all brick except the top floor is cement fiber but there was some mention of using  wood, but I didn't hear that  part too well. 

Overall all the board memebers liked it but there was some disagreement on the proportioning of the Podium vs. the higher levels.  

 

I look forward to seeing this one becoming reality. 

   

 

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So how many floors total? Six?

And a local hotel chain? Hopefully it doesn't turn into another Peacock debacle. LOL. 

Edited by gman430
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Six or Seven. I am counting the Parking as one floor but it is one level that ramps up to a second level.  I can't remember if the rooms are on three levels or four. 

This is a niche hotel but I didn't understand if the hotelier already operates one in Savannah or the architect was referencing Savannah as a city with a hotel in the same niche. He did mention Savannah  in some capacity.      

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13 hours ago, PuppiesandKittens said:

Sounds great but ANOTHER hotel?  Are all of these developments backed up by market research clearly showing sufficient demand?

Banks and investors would not be financing these hotels without the market research. The research must show demand is there now, but more importantly, will be there for a certain number of years. 

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7 hours ago, gman said:

Banks and investors would not be financing these hotels without the market research. 

Two things can be simultaneously true:

1. the downtown market is underserved by hotels (seriously, go book a room downtown and tell me each hotel isn't worth a mint)

2. banks, even a lot of them, are capable of making really stupid decisions all at once

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18 hours ago, gman said:

Banks and investors would not be financing these hotels without the market research. The research must show demand is there now, but more importantly, will be there for a certain number of years. 

Banks also financed Greenville Mall.

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2 hours ago, PuppiesandKittens said:

Banks also financed Greenville Mall.

Banks did not lose a dime on Greenville Mall. The new owners razed it to build what’s there now. You can pick and choose a project or two that did not succeed. Look at the hundreds of other projects that have been successful. Lenders are in the business to take risks. Ninety-nine percent of banks do a great job underwriting those risks. 

This is a good article from a couple of years ago. https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/greenville-roots/2017/06/15/greenville-mall/397865001/

Edited by gman

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2 hours ago, gman said:

Banks did not lose a dime on Greenville Mall. The new owners razed it to build what’s there now. You can pick and choose a project or two that did not succeed. Look at the hundreds of other projects that have been successful. Lenders are in the business to take risks. Ninety-nine percent of banks do a great job underwriting those risks. 

This is a good article from a couple of years ago. https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/greenville-roots/2017/06/15/greenville-mall/397865001/

The article only tells part of the story. Ward's bankruptcy was a big factor, but bigger in my opinion (I've stated this before; I'll try to remember to make this the last time) was Dillards' purchase and closure of J. B. White, which was  by far the best anchor store at GM, and arguably anywhere in Greenville, including present-day Dillards.

Also, contrary to what the article implies, I'm pretty sure the owners who redid GM in the 90's were new owners--not the original investors, or even long-time-but-not-original investors. Their big mistake, IMO, was to increase the size of the mall, though JBW did take over some mall space in order to enlarge their store (a testimony to JBW's popularity). The old Wards space, which was one-story, was converted to mall space, and they built two new buildings: one for Ward and one for Parisian-then-Proffitts. I think that  Oshmans and the furniture store on the back northeast side of the mall were in old Wards space, but it's possible they expanded the building a bit for them, too. 

Ward, which was hardly high-end, had been in financial trouble for some time, and its viability as a going concern predated GM's mid-90's redo. If they had shrunk the mall--significantly*--and, gotten rid of Ward altogether from the beginning of the refit, its repositioning as a high-end compliment to HM might have worked, especially since that would have opened up more space on the property to build other complimentary retail and/or office. They eventually did build some complimentary retail, but it was the theater and mostly big-box stuff, which clashed with high-end; though the timeline at that point is hazy for me--it could be that JBW and Parisian were already gone. But the point is, under those circumstances, it might have even survived the closing of JBW, which was, sadly, inevitable no matter what they did.

Bigger's not always better. And hindsight's always 20-20.

*say, to the original size of McAlister Square.

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3 hours ago, gman said:

Banks did not lose a dime on Greenville Mall. The new owners razed it to build what’s there now. You can pick and choose a project or two that did not succeed. Look at the hundreds of other projects that have been successful. Lenders are in the business to take risks. Ninety-nine percent of banks do a great job underwriting those risks. 

This is a good article from a couple of years ago.  https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/greenville-roots/2017/06/15/greenville-mall/397865001/

I used to work in a bank, in the commercial and residential finance-related business.  

Trust me, banks can make huge mistakes and their analyses are not foolproof.  Recall 2008?

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This does look nice! I like the industrial feel and incorporation of murals. It feels very West End -- a vibe I wish would be utilized more in this area. 

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I like the design...but what is up with the hotel rooms? Almost looks like they could switch the use to condos or apartments with the way they are oriented. 

Edited by ausrutherford

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I don't know what to say about this proposal.  The architecture is different -- somewhat interesting, somewhat odd, somewhat cheesy (in a fake way).  I had hoped a larger mixed-use development could have been built with pedestrian access between Main Street and Augusta Street (utilizing the greenlink property), but this would likely eliminate that possibility, sealing Main Street frontage.

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I'm surprised at the positive feedback on this one. Was there an explanation as to why one iteration has more Main Street retail spots than the other?

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2 hours ago, Jet-set said:

I'm surprised at the positive feedback on this one. Was there an explanation as to why one iteration has more Main Street retail spots than the other?

Meh, it looks ok, really just more modern boxy stuff going up everywhere. This one is a little better looking than some, but no real creativity, classical architectural themes, or anything daring or imaginative. This is kinda what we've been getting and even the DRB doesn't seem to expect more. At least it's not another Aloft cinder block! :silly:

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13 hours ago, Skyliner said:

I don't know what to say about this proposal.  The architecture is different -- somewhat interesting, somewhat odd, somewhat cheesy (in a fake way).  I had hoped a larger mixed-use development could have been built with pedestrian access between Main Street and Augusta Street (utilizing the greenlink property), but this would likely eliminate that possibility, sealing Main Street frontage.

The transit property itself has access to Main, albeit it is only 7'. That access could be widened  by another 50' by incorporating the Timberland property that is adjacent though. There is also the possibility  of Auguata-Main connectivity via the CAP  property between the Transit property and the RR track. 

That said, I do think the various parties need to start talking and planning NOW, so that the transit property is not caught in a 'last man standing in musical chairs' situation. 

----

As for some of the other comments, I don't understand how anyone looks at this proposal and doesn't see traditional/classical elements.   Also, these rooms are laid out for extended stay usage, not just short term clients.  

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