Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
sptgguy

Wish List 2019

Recommended Posts

Seems that this has become a thing we do as we roll over from one year to the next. What would you like to see for Spartanburg in 2019? 

 

My list...

1) Continued growth overall in downtown. A decade ago, you couldn't have paid me to go downtown after dark. I would like to see 1-2 more night time destinations on par with Fr8Yard. 

2) More plans in the works for affordable housing in downtown. 

3) Ill borrow one from another post last year...I music festival or even a BBQ festival that will draw people into Spartanburg for several days. 

4) I still would like to see more engagement from the colleges that call Spartanburg home. Maybe something along the lines of a public gallery where student work is displayed and student groups can perform? 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


13 hours ago, sptgguy said:

Seems that this has become a thing we do as we roll over from one year to the next. What would you like to see for Spartanburg in 2019? 

 

My list...

1) Continued growth overall in downtown. A decade ago, you couldn't have paid me to go downtown after dark. I would like to see 1-2 more night time destinations on par with Fr8Yard. 

2) More plans in the works for affordable housing in downtown. 

3) Ill borrow one from another post last year...I music festival or even a BBQ festival that will draw people into Spartanburg for several days. 

4) I still would like to see more engagement from the colleges that call Spartanburg home. Maybe something along the lines of a public gallery where student work is displayed and student groups can perform? 

I love these "wish list" threads and its been fun looking back at them over the years...

Below was my 2018 "wish list" and what's happened and what's not happened. 

  1. More development (residential, commercial) in the Grain District to complement the AC Marriott Hotel.  Nothing yet.
  2. Carried over from my 2017 wish list, a top-tier restaurant announcement to anchor the Montgomery Building's ground floor.  Sidewall Pizza
  3. Carried over from my 2017 wish list, a destination retailer for the vacant Leader / Rome night club building on Morgan Square.  Bowling ally / event center.
  4. Another development announcement for the East Main / Pine Street gateway intersection.  Nothing yet. 
  5. Architectural renderings of the new county office building.  Nothing yet. 
  6. A high-quality tenant is announced for the former Abby's Grill building.  Peddler.
  7. Another Royce Camp mixed-use building downtown.  Nothing yet although I've heard rumors. 
  8. A redevelopment plan for the historic Coca Cola building on West Main Street.  Nothing yet. 
  9. And now for the big one: another downtown hotel announcement.  Cambria Suites.

Now for 2019:

  1. A quality replacement for the old Sears location at Westgate Mall.
  2. An exciting redevelopment plan for the Coca Cola building on West Main Street.
  3. A quality development on the West Main Street "gateway" into downtown.
  4. Architectural renderings for the new city-county office building(s). 
  5. A destination retailer / restaurant downtown.  Perhaps in the Greenwalds (Wild Wing) building, 
  6. Some action on the new Smith Drug building on East Main Street.
  7. Seeing steel rise on the new Cambria Suites hotel. 
  8. We already have a BBQ festival but can it get bigger?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That Sears Location.....I wonder if the city/county could do some leg work and convince Bass Pro to build a location there. It would be a game changer for Westgate Mall and would bring it back to life. Based on some rough estimates....Sears and the parking lots around it sit on right at 10 acres. Just the footprint of the current Sears location is about 2 acres. I would be willing to stomach a sizeable plan by the city/county to get it to happen.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sptgguy said:

That Sears Location.....I wonder if the city/county could do some leg work and convince Bass Pro to build a location there. It would be a game changer for Westgate Mall and would bring it back to life. Based on some rough estimates....Sears and the parking lots around it sit on right at 10 acres. Just the footprint of the current Sears location is about 2 acres. I would be willing to stomach a sizeable plan by the city/county to get it to happen.   

Makes a lot of sense to me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ALL THIS!!!!

We've lived in Spartanburg about 3 years now and the growth has been monumental!

I'd love to see more. 

My big 2019 wishlist item:

Announcement of a major corp moving it's headquarters to Downtown (and building a new building for it). 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/13/2018 at 1:42 PM, Spartanburg Dude said:

ALL THIS!!!!

We've lived in Spartanburg about 3 years now and the growth has been monumental!

I'd love to see more. 

My big 2019 wishlist item:

Announcement of a major corp moving it's headquarters to Downtown (and building a new building for it). 

 

I agree with the Dude. This is the one thing that has been lacking ever since Extended Stay left. I had thought OTO was going to be a bigger company or have more employees downtown but I was wrong as it doesn't have anywhere near the impact ESA had.

Hopefully city and or county council can lure "that company". I am starting to get the feeling that GDJ's impact is slowing as he ages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sparkleman said:

I agree with the Dude. This is the one thing that has been lacking ever since Extended Stay left. I had thought OTO was going to be a bigger company or have more employees downtown but I was wrong as it doesn't have anywhere near the impact ESA had.

Hopefully city and or county council can lure "that company". I am starting to get the feeling that GDJ's impact is slowing as he ages.

OTO may be smaller but they're COMMITTED to Spartanburg whereas ESA wasn't.  GDJ may be slowing but Junior isn't.  He's the future/ 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure Jr has the balls or intellect of the old man. Sr has had to step back in a few times and fix Jr's screw ups.

99.99% of ESA was committed to Spartanburg, its just the idiot President wanted to move to Charlotte because he wasn't from here and we wouldn't suck him off like we do our favorite son GDJ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Spartanburg Dude said:

OTO? ESA? GDJ? Help us newer Bergers undertand please :)

Good questions. 

  • OTO is OTO development company (www.otodevelopment.com), a hotel developer and hospitality management company headquartered in Spartanburg.  OTO built and manages the AC Hotel. 
  • ESA is Extended Stay America hotels which was headquartered in Spartanburg in what is now the One Morgan Square building.  They relocated to Charlotte several years ago. 
  • GDJ is George Dean Johnson, a prominent Spartanburg businessman and benefactor.  The George Dean Johnson School of Business  (AKA "The George") is a result of his gift.  Johnson's son Geordy is the CEO of OTO Development Company. 
Edited by roads-scholar
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, roads-scholar said:

Good questions. 

  • OTO is OTO development company (www.otodevelopment.com), a hotel developer and hospitality management company headquartered in Spartanburg.  OTO built and manages the AC Hotel. 
  • ESA is Extended Stay America hotels which was headquartered in Spartanburg in what is now the One Morgan Square building.  They relocated to Charlotte several years ago. 
  • GDJ is George Dean Johnson, a prominent Spartanburg businessman and benefactor.  The George Dean Johnson School of Business  (AKA "The George") is a result of his gift.  Johnson's son Geordy is the CEO of OTO Development Company. 

Well that helps, thanks a million for that!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, Corry Oakes is CEO of OTO. Geordy has no official direct role in OTO.

Geordy is CEO of Johnson Development and President of Johnson Management.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my wish list:

1. Redevelopment announced for Herald-Journal building parcel

2. Significant office building with anchor tenant announced/groundbreaking (could be related to No. 1)

3. City-County Admin building plan/rendering revealed 

4. Redevelopment plans announced for current County Admin and City Hall parcels

5. Sale of property behind AC hotel to a developer with development plan announced

6. At least one anchor-quality downtown retailer announced

7. Redevelopment plan announced for Kress and Montgomery Ward buildings

8. Completion (finally) of Rail Trail through downtown

9. New tenant announced for current Wild Wing location

10. New downtown grocery store announced

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your wish list is one of the more ambitious ones I've seen in a long time.  I sure hope most, if not all of them, come to fruition.  I'd love to see #6 become a reality.  I really think its time for a national retailer to set up shop downtown. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMHO, I think it would be a boon if Belks decided to get back into downtown and set up a fairly hip store. I know they are not national but I just don't know if we could lure a Macy's but Belk is a big regional player and a lot of the east side and Boiling Springs shops there but privately complains about having to go out there.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bass Pro got bought by Cabelas (or vice versa) and I doubt they'd put one in town. I do agree it would be a huge draw, but I don't think that's what they look at from a market perspective.

I'd like to see the BBQ festival (Hogfest?) continue to grow and add a music component.

I'd like to see the historic blocks of East Main get more active businesses

Hypothetically, what if WestGate closed entirely, and all of that business was in and around downtown? I think if you look back through the old posts, you can find one where I predicted the closing of the mall within a decade. I think the post was in 2006 or 2007 or so - and I obviously was wrong. But the mall does feel like it's declining. Financing for malls in the 80s-90s was easy to get, so in many markets they are over-built. I don't know if Spartanburg is one of those... but it seems like there is enough of a market to keep it open (or maybe propped up?). More importantly, though, there isn't anything special about Westgate except the location next to 26... getting all of that downtown would be a real coup. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Spartan said:

Bass Pro got bought by Cabelas (or vice versa) and I doubt they'd put one in town. I do agree it would be a huge draw, but I don't think that's what they look at from a market perspective.

I'd like to see the BBQ festival (Hogfest?) continue to grow and add a music component.

I'd like to see the historic blocks of East Main get more active businesses

Hypothetically, what if WestGate closed entirely, and all of that business was in and around downtown? I think if you look back through the old posts, you can find one where I predicted the closing of the mall within a decade. I think the post was in 2006 or 2007 or so - and I obviously was wrong. But the mall does feel like it's declining. Financing for malls in the 80s-90s was easy to get, so in many markets they are over-built. I don't know if Spartanburg is one of those... but it seems like there is enough of a market to keep it open (or maybe propped up?). More importantly, though, there isn't anything special about Westgate except the location next to 26... getting all of that downtown would be a real coup. 

 

 

I agree about there being NOTHING special about Westgate and am surprised the owners haven't at least tried to do something about that. I know without a retail brand wanting to open a store they can't force anything, but they could resurface the lots, clean up and expand the landscaping, power wash the building, and do some upgrades to bring it into the 2000s. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually don't want to see anything positive happen to that mall in its current use. The best thing that could happen to Westgate would be for a major mixed-use master-plan community developer to buy it, demolish it and build a village on the site with hundreds of residential units, office space, restaurant/retail, etc. You've already got a movie theater adjacent. Would recharge the entire west side. 

Fixing up the place in the hopes of landing what? Another department store or two? Rearranging deck chairs. Need to wipe the slate clean and start over with something that will maximize that acreage and grow city population.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only problem I see with that is that while that is happening all the businesses there will be closed and the people who shop there will go to Haywood Mall and the stores will never come back to Spartanburg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/24/2018 at 12:30 PM, sptgguy said:

The only problem I see with that is that while that is happening all the businesses there will be closed and the people who shop there will go to Haywood Mall and the stores will never come back to Spartanburg.

That's not necessarily true. 

I've seen many malls go through redevelopment, even complete redesign and tear down rebuild, but they would keep parts of the old structure open so that stores could remain while new parts were built, then they'd move. It can be done, but need a developer with the right intentions and a brain to take on the project. I'd love to see that whole area redeveloped into something really hip, and walkable. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to wish for some different things this year. Some are a little far fetched, but I think we are ready for the next step.

 

-Minor league baseball announced in new downtown stadium and the Socon moves its baseball tournament there.

-Wakefield Buick announces a move in conjunction with a redevelopment plan to open the creek and create an

attractive park in its place. This could possibly be combined with a small, but high quality Zoo between VCOM  and

the park. This could replace Hollywild.

-A condo building in the planning phase.

-The  bus station moves to the rail station site and the existing station becomes home to a white collar employer.

-A high quality water park opens downtown that converts to winter activities when cold. (ice rink etc.)

-A high rise development in the 14-16 story range.

-A permanent feature in Morgan Square such as a carousel in the area that is now Dunbar Street. Dunbar would be

closed and additional green space added, including a feature similar to this.

-A large annexation that boosts the population significantly.

- A pedestrian pathway that connects Westgate to Downtown to the Eastside, including space to add  electric

rail in the future.

Yep, some are crazy, but all are possible.

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, spartanburgh said:

I'm going to wish for some different things this year. Some are a little far fetched, but I think we are ready for the next step.

 

-Minor league baseball announced in new downtown stadium and the Socon moves its baseball tournament there.

-Wakefield Buick announces a move in conjunction with a redevelopment plan to open the creek and create an

attractive park in its place. This could possibly be combined with a small, but high quality Zoo between VCOM  and

the park. This could replace Hollywild.

-A condo building in the planning phase.

-The  bus station moves to the rail station site and the existing station becomes home to a white collar employer.

-A high quality water park opens downtown that converts to winter activities when cold. (ice rink etc.)

-A high rise development in the 14-16 story range.

-A permanent feature in Morgan Square such as a carousel in the area that is now Dunbar Street. Dunbar would be

closed and additional green space added, including a feature similar to this.

-A large annexation that boosts the population significantly.

- A pedestrian pathway that connects Westgate to Downtown to the Eastside, including space to add  electric

rail in the future.

Yep, some are crazy, but all are possible.

 

 

 

Love ‘em all!   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, spartanburgh said:

I'm going to wish for some different things this year. Some are a little far fetched, but I think we are ready for the next step.

 

-Minor league baseball announced in new downtown stadium and the Socon moves its baseball tournament there.

-Wakefield Buick announces a move in conjunction with a redevelopment plan to open the creek and create an

attractive park in its place. This could possibly be combined with a small, but high quality Zoo between VCOM  and

the park. This could replace Hollywild.

-A condo building in the planning phase.

-The  bus station moves to the rail station site and the existing station becomes home to a white collar employer.

-A high quality water park opens downtown that converts to winter activities when cold. (ice rink etc.)

-A high rise development in the 14-16 story range.

-A permanent feature in Morgan Square such as a carousel in the area that is now Dunbar Street. Dunbar would be

closed and additional green space added, including a feature similar to this.

-A large annexation that boosts the population significantly.

- A pedestrian pathway that connects Westgate to Downtown to the Eastside, including space to add  electric

rail in the future.

Yep, some are crazy, but all are possible.

I like many of these - I think minor league baseball could really have a major impact on downtown - with additional activity downtown about 70 days a year during the spring and summer...  I wish there was somebody in town with the connections and deep pockets to make it happen - if it's allowable under baseball's rules.  

I think there will be a series of annexations between now and the 2020 Census - both the former and current city managers have said as much in council meetings.  One annexation will be coming from the Planning Commission to City Council on January 14 - it's a parcel of land west of I-26 that came up last winter, but the developer backed out - and now a new developer has picked it up.  It's going to be a 288 unit apartment complex behind the Hobby Lobby and Kohl's.  They needed to annex for the density the city allows.  Anyway, I presume the Drayton complex is another one that will come in per the water agreement.  There must be some others that have already been agreed to.  Not sure any of those count as "large" but we definitely need to get back over 40,000 residents in the city and in my mind, greater density is the key.  Bringing in large swaths absent those water agreements or neighborhood desires is hard.  

I don't agree about moving the bus station.  If it were only Greyhound, I wouldn't care, but as a public transportation user and advocate, I don't want to see the transfer center move.  Besides, I don't think the City is going to move a station that it spent money on in 2002-2004 to a new site, and the top floor of that station is in use by city offices.  Plus, ingress and egress at the train station - because of the rail crossing - would be a pain.  But, there's going to be a Sparta route study in 2019 that might result in some changes to routes, frequency, etc.  All of that depends on what the city is willing to spend - though the federal grant pays for the bulk of their operations.  I think that ought to be done by late 2019.

Definitely would like to see another condo development downtown.  Also would really like to see another corporate headquarters downtown and a destination retail tenant for one of those big buildings on Main Street.  Would love to see some tweaks to Morgan Square - I don't think it's broken, but it could use a refresh since it was last redone around 2003-04.  On a note related to condos - I'd really like to see some plans for the blocks of Spring Street between downtown and Hampton Heights.  I think some residential infill along there - perhaps townhouse-type residential that really address the street nicely and help blend downtown to Hampton Heights would be really nice.  I am assuming the fire station will go when city hall relocates to the new local government center, so that will take away some of the noise that comes with being near the fire station.  

I would like to see some movement on the plans to extend the Rail Trail through downtown - a project that has taken an excruciatingly long time (thanks, SCDOT).  Lots of great plans for trails development are ready to go with the right funding.  

Also, the City is going to start the process of updating its comprehensive plan in the next year, a 2 year process, that will end up seeing a lot of planning documents and zoning ordinances rewritten in the end.  There's a lot of potential for citizen input in the process.  The comprehensive plan guides the city's work, and helps put a framework in place for new development and redevelopment all over the city.  What type of development should happen in various corridors?  The comp plan guides that.  Should we allow for accessory dwelling structures in some neighborhoods?  Should there be a live-work zoning category for some areas?  The comp plan will help figure that out.  Should we have more density in some parts of the city - or should we encourage it in selected areas?  And so many other questions.  

I have a few others - but this post is already long.  Love seeing these year end wish lists.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/30/2018 at 9:35 PM, roads-scholar said:

Love ‘em all!   

 

On 12/30/2018 at 8:19 PM, spartanburgh said:

I'm going to wish for some different things this year. Some are a little far fetched, but I think we are ready for the next step.

 

-Minor league baseball announced in new downtown stadium and the Socon moves its baseball tournament there.

-Wakefield Buick announces a move in conjunction with a redevelopment plan to open the creek and create an

attractive park in its place. This could possibly be combined with a small, but high quality Zoo between VCOM  and

the park. This could replace Hollywild.

-A condo building in the planning phase.

-The  bus station moves to the rail station site and the existing station becomes home to a white collar employer.

-A high quality water park opens downtown that converts to winter activities when cold. (ice rink etc.)

-A high rise development in the 14-16 story range.

-A permanent feature in Morgan Square such as a carousel in the area that is now Dunbar Street. Dunbar would be

closed and additional green space added, including a feature similar to this.

-A large annexation that boosts the population significantly.

- A pedestrian pathway that connects Westgate to Downtown to the Eastside, including space to add  electric

rail in the future.

Yep, some are crazy, but all are possible.

 

 

 

Interesting that you mentioned the Wakefield Buick space. Running through my mind is that the creek could form a town (mini-) lake which might have an impressive water feature (with changeable lights) surrounded by parklike features. Like all your other wishes.

Edited by BorninSparkleCity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.