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Skyliner

Proposal: COUNTY OFFICES MOVING?!

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Here is the massive announcement we were anticipating! Greenville is contemplating moving all county offices to a new multistory building at Magnolia Park Town Center, which would leave the current space wide open for a massive mixed-use development that would "change the face of downtown." :yahoo::yahoo::yahoo:

Read more and discuss.

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Everyone will like this quote from the article:

Retailers such as the Cheesecake Factory or an Apple computer store would find the 66-acre Magnolia Park more attractive if it was the base for the 800 to 1,000 county employees now at County Square, he (Jackson Ward, Miami developer) said.

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Everyone will like this quote from the article:

True. That makes sense. I think the Apple Store and Cheesecake Factory would also like an office tower with highly-paid employees, such as some of the South Financial ones nearby.

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Yes, I like the mention of an Apple Computer store and Cheesecake Factory as a possibility however I am getting sick of this "love affair" with Woodruff Road. What is the obbession with seeing how much we can cram there?

As soon as I read the article this morning my first thought was, "Great, there's goes the county "kissing up" to the Eastside again." This would make things very difficult for any of those living on the Western side of the county. While I wouldn't mind something else being on University Ridge I do think the county offices, etc. would better serve the county at a central location. All we need is grumpy people needing to do business at county offices after having to drive on Woodruff Road. :angry:

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Yes, I like the mention of an Apple Computer store and Cheesecake Factory as a possibility however I am getting sick of this "love affair" with Woodruff Road. What is the obbession with seeing how much we can cram there?

As soon as I read the article this morning my first thought was, "Great, there's goes the county "kissing up" to the Eastside again." This would make things very difficult for any of those living on the Western side of the county. While I wouldn't mind something else being on University Ridge I do think the county offices, etc. would better serve the county at a central location. All we need is grumpy people needing to do business at county offices after having to drive on Woodruff Road. :angry:

At first this development idea seemed exciting but can't say that I am for this version. To move 800-1,000 county employees FROM downtown to the burbs will only set back the growth downtown. In times of economic downturns, the consistency of governmental operations adds stability to the downtown area. I'm sure retailers that the city is going after so hard will view the potential move of these jobs as a negative.

Actuallly, the proposed plan would in my view would work better at the existing site. Why not build a 250,000-300,000 square foot tower at the corner of S. Church Street and University Ridge (where the recycling center and tire store are located) and build the mixed use development where the county offices are now.

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Actuallly, the proposed plan would in my view would work better at the existing site. Why not build a 250,000-300,000 square foot tower at the corner of S. Church Street and University Ridge (where the recycling center and tire store are located) and build the mixed use development where the county offices are now.

This is definitely more ideal. :thumbsup:

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I've got to agree with Linkerj. A central location for county offices is a must if you don't want to further alienate a group of constituents.

County offices move from downtown location to an abandoned mall. Hmmm, seems like that's happened before.

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I've got to agree with Linkerj. A central location for county offices is a must if you don't want to further alienate a group of constituents.

County offices move from downtown location to an abandoned mall. Hmmm, seems like that's happened before.

Except they will actually be moving into a centrally located NEW mixed-use development with great interstate access and visibility, not an abandoned mall. I have faith in both the City and the County to make the right decision in this matter. Something needs to be done, and this developer is no small potatoes.

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County offices should be relocated into a new tower somewhere within Greenville's downtown. Location near I-85/I-385 may be more accessible, but it would seem out of place.

Is there any more room at the Greenville County Law Enforcement Center to allow for upward expansion of city and county police offices?

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I can't say that I am totally surprised by the response here. What is very important to remember is how Greenville is currently growing and what growth is projected in the future. There is no denying that the majority of development is expected to be near this part of the county/city.

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Actuallly, the proposed plan would in my view would work better at the existing site. Why not build a 250,000-300,000 square foot tower at the corner of S. Church Street and University Ridge (where the recycling center and tire store are located) and build the mixed use development where the county offices are now.

That's what I had been suggesting all along as well; however, the office tower plans at Magnolia Place hinge on whether the county moves to it or not.

Keep in mind that what replaces the county government complex on University Ridge will very likely bring 800-1000 (more than that, I strongly suspect) people back into downtown with residential towers, office towers, and retail all overlooking Falls Park and downtown Greenville.

As far as a centralized location for the county government offices, the Magnolia Place/Greenville Mall site is just about perfectly centered with respect to the county's population distribution.

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Yes, I like the mention of an Apple Computer store and Cheesecake Factory as a possibility however I am getting sick of this "love affair" with Woodruff Road. What is the obbession with seeing how much we can cram there?

As soon as I read the article this morning my first thought was, "Great, there's goes the county "kissing up" to the Eastside again." This would make things very difficult for any of those living on the Western side of the county. While I wouldn't mind something else being on University Ridge I do think the county offices, etc. would better serve the county at a central location. All we need is grumpy people needing to do business at county offices after having to drive on Woodruff Road. :angry:

I agree.

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Here is the massive announcement we were anticipating! Greenville is contemplating moving all county offices to a new multistory building at Magnolia Park Town Center, which would leave the current space wide open for a massive mixed-use development that would "change the face of downtown." :yahoo::yahoo::yahoo:

Read more and discuss.

TERRIBLE idea. More sprawl for Woodruff Rd. and less or no more paring for the baseball stadium most likely. :angry:

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TERRIBLE idea. More sprawl for Woodruff Rd. and less or no more paring for the baseball stadium most likely. :angry:

Did you read the entire article? The City is bent on ensuring that parking will remain for the Drive home games, as was clearly stated. ;)

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TERRIBLE idea. More sprawl for Woodruff Rd. and less or no more paring for the baseball stadium most likely. :angry:

I'm not sure what you mean by "more sprawl." I should point out that the county government offices, should they move to the former Greenville Mall site, will not technically be any more sprawl than what was already there. Furthermore, the tower itself is an urbanization of what had been sprawl. :P

Additionally, I'm not sure where you got the idea that there'd be no more parking for the ballpark. That's definitely something that the city has voiced a desire to retain at the University Ridge site and it's something that will be considered very highly if and when plans for redevelopment of the site are created. :thumbsup:

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Thanks for the additional info guys that I wasn't aware of. :thumbsup: Does anyboy know if there are any renderings yet or if they planning any highrises for this site?

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Having a county office tower on this location would be an amazing site from 85/385.

It would be a big boost to the reality of our size and prominence in the state to those passing through.

I think this is something that must happen in order for Greenville to continue a strong growth pattern for years to come.

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Having a county office tower on this location would be an amazing site from 85/385.

It would be a big boost to the reality of our size and prominence in the state to those passing through.

I think this is something that must happen in order for Greenville to continue a strong growth pattern for years to come.

What kind of tax hike do you think we would get for them moving to such a prime piece of real estate? It's one thing for captialist endeavors like resteraunts and malls to compete fast and furious on a hot bed like Woodruff road but something like a county office building belongs to ALL the taxpayers not just the biggest ones. I seriously doubt anyone driving down 385/I-85 is going to think we are any more of a real city or metropolis by seeing a county office building from the road.

If I could change anything however I would change the architecture of the current office to better match the look of the rest of the Westend District.

I've been very encouraged to see the revitalization of the Westend and surround areas. To me this area is the "real Greenville". You find more native Greenvillians living on the Western and Northern parts of town. I guess I'm biased however.

Also if the county offices moved to the location of the old Greenville Mall I'm worried Greenville County would go out of business! ;)

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If this mixed-use developmnt proposed for County Square doesn't have any highrises, it will be hardly worth building it. At least, that's the way I feel.

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Jackson Ward is essentially asking for corporate welfare

Ward said he proposed the deal because he needs the county office complex at Magnolia Park in order to make it the high-quality, mixed-use development he and local officials want.

The details as we know it so far:

1 Move existing offices, with ample parking to the parking lot of Woodruff Road and I-85, where a 1,000 car parking garage will have to be built.

2 Have the city swap land valued at $15 million and then invest in a $50 - 70 million dollar project

Depend on new taxes and bonds to make up the $35 - 55 million dollar difference

3 Which is not including the amount it will cost to move, organize and restructure county offices to a new location, probably want to add another $10 - 15 million on that.

4 Ward is not acheiving the success he hoped for in redevoloping the Greenville Mall site, but things are in motion to the point where he has to have quick investment. No other group would stupidedly part with that kind of money, er.... invest in the community like local government.

No thanks on this proposal guys. If we're waiting for a Cheesecake Factory, it would be a lot cheaper for the county to just use taxes to buy & build a franchise than to go through this.

I'm not in the mood as a taxpayer to finance Ward's inability to market the Greenville Mall site for a new development. That's his problem, not mine.

Oh, and as far as parking for the baseball park goes, gotta love this quote from Ward regarding what he hopes to bring to the site, "I understand what the (city's) objectives are, but I can't make promises I can't keep," he said. "It all has to be plausible and realistic."

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Like the old saying: "don't tax him, don't tax me, tax the man hiding behind that tree." :lol:

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That's what I had been suggesting all along as well; however, the office tower plans at Magnolia Place hinge on whether the county moves to it or not.

Keep in mind that what replaces the county government complex on University Ridge will very likely bring 800-1000 (more than that, I strongly suspect) people back into downtown with residential towers, office towers, and retail all overlooking Falls Park and downtown Greenville.

As far as a centralized location for the county government offices, the Magnolia Place/Greenville Mall site is just about perfectly centered with respect to the county's population distribution.

I agree 100%. Plus, (1) the new residents and/or workers at the County Square site could have a lot more disposable income to spend downtown than county government workers would and (2) the new complex could be integrated more into downtown, allowing people to walk to Main Street more easily, and so downtown could capture more spending than it currently does, as I'd figure that from County Square currently, people usually would just drive to lunch and to shop, and thus not necessarily to Main Street. Thus even if what happens is trading 1,000 county workers for 1,000 private sector workers, the new plan could provide a lot more economic benefits for downtown than the current site use does.

Not trying to slam Magnolia Park again, but if the developer is trying to lure county government to the site, it must be having problems getting another office tenant, and a shopping center whose anchors include a government tower and a Rooms to Go doesn't sound particularly desirable for high-end retailers (wouldn't they prefer a high-end office building full of highly-paid employees?).

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I like this idea. Sure, a large tower downtown for the 1,000 county employees would be better, but locating them on Woodruff Road is not a bad alternative at all. So it's not downtown. Not a big deal. Do the overwhelming majority of Greenville County residents ever have reason to go to County Square? I would think that 95% rarely even have to go, and those that do probably don't go more than once a month. So for those who do go to the County offices, is it really a big deal to drive an extra 10 minutes to Woodruff Road? Doesn't shopping or eating or something take most people to Woodruff at least a few times a month anyway?!?

In terms of the County Square site, the opportunities are endless. I think it's something we have to jump on now, even if the particulars for the rest of the project are not perfect. Despite the resistance from some, wasn't RiverPlace worth the gamble? Think about all we have gained as a result of it. Who's to say that this project, which makes sense on several different levels, wouldn't have a similar payoff?

I am surprised that so many people here would prefer to leave things exactly the way they are - and risk it most likely being this way for a long, long time on the County Square site - than gain a development that changes the face of downtown forever.

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is it really a big deal to drive an extra 10 minutes to Woodruff Road? Doesn't shopping or eating or something take most people to Woodruff at least a few times a month anyway?!?

To those of us who live closer to Cherrydale it's a little more than a 10 minute drive and I try to avoid going that way anytime I can. I'm not opposed to the offices moving per se but what I don't understand the thinking of moving "everything" out to Woodfuff Road. I'd settle for them moving out to one of the empty boxes on Laurens Road. Remember when Laurens Road when through the big road widening project a few years back and then everyone seemed to want to migrate to the narrower Woodruff Road which then had to be widened? Laurens Road is only a mile or two from the old Greenville Mall location but still very close to ICAR, Haywood Road. If you want to move county offices put them in the old Best Buy, Sam's Club, etc.

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Jackson Ward is essentially asking for corporate welfare

I'm not in the mood as a taxpayer to finance Ward's inability to market the Greenville Mall site for a new development. That's his problem, not mine.

This debate is wonderful. A big proposal deserves a big debate.

Let me weigh in by stating what I understand the facts to be, but in a different way than state above:

1) The county moves its brand-new offices to Greenville Mall in order to make possible a massive development that generates enough new tax revenue to pay for the county's move into brand new offices at Greenville Mall (and probably much more).

2) The county's move to Greenville Mall also makes possible the development of 33 acres on a crucial site downtown that are not on the county's or city's tax rolls now because they are owned by the county, generating a lot more additional tax revenues.

The question is not whether Jackson Ward benefits. The question is, is the deal a win/win for both Ward and the taxpayers?

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