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On 2/26/2021 at 10:50 AM, Cityplanner said:

You're exactly right; Belk has stated that stores won't close and the bankruptcy is a quick, pre-packaged deal.

I just figure that a retailer that's filing for bankruptcy and is in a distressed industry (mall-based department stores) can say it won't close stores, but I'll believe that when I see it.

It's just a matter of time before department stores are history. Same for Westgate Mall.

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I attended the last presentation to the public of final draft of the City Comprehensive Plan. I asked how the Westgate corridor plan was coming along. Apparently, the private parties that would need to be involved in bringing  the city’s vision to life are not interested in their vision. Apparently, they think it is a viable site as it is. Not sure how they can think along those lines when Westgate has declared bankruptcy… On the positive side of things though, developers for the Union Street corridor are onboard. The main challenge is changing the zoning from industrial to residential/commercial/mixed, as the case may be. With all the good things happening there already, I was happy to hear that. Westgate though - a total bummer. 

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It's probably more accurate to say that the market doesn't exist to do something different at this point in time. You're only just now starting to see suburban town centers in the Upstate, including that large one in Mauldin. True mall conversions require substantial investment to raze/rebulid. I think Raleigh is the smallest market I'm aware of that has seen a mall redevelopment into an urban product (North Hills). Anyone aware of something similar in a smaller market?

The City's plan is a good one, and it's good that they are thinking about that inevitable future. Sooner or later, something like that will have to happen. That location will continue to be the primary suburban commercial center in Spartanburg. In the mean time, Westgate will continue to gradually evolve/devolve - but the area around it will also have to change in the long run. 

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VPI, LLC aka Pinnacle Partnership (developers of Spartan 16 and several hotels near the mall) has requested the rest of their land be designated a "textile mill site" to assist with tax breaks as they plan to develop it in 2023.  (County Resolution for Monday's meeting)  So this may finally be happening, after all these years. 

Also, all this land also needs to be annexed, as it's almost adjacent to city limits.  The City needs to get serious about (especially commercial) annexation.

1157500002_pinnprop.thumb.jpg.502173af90aa46f028ef487dcc0c253e.jpg

Edit - here's a REALLY old concept for "Westgate Towncenter - Phase 2"

146163580_PinnacleWestgaterender.thumb.jpg.9d17513f266162a929a8bc75e90edd1c.jpg

Edited by westsider28
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18 hours ago, westsider28 said:

Also, all this land also needs to be annexed, as it's almost adjacent to city limits.  The City needs to get serious about (especially commercial) annexation

I don't disagree that the land needs to be in the city, but what tools do you propose the city use to force property owners to annex?  They've got the water agreement, so it can happen if there's a new tap, but aside from that, what do you suggest?  

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3 hours ago, Historyguy said:

I don't disagree that the land needs to be in the city, but what tools do you propose the city use to force property owners to annex?  They've got the water agreement, so it can happen if there's a new tap, but aside from that, what do you suggest?  

For clarification, what constitutes a "new tap"?  Is it not any new development (especially on vacant land)?

Part of the problem (on this topic and elsewhere) is lack of transparency and information available to the public.  Where is the City water agreement that's easily accessible for the public to view?  Not on the City's website where it should be...

It seems that there have been several new developments contiguous to city limits that the City (I assume) chose not to annex.  And as I mentioned before, how will they ever get to the non-contiguous parcels that must be annexed (via water agreement) if they don't annex the contiguous ones first? 

It doesn't have to be the 100% method; I saw that Greenville is attempting the 75% method (it seems Greenville has gotten more aggressive lately).  Or sell property owners on it!  Greenville has a whole webpage detailing the advantages to annexation and that it can potentially lower taxes for the property owner.  Where is such information/marketing from the City of Spartanburg?

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18 hours ago, westsider28 said:

For clarification, what constitutes a "new tap"?  Is it not any new development (especially on vacant land)?

Part of the problem (on this topic and elsewhere) is lack of transparency and information available to the public.  Where is the City water agreement that's easily accessible for the public to view?  Not on the City's website where it should be...

It seems that there have been several new developments contiguous to city limits that the City (I assume) chose not to annex.  And as I mentioned before, how will they ever get to the non-contiguous parcels that must be annexed (via water agreement) if they don't annex the contiguous ones first? 

It doesn't have to be the 100% method; I saw that Greenville is attempting the 75% method (it seems Greenville has gotten more aggressive lately).  Or sell property owners on it!  Greenville has a whole webpage detailing the advantages to annexation and that it can potentially lower taxes for the property owner.  Where is such information/marketing from the City of Spartanburg?

If any of you know me by now you know I am all about lower taxes and I would be all for being annexed if there was something in it for me. However paying for the new tap (no problem there) then having to pay to have it hooked up (this is the major cost) is a deal breaker. If the city was really serious about annexing they would offer some kind of a deal here to the homeowner like paying half of what I consider a ridiculous amount to hook on to sewer.

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On 10/16/2022 at 9:42 PM, westsider28 said:

VPI, LLC aka Pinnacle Partnership (developers of Spartan 16 and several hotels near the mall) has requested the rest of their land be designated a "textile mill site" to assist with tax breaks as they plan to develop it in 2023.  (County Resolution for Monday's meeting)  So this may finally be happening, after all these years. 

Also, all this land also needs to be annexed, as it's almost adjacent to city limits.  The City needs to get serious about (especially commercial) annexation.

1157500002_pinnprop.thumb.jpg.502173af90aa46f028ef487dcc0c253e.jpg

Edit - here's a REALLY old concept for "Westgate Towncenter - Phase 2"

146163580_PinnacleWestgaterender.thumb.jpg.9d17513f266162a929a8bc75e90edd1c.jpg

I feel like an important aspect that needs to be discussed if Westgate is turned into a mixed-used development in the coming years is transportation. One day it may somehow get to connect to downtown but for right now it’s surrounded by a highly dense area for traffic so Spartanburg if it’s committed to making more car-free transportation available it will have to figure out how to get these future residents to the rest of town without having to rely on a huge parking lot like how Westgate already does

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On 10/17/2022 at 3:52 PM, Historyguy said:

I don't disagree that the land needs to be in the city, but what tools do you propose the city use to force property owners to annex?  They've got the water agreement, so it can happen if there's a new tap, but aside from that, what do you suggest?  

The City's incentives are sewer service, trash pickup, police, and fire service. Not sure how/if these apply to those properties, but it is weird that they haven't been annexed. 

Also how is this a mill site?  

 

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16 hours ago, Spartan said:

The City's incentives are sewer service, trash pickup, police, and fire service. Not sure how/if these apply to those properties, but it is weird that they haven't been annexed. 

Also how is this a mill site?  

On trash pickup, not necessarily.  Commercial properties have to handle their own trash collection.  The reduction in fire insurance rates because of the highly qualified fire department is an incentive I've said I think the city should tout.  Zoning - and protecting the uses of the property, would be another incentive, but some people want to be able to do whatever.  

Annexation made sense for the proposed apartment complex west of I-26 behind Hobby Lobby to the initial developer, as they could get a level of density in their project that they could not get under county development rules.  They asked to come in.  Perhaps the water agreement would have brought them in anyway.  The property got annexed (over the objections of the folks along Franklin Avenue, who were not being annexed) and even though it hasn't been developed yet, it's still in the city.  

I would like to think a redevelopment around Westgate, particularly if it altered their water service, would trigger a potential annexation.  And of course, even then it has to be contiguous.  But short of that, annexation here is largely voluntary.  And if somebody wants to sit on a property and not develop it and stay outside the city, there isn't a whole lot the city can do about it.  

I guess the definition of abandoned mill site is pretty broad - it could have been used for some ancillary purpose.  

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Another in-state mall redevelopment: Richland Mall will be demolished (Belk will remain) and replaced with a $100 million mixed-use development including apartments, a grocery store, a brewery, other retail, and a park.  Four to five years for phase 1 completion (grocery, apartments), while the full project will take ~10 years.  Westgate Mall is about double the size of this site (60+ acres vs 32 acres).  Seems like a good model to emulate and expand upon here.

rm1.thumb.jpg.d8e06e98c8ebe83fcf17a09ab8a6cb7b.jpg

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The economics for the Richland Mall redevelopment work out really well since already has structured parking (I'm assuming they're keeping it, but I haven't seen a site plan) and is located in one of the wealthiest parts of the city (Forest Acres).

I do think it's great that we're finally seeing a project like this in SC. I hope it's a good sign for other cities.

I think Westgate would not redevelop as dense as Richland.

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16 hours ago, westsider28 said:

Another in-state mall redevelopment: Richland Mall will be demolished (Belk will remain) and replaced with a $100 million mixed-use development including apartments, a grocery store, a brewery, other retail, and a park.  Four to five years for phase 1 completion (grocery, apartments), while the full project will take ~10 years.  Westgate Mall is about double the size of this site (60+ acres vs 32 acres).  Seems like a good model to emulate and expand upon here.

rm1.thumb.jpg.d8e06e98c8ebe83fcf17a09ab8a6cb7b.jpg

I've been to this mall and everything is dead but Barnes & Noble and Belk, Westgate seems to be going on a similar path, I think the investors need to soon see that redevelopment into a mixed-use development might be the best (or maybe only option) to make a good return on their investment

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