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Wish List 2019


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I'd like to see more tangible/specific business ideas brought into the discussion.  What type(s) of white collar jobs should be targeted and clustered?  Numerous professions can fill office space, but some are more feasible than others in a small market like Spartanburg.

My #1 wish is for effective rail transit between the Upstate's major cities (including Clemson) with connectivity to/from the much larger metropolitan areas in neighboring states.  This could be the most important economic development of the next few decades for the entire region.

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Just for background - the East Main road diet that was proposed about 10 years ago (my timing might be off on that, but somewhere in that neighborhood) was approved and all set to go. But without nami

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

I'd like to see more tangible/specific business ideas brought into the discussion.  What type(s) of white collar jobs should be targeted and clustered?  Numerous professions can fill office space, but

11 hours ago, Skyliner said:

I'd like to see more tangible/specific business ideas brought into the discussion.  What type(s) of white collar jobs should be targeted and clustered?  Numerous professions can fill office space, but some are more feasible than others in a small market like Spartanburg.

This discussion is a good one to have.  I'd suggest medical software/technology as a target industry.  We already have QS/1, but unfortunately lost ChartSpan to Greenville after they started here.  I would also say auto tech, but ICAR has that market cornered.  Spartanburg also lacks any significant graduate programs (like Clemson's at ICAR), whose partnership opportunities would help attract white-collar jobs.  In a perfect world, I'd like to see USC Upstate expand dramatically (to be more like a UNC-system university), but that would require a significant increase in state funding, which is highly unlikely.

Any other ideas?

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1- For many years I have wanted to see someone (ie: the County or City) assemble all the land above Wakefield Buick and turn it into a park. It would have sick skyline views and maybe a memorial to that old greasy restaurant in that house that used to be where St John St extension is now (I might have the location of it off... it might be in the adjacent neighborhood... but either way it burned down due to a grease fire, and that park needs to happen.  ---- alternatively, they could dam up the lower portion of Butterfly Branch (formerly Greenville Branch) that is the large kudzu patch on West Main and convert it into a sweet park with a small pond. It wouldn't have the best views, but it would be a better use of that creek and turn it into an asset for the city.

2- The UNC system is structurally different than the USC system. All of USC's schools are branch campuses, an ultimately a part of the greater University of South Carolina. All public college in NC are a part of the UNC system which is overseen by the UNC Board of Governors, but generally they operate independently. So, UNC Charlotte is not a branch campus of UNC Chapel Hill, and NC State, App State, Western, ECU, etc. all have representation on the Board of Governors. It's a system that is modeled after the UC System in California - so UNC Chapel HIll is to UC Berkley as UCLA is to UNC Charlotte.

For SC to have this system, you'd need to structurally reform higher education in the state, which seems unlikely. The other alternative would be for USC to start offering more graduate programs at the Upstate Campus... anyway - I do agree with the basic premise that it would be great if they could offer more!

3- I think focusing on an industry/trade would make a lot of sense. I have no idea what that industry/trade would be. There was a state-wide economic plan a few years ago... that would seem to be the place to start.

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Another thought on the white collar jobs front... nationally, office jobs are moving back into cities. Not that suburbs aren't viable, but the trend is to move offices to where employees want to be, and with Millenials, that tends to be in walkable environments. As Spartanburg continues to invest in downtown and make the place more vibrant, office employers will come. It's just a matter of time.

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My wish list is similar to some of the others and in no particular order.

Do something with the Coke building that will bring people to it and expand the lines of downtown.

As I have said before, bring a hip, trendy retailer to downtown. I have mentioned Belks but Banana Republic would work fine as well.

Unlock the water and bring it downtown somehow some way.

Put a major chain restaurant downtown but kind of out of the way. Again something guaranteed to bring folks and expand the lines downtown. Dreaming Cheesecake Factory or a Bone Fish grill.

A big white collar employer to move in  and either renovate SHJ headquarters or put up a new building.

Lastly put a small parking deck somewhere below Cribbs. This is a huge need and there just isn't enough parking down there. Ideally put it on that vacant lot by Cohens closeouts. That by itself could help lure folks down there.

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2 hours ago, Sparkleman said:

My wish list is similar to some of the others and in no particular order.

Do something with the Coke building that will bring people to it and expand the lines of downtown.

As I have said before, bring a hip, trendy retailer to downtown. I have mentioned Belks but Banana Republic would work fine as well.

Unlock the water and bring it downtown somehow some way.

Put a major chain restaurant downtown but kind of out of the way. Again something guaranteed to bring folks and expand the lines downtown. Dreaming Cheesecake Factory or a Bone Fish grill.

A big white collar employer to move in  and either renovate SHJ headquarters or put up a new building.

Lastly put a small parking deck somewhere below Cribbs. This is a huge need and there just isn't enough parking down there. Ideally put it on that vacant lot by Cohens closeouts. That by itself could help lure folks down there.

I like your idea about a parking deck below Cribbs.  It seems there’s a need for additional parking in that area.   

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9 minutes ago, roads-scholar said:

I like your idea about a parking deck below Cribbs.  It seems there’s a need for additional parking in that area.   

Meh.  The QS/1 lot is just over a block away, and I've never seen it totally full on any non-event evening or weekend.

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Most people are totally unaware that you can use the QS1 lots to park in as they do not make that very public. Really its just 1 lot and the parking arm is always in the closed position (not exactly inviting). Plus what about the fenced parking lots directly behind Rockers that are always...closed off to the public.

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3 hours ago, Sparkleman said:

Most people are totally unaware that you can use the QS1 lots to park in as they do not make that very public. Really its just 1 lot and the parking arm is always in the closed position (not exactly inviting). Plus what about the fenced parking lots directly behind Rockers that are always...closed off to the public.

I'm having lunch at Cribbs TODAY and will check on the QS1 lot.  

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23 hours ago, Sparkleman said:

My wish list is similar to some of the others and in no particular order.

Do something with the Coke building that will bring people to it and expand the lines of downtown.

As I have said before, bring a hip, trendy retailer to downtown. I have mentioned Belks but Banana Republic would work fine as well.

Unlock the water and bring it downtown somehow some way.

Put a major chain restaurant downtown but kind of out of the way. Again something guaranteed to bring folks and expand the lines downtown. Dreaming Cheesecake Factory or a Bone Fish grill.

A big white collar employer to move in  and either renovate SHJ headquarters or put up a new building.

Lastly put a small parking deck somewhere below Cribbs. This is a huge need and there just isn't enough parking down there. Ideally put it on that vacant lot by Cohens closeouts. That by itself could help lure folks down there.

Affirm "unlock the water and bring it downtown..."

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I didn't add this to my wish list, but it is something I think about EVERY time I drive by. 

I would love for one of the motor inns on east main (near Converse and the Main/Pine intersection to be bought and remodeled and turned into an affordable and fun retro style motor lodge. I like the 100% American roadside/US Hightway look to these places and wish they would get cleaned up. 

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3 hours ago, sptgguy said:

I didn't add this to my wish list, but it is something I think about EVERY time I drive by. 

I would love for one of the motor inns on east main (near Converse and the Main/Pine intersection to be bought and remodeled and turned into an affordable and fun retro style motor lodge. I like the 100% American roadside/US Hightway look to these places and wish they would get cleaned up. 

Agreed.  Something like the Austin Motel would be so cool.

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BINGO...paired up with a diner (maybe 24/7). Of course...I have another thought that would be PERFECT for this in my brain. Since Denny's in located in Spartanburg...it would be great if they did an old school diner concept in downtown.

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Well, I guess I'll finally put a wishlist on here. We're in somewhat of a new position of having tons of stuff announced and underway already for 2019.  Obviously, I want to see them all started/finished.  But I'll try to stick with unannounced stuff.  If 2017 was the year of the AC Hotel and 2018 the year of the Montgomery Building, I think 2019 will be the year of the Northside.  Anyway, here's my list:

--White-collar jobs announcement (maybe to anchor Liberty office building)
--East Main road diet! (Converse to Pine)
--Renovation plan for Carolina Theatre announced / funded (or at least significantly underway)
--More restaurant/retail near Denny's bldg
--More housing for Drayton area / annex Drayton Mills into City
--Highland neighborhood plan developed (hopefully more than just SFH)
--City Comprehensive plan underway (with focus on more housing/density, ped/bike friendliness, urban design)
--City takes control of more downtown streets from SCDOT

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13 hours ago, westsider28 said:

Well, I guess I'll finally put a wishlist on here. We're in somewhat of a new position of having tons of stuff announced and underway already for 2019.  Obviously, I want to see them all started/finished.  But I'll try to stick with unannounced stuff.  If 2017 was the year of the AC Hotel and 2018 the year of the Montgomery Building, I think 2019 will be the year of the Northside.  Anyway, here's my list:

--White-collar jobs announcement (maybe to anchor Liberty office building)
--East Main road diet! (Converse to Pine)
--Renovation plan for Carolina Theatre announced / funded (or at least significantly underway)
--More restaurant/retail near Denny's bldg
--More housing for Drayton area / annex Drayton Mills into City
--Highland neighborhood plan developed (hopefully more than just SFH)
 --City Comprehensive plan underway (with focus on more housing/density, ped/bike friendliness, urban design)
--City takes control of more downtown streets from SCDOT

All are awesome, but for me Restaurant near Denny's is a huge one. It would liven up that part of the downtown strip :)

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3 hours ago, Spartanburg Dude said:

All are awesome, but for me Restaurant near Denny's is a huge one. It would liven up that part of the downtown strip :)

Questions:

  1. Is there any talk of an East Main Road diet other than on this forum?  About ten years ago SCDOT put the kibosh on that.
  2. Is there active discussions on annexing Drayton Mill into the city?

 

 

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In this article about 2019 priorities for City Council, Alan Jenkins specifically mentions annexing Drayton Mills as a goal.

As for East Main, I'm going to personally make it a goal this year to get the conversation going.  It has been a overly-wide drag strip for far too long, and it's honestly an embarrassment when you look at all the other streetscape improvements that have been implemented downtown.  (Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it is a City-owned street. If not, it's a great candidate for my other wishlist item of the City taking ownership, a la Daniel Morgan)

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Great points.  I've heard that as well about the past effort.  I understand that there are limited resources, so we have to pick our battles.  I'd still like to at least get the conversation going, even if it takes several years to implement.  This is a wishlist item after all, so it's inherently asperational.  But it's fun to conceptualize and discuss, which is why we all post here!

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On 1/28/2019 at 2:00 PM, roads-scholar said:

Questions:

  1. Is there any talk of an East Main Road diet other than on this forum?  About ten years ago SCDOT put the kibosh on that.
  2. Is there active discussions on annexing Drayton Mill into the city?

 

If you really want to dig around in the bowels of this forum, then yes - we have been keeping an eye on it for many years, and all of that content still exists, but in a somewhat less organized way than today.  It was a project that had funding lined up from the public sector, but got killed by the recession due to lack of private partnership funding and I think SCDOT backing out? I forget the details. The most recent thread with content related to the road diet is here:

https://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/topic/115916-main-street-spartanburg/?tab=comments#comment-1260877

 

It comes up periodically, though, and we like to dream :)

 

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  • 8 months later...
On 12/13/2018 at 10:55 AM, 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.   

Westgate Mall needs redevelopment.  The mall has vacancies and not-so-interesting specialty shops to turn away interest. 

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