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1015 S Main Street mixed use development


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I guess I’ll start the thread. News story:  https://www.postandcourier.com/greenville/business/greenvilles-west-end-community-center-site-pitched-for-mixed-use-development/article_ec4b3fd0-9193-1

The number of apartments is not 100% certain,  it could be as high as 275.  The developer is interested in getting local tenants  included in the retail space, and is pricing lease rates to encourage

Wow, I don’t think I have ever seen a staff report for a proposed downtown project sound this harsh before. Even the fire department is recommending denial: https://www.greenvillesc.gov/AgendaCenter/V

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"The developer, SunCap Property Group, wants to build 250 apartment, a parking garage and around 15,000 square feet of retail space on the 3.1-acre site near Fluor Field."

"As part of the project, SunCap will make street improvements to Markley Street. The company has enlisted the help of local civil engineers SeamonWhiteside, the same company that worked on street improvements for Jackson Way. 

"Even though we don't control Markley, we feel that's critical," Lee said.

City staff have been "thrilled with that," he said.

The project will cost an estimated $70 million and take about two years, Lee said. SunCap hopes to get started by the end of 2021."

"SunCap developers would like to do "two or three or four" more projects in Greenville, Lee said. Fostering a relationship with the city is critical to accomplishing that in the long run, he said."

https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/greenville/downtown/2021/03/31/greenville-sc-west-end-community-center-replaced-suncap-property-group-apartments/4818145001/

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So glad there will be retail all along Main Street. I have no idea how ''The Green" was built without retail along Main Street.

Too bad more retail was not included along Vardry  Street, but maybe the distance to the Church and High School was  a factor.

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7 minutes ago, ingvegas said:

So glad there will be retail all along Main Street. I have no idea how ''The Green" was built without retail along Main Street.

Too bad more retail was not included along Vardry  Street, but maybe the distance to the Church and High School was  a factor.

The Green has occupied retail at Perry and Main (brewpub) and I think has an unoccupied space available on Main as well.  Vardry is never likely to be conducive to retail, at least not between Augusta and Green Ave.         

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33 minutes ago, gman430 said:

Taller interior portions would be nice, but his recommendation of "separated exterior buildings" certainly is baffling.

Edited to add:  This is an urban village near the heart of the urban center of the Upstate region.  This is NOT a generic suburban neighborhood near <pick any random town in the South>.

Edited by Skyliner
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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Skyliner said:

Taller interior portions would be nice, but his recommendation of "separated exterior buildings" certainly is baffling.

I think wants that for access to the interior courtyards that he also wants. I don’t see the DRB caring for either of those to be implemented thankfully.

Edited by gman430
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1 hour ago, gman430 said:

I don't understand why we can't get that with these developments. The interior sections could easily be taller providing a "stepping up" or layering effect and would make most of these developments look way better with minimal changes. There's not much less inspiring that a square block box with a chopped off roof, where every thing is the exact same level.

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Posted (edited)

DRB supports the development: 

https://www.postandcourier.com/greenville/real-estate/plan-for-3-acres-of-west-end-suits-greenville-design-board-despite-planning-staff-concerns/article_3d435712-9336-11eb-80a8-3b3c5fcc618a.html

However, board members didn’t express such reservations. Board chairwoman Carmella Cioffi said she was surprised the planning staff would have such strong objections. The project’s design interacts well with Main Street, she said.

“I honestly think it engages nicely with the street in my personal opinion,” Cioffi said.

Edited by gman430
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There is already some 'stepping up' from Main Street to the back side of the project.  Likewise from Markley to the Western side.  I would like higher floors in the interior/center too, but that is not likely to happen. Once you go above 5 floors the construction requirements/costs change, which is why you see 5 story projects in vast numbers being built all over the country.      

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As previously stated, even subtle variations to the visible roofline can be effective.  Local examples include The Bookends, the formerly proposed Perimeter condos, Poinsett Corners, and District West.  Major setbacks or separate structures are not necessary to diminish the appearance of a long, monolithic roofline.  I love the way this development proposal fills the property up to the sidewalks and engages pedestrians with attractive street-level retail spaces.  My only dissatisfaction is the roofline, although it may not be too bad compared to other buildings nearby.

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The number of apartments is not 100% certain,  it could be as high as 275.  The developer is interested in getting local tenants  included in the retail space, and is pricing lease rates to encourage that.  

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Posted (edited)

Wow, I don’t think I have ever seen a staff report for a proposed downtown project sound this harsh before. Even the fire department is recommending denial: https://www.greenvillesc.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/8269?fileID=39817 Didn’t realize the developer was doing this many things against city guidelines until now also. Everything from the sidewalks to the parking garage to the benches to the lighting to the traffic impact study to the trees to the exterior materials...the list goes on and on with items that don’t match up with them. Yikes. It’s really sad to see the developer doesn’t seem to care about what the city and surrounding neighbors think. This project is DOA unless they make some major changes. 
 

Safety is by far the most important thing in my opinion. Due to the fact that the traffic engineer and fire department are recommending denial, I do too. This project can NOT get built as it is currently proposed. It even lacks ADA ramps where needed.


 

Summary
The proposed design does not comply with many Downtown Design Guidelines, as noted in this report. In every meeting between the city staff and the applicant, staff has consistently and repeatedly identified the design deficiencies of the proposed plan and recommended that the applicant reapproach their design, with the downtown design guidelines as a design tool, to ensure compliance with the requirements and compatibility of their design with downtown Greenville. In response, the design submitted for consideration, appears to have incorporated only minor ‘tweaks’ to the existing non- compliant proposal rather than a reapproach to the base design choices that have resulted in a non-compliant proposal.


The following core issues were shared with the applicant in every meeting with city staff:
• The proposed plan does not provide pedestrian cut-throughs to break the block apart. Unlike other recent large-scale projects downtown such as Camperdown or the Greene, a pedestrian cut-through is not provided.
• The proposed plan does not break the building apart into more appropriate scaled buildings. Coupled with the pedestrian cut-throughs, the proposed building could be broken into at least two buildings and the alley could be straightened out to meet Vardry Street. This could allow for better vehicular circulation to the parking garage as well. Further, a multi-building approach to the base site layout would more readily meet the Private Realm guidelines for more appropriate building massing, scale, vehicular and pedestrian circulation, and architectural articulation response toward adjacent buildings.
• The proposed ‘plaza’ area creates an inherent conflict between vehicular and pedestrian circulation patterns in an area of higher than usual pedestrian activity.
• The monolithic and suburban-styled facades of Vardry Street, Green Avenue, and S. Markley Street should be broken up, by both height and width variations, and minimize, if not eliminate, the fiber cement material so prevalent in the current design.
 
In addition, the submitted application plan set, is incomplete and suffers from a lack of quality control review prior to submission. The attached plan set includes pages that present different design proposals for the same floor or elevation on different pages within the overall set, lack of access to various rooms, lack of access from the exterior to the interior of the building, and sheets that are obviously misprinted. The landscape plan sheets show vegetation, planted in front of primary exterior entrance access points.


Examples:
• Page L-004 shows trees in the Plaza area, but pages L-001 and L-005 do not.
• Pages L-001 shows landscaping blocking the entrance in the amenity area at the corner of Green Avenue and Vardry Street, the entrance into the plaza, and the
entrance in the dumpster/loading areas.
• On Pages A-24, A-25, A-26, A-27, and A-28, cut sheets have been cut off and
areas unexplainably whited out.
• None of the residential apartment entrances have proper ADA accessible
entrances.


With the numerous errors and conflicts within the submitted plan set, it is unclear which design the applicant requests to be approved.
Finally, it should be noted that the submitted plan set clearly shows project related and required improvements that occur on an adjacent parcel, TM#007300-04-00400, within the alleyway. The affected parcel owner is not a party to the submitted application and has not signed the application.


Staff Recommendation
Staff recommends the Design Review Board deny the submitted design or call for the applicant to redesign the project to address staff comments and recommendations and to comply with the Downtown Design Guidelines.

Edited by gman430
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Wow, I don’t think I have ever seen a staff report for a proposed downtown project sound this harsh before. Even the fire department is recommending denial: https://www.greenvillesc.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/8269?fileID=39817 Didn’t realize the developer was doing this many things against city guidelines until now also. Everything from the sidewalks to the parking garage to the benches to the lighting to the traffic impact study to the trees to the exterior materials...the list goes on and on that don’t match up with them. Yikes. It’s really sad to see the developer doesn’t seem to care about what the city and surrounding neighbors think. This project is DOA unless they make some major changes. 
 

YIKES....in caps.   

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Posted (edited)

I am absolutely baffled as to why the developer is moving forward with trying to get DRB approval instead of going back to the drawing board when there is no chance of it passing whatsoever. The amount of errors on their DRB application that they haven’t even taken the time to fix is quite disturbing also. Were they drunk when doing the application? This has got to be one of the dumbest developers I have ever seen.

Edited by gman430
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While I agree this is puzzling that the applicant is proceeding at this point, I feel staff is holding this project to a much higher standard than many others. More than a few of these 'standards'  are nebulous at best, IMO. 

I won't go into every example, but here are a few.

Quote

The proposed plan does not provide pedestrian cut-throughs to break the block apart. Unlike other recent large-scale projects downtown such as Camperdown or the Greene, a pedestrian cut-through is not provided.

This comment does not hold water at all, IMO.  The only pedestrian cut-through that the Greene has is at the far end of the project. There is about 470' feet of continuous building with no cut-through (nor any plaza or greenspace) plus a garage entrance/exit.   The Main Street continuous length on this project is less than 300'.  Camperdown is a very different project altogether but the AC Hotel is almost 250' long along S. Main St.  

This property is zoned C-4 and has been for a few years. This is where density belongs. Reading the staff comments they are saying the 1 and 2 story buildings (the salon and the old West End Coffee location on Markley & the 1021 S. main four-front 'strip' building) necessitate that  this building be much lower in height (at least on the edges) to not overwhelm them.  Meanwhile there is the Greene right across the street that is 5 and 6 stories.  To say nothing of the many instances in DT and West End (C-4 zones) where  1-3 story buildings abut much higher buildings.  Also, who is to say these lower height buildings won't seek redevelopment into taller projects in the future (1021 S. Main in particular).   

I get the impression that the M West residents are fighting this hard because their rooftop views will change significantly.  But the Westgate on Wardlaw units (similar in many ways to M West) will face the 9 story McClaren apartment building. 

The Fire department is asking that the alley meet Vardry at 90 degrees. Doing that plus providing any type of Pedestrian cut-thru would seem to require a radical redesign. If the ridiculous 'height averages' are thrown in, they you really are starting over.  

There is room for improvement here, but the city is being unreasonable in some respects, IMO.   

     

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Posted (edited)

When your application is so screwed up that it shows the transformer sitting in the roadway and vegetation blocking the trash truck from getting to the dumpsters. :blink: 
Sounds like the DRB doesn’t want to waste their time even debating the application. Can’t say I blame them. 

Edited by gman430
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