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Downtown Fairfield Inn

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IMO the DRB is doing their job.  That is, ensuring projects conform to code and can pass the test of time.  

Look, 60 years ago the Cabana Inn and the Travelodge opened at Pine and Main.  The buildings are still there and are still operating as "motels" but are eyesores.   If the Fairfield Inn project is done right, it could last for decades and not be an eyesore.  The last thing we want is a suburban looking motel downtown that won't pass the test of time.  

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That's adaptive reuse, though, which is completely different from new construction.   Don't expect an entirely different design than the first proposal.  It will likely be a refinement of the existing

The DRB might be one of the best things to ever happen to Spartanburg.

The hotel will be up for final approval at tomorrow's DRB meeting.  The black center section is now "thin brick" rather than aluminum panels.  You can also see the HVAC vents more accurately.  Subtle

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The DRB drags out these projects way too long. The Cabana Inn and the Travelodge would still be eyesores if they used a different color brick, a few windows were changed  or the building was set back another 6 feet

from the Street.  The changes the DRB is requiring is wearing out this developer without  significantly improving this project.  I don't understand why they can't approve construction with  a foundation permit and begin

work while fine tuning color choices or small items before a final permit is issued.  Lets not forget that the DRB approved a 10' concrete wall around 2 acres of the AC Marriott parking and a swimming pool on Main St.

They also approved storage containers on Main St. for the Freight yard.  Well we know about that developer and why it was approved with little discussion don't we.......

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On 4/9/2021 at 6:49 PM, Spartan said:

DRB wouldn't have to nitpick if developers would stop proposing poorly designed projects. Charleston Columbia and Greenville seem to get attractive stuff, why not us? 

I dunno, maybe the grass is always greener. I have often talked about many of Spartanburg's developments being better designed and more attractive that most of the projects done in Greenville. Charleston and Asheville as well. You guys are saying your DRB is too picky but I usually think Greenville's isnt picky enough; we've had some real stinkers approved. 


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The hotel received final approval at tonight's special meeting.  The developer brought several color options, and the board really liked the one where the black was changed to navy blue and the greys were generally lightened.  IMO, this was the best choice and looks brighter and more cohesive than the other options.  The developers hope to submit for permits in June/July with construction to begin in the Fall.


There was also a useful explanation of how the approval process is intended to work.  The developer is supposed to get preliminary approval for the massing, general design, etc.  Then they're supposed to go forward with the development process to make sure that design works from an engineering and financing standpoint, before coming back after that with potentially any--usually minor--changes for final approval (and more detailed drawings, material samples, etc).  These developers chose to do the whole approval process prior to final engineering/pricing.  That's a risk, because they must comply with the approved design.  So we have a situation where the applicant didn't follow the intended process.  The DRB worked with what they had, considering that unorthodox choice by the developer.

Hope that clarifies why there was some confusion/awkwardness with this particular review process.

Edited by westsider28
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I saw a notice in the paper Sunday for a Voluntary Clean-up Contract (VCC) for the "Montgomery Building parking site" (i.e. this future hotel site).  As a reminder, this is a state program that allows a non-responsible party to acquire a contaminated property with liability protection for existing contamination by agreeing to perform an environmental assessment and/or remediation.  I mainly see it as an indication that this project continues to move forward in the background, which is good to see.

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Update on this project from today's H-J (only the first bullet point is newsworthy):


  • Spartanburg City Manager Chris Story said the Fairfield Inn & Suites project is underway and they're currently working on electric infrastructure before site work and construction.
  • The city of Spartanburg Design Review Board voted on April 13 to give a five-story Fairfield Inn & Suites slated for St. John Street the green light.
  • The hotel will go up between the George Dean Johnson School of Business and the Montgomery building, a mixed-use high rise that includes restaurants and retailers on the ground floor and apartments above. It’ll be placed in front of a parking garage. 
  • It would be downtown Spartanburg’s third Marriott-owned hotel, joining the 247-room Marriott that was built in 2004 on Daniel Morgan Avenue and the 114-room AC Hotel on W. Main Street that opened in 2016.
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City Council approved first-reading of a development agreement for the Fairfield Inn.  It would be a 10-year FILOT (shorter than most FILOTs) then revert to normal taxing.  In the agreement, the City will provide 140 parking spaces in the St John deck for the hotel.  The hotel is a $20M project and is anticipated to open in 2023.  Below is a rendering version of the final design.

(Side note: Post & Courier Spartanburg is happening soon! It will be great to have higher-quality local coverage!  H-J has been going downhill.)


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