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The State of Downtown Retail


GvilleSC

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Chills up my spine.....

Why doesn't the developer just go all out and make this a true mixed use project....Wal-Mart and Bass Pro could anchor, then throw in Piggly Wiggly, Sally Beauty Supply, Golden Corral Buffet and of course Glamour Shots (for the local Toddlers & Tiaras crowd). Man, what a fantastic development we could have! (Let me go get a towel, my screen is dripping with sarcasm).

LMAO! Don't forget Dollar Tree. :silly:

Side note: I love Toddlers & Tiaras. One of the most hilarious shows on TV, for the simple fact that the people on it don't realize how humorously entertaining they are!

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According to the Journal, both the Planning Commission and the CITY COUNCIL will have to approve the plans. That, coupled with the fact that the influential Alta Vista neighborhood will no doubt weigh in, leads me to believe that this plan will be changed significantly as it works it's way through.

Also, Bob Hughes owns the NEXT Innovation Center across the street, so he has skin in this project and tremendous experience too.

This is a tremendous opportunity for the city staff/officials to rise to the occassion, and work with Walmart to create a great project out of a mediocre one. In doing so, Walmart could use it as an example of what to do in other urban locations.

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According to the Journal, both the Planning Commission and the CITY COUNCIL will have to approve the plans. That, coupled with the fact that the influential Alta Vista neighborhood will no doubt weigh in, leads me to believe that this plan will be changed significantly as it works it's way through.

Also, Bob Hughes owns the NEXT Innovation Center across the street, so he has skin in this project and tremendous experience too.

This is a tremendous opportunity for the city staff/officials to rise to the occassion, and work with Walmart to create a great project out of a mediocre one. In doing so, Walmart could use it as an example of what to do in other urban locations.

It's nice that elected officials will have to weigh in, as well as another committee. Walmart most likely won't develop office space or residential, so who owns this land and will? If the planning commission approves anything that's not mixed use (no matter how compact and pleasant the design may be), they should be dissolved and a new planning body formed.

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the influential Alta Vista neighborhood will no doubt weigh in

I agree with you that there will be people from Alta Vista who get involved. That's where my parents live. They are fine with it, as are their neighbors.

If the Walmart were on the corner of Augusta & Faris that'd be one thing, but the Walmart location has long been a moderately-dodgy area anyway that isn't connected in people's minds to Alta Vista. The low-income areas off Church Street are a dividing line.

I don't see 100% of the neighborhood going one way or the other- they didn't block the demolition of the Furman campus for Bell Tower Mall, which I understand was way controversial in the '60s and which was probably much worse than just a Walmart being built on an empty lot.

If there is any community backlash, I'd hope that it would result in a better Walmart development, if any changes are made, perhaps involving a total redevelopment of County Square. There is a huge need for regular retail around there.

Edited by mallguy
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but the Walmart location has long been a moderately-dodgy area anyway that isn't connected in people's minds to Alta Vista. The low-income areas off Church Street are a dividing line.

Well, I think most people consider Sirrine Stadium and the former 8 O'clock a part of Alta Vista, and those staples exist adjacent to this development. Furthermore, with a renewed Church Street, I think Alta Vista is going to feel much more connected to the corridor and WANT to be. It will no longer be the eyesore that has been for a long time. Thus, if anyone doesn't think this will affect them, then they are incredibly short-sighted. They should very much care. NOT that it's Walmart, but that it has the potential to be INCREDIBLY UNDER DEVELOPED.

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They're installing new glass where the lobby entrance is.

Ya they had some windows shatter due to the heat.

Sorry to see them go. There angus beef hot dogs were delicious. I wonder if the hot dog king building is part of the same parcel as the vacnt parking lot next door. If so that would be a big parcel that is ripe for development.

That is actually multiple lots next to it with multiple owners.

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So it will take some creativity to make that surface lot at Main and Broad something that can be redeveloped...

... Which we all know that if a City wants to get it done, that Greenville is the one which can do it. I think the patience it took to work out all of the Woolworth shell owners and other pieces of property on site would drive most people and cities insane.

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New info from last night's Alta Vista neighborhood meeting on the Church St. Wal-Mart:

1.) Wal-Mart is currently under contract on the land. Their plans are to close 3rd quarter 2012 and open summer 2013.

2.) For them to achieve their goal it will require zoning changes

3.) Nothing has been submitted to planning committee as of yesterday which was the cut off for Sept. meeting. That means at the very least it will be 3 months from now before they can be completely approved by City Council and Planning Board.

4.) First discussions between Wal-Mart and city officials was May/June.

5.) Plan is for a 100k+ sq ft single tenant structure (this has grown from 80k sq ft at the start). They are still calling this a "smaller" Wal-Mart... which it is but that does not make it a SMALL structure.

6.) Total space stretching from University to Pearl is 11 acres... the plan is to take up 8.5. This will stretch from University to the creek with the current plan.

7.) Work is underway with Engineers. A lot of site work would be done as walmart requires a completely flat land. This means MANY retaining walls and at points the ground level will be 12 ft below the rd.

8.) There was "talk" by Wal-Mart to purchase houses between Serine Stadium and University. Someone said this was going no where fast. They also want to utilize the rd between the property and Serine Stadium (I cant remember the name) and the only way for that to extend to Pearl would be if they purchased some of the houses on Pearl.

9.) 430 slot parking lot

10.) Wal-Mart says the market they see needs 1.)Grocery and 2.)Retail

11.) McBee Station total sq ft is 80k + parking lot. They put the footprint of McBee on top of this site and that footprint with parking was smaller than what Wal-Mart proposed (This showed a good visual of the actual size proposed)

12.) Footprint is in 3 different zones (NG, NC, URVC). The middle portion of that land is zoned for residential.

13.) Violates many guidelines (Must have windows facing the road, corner entrances, doors every 16 ft... just to name a few)

14.) Land is zoned PD which is the most restrictive. City Council members, when asked if it would be easy for Wal-Mart to have the land rezoned, basically said it would be next to impossible.

Things people were worried about: Not following the master plan/not a good gateway, Flood water run off, Late night noise, traffic... to name a few. There was also the std talks of property values dropping, losses of jobs in the community, etc.

Nothing has been FORMALLY submitted for approval so both city council and the Approval committee stayed fairly political in their responses. All of the above is based off of what Wal-Mart has expressed as their intent to do with the land.

There will be an actual meeting with Wal-Mart officials but sadly I will be out of town. Some members of the community have already met with Wal-Mart officials. Very informative meeting and very well run.

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I wish HDK good luck on Woodruff Rd. One of the things that I think made it successful on Main St. was the walk-in crowd. On Woodruff Rd. they will have to depend on people who make a conscious decision to drive there. Will that happen? We'll see. Anyway, HDK has always had great food at very reasonable prices, and it was less than a five-minute walk from my office.

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New info from last night's Alta Vista neighborhood meeting on the Church St. Wal-Mart:

So were most people in the neighborhood opposed to Walmart coming? What bothers me the most about this plan is not the fact that it's Walmart (although I'm not a big fan of Walmart to begin with), but how the plan is being described (100k sf, flattened site, etc.) After all the work that has been put into the master plan for this area, and the work being done on Church St, whatever is built here should fit with the master plan. I would love to see something along the lines of McBee Station. I might not even mind a smaller Walmart if it were something the size of Publix (about 30,000sf). I really hope the plan as it's being described right now goes nowhere.

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Unanimously opposed. There was many people who did not want a Wal-Mart at all but there was also discussion of making it fit to the standards. Im not completely against putting something like a walmart there... especially if it could be like McBee station (ONLY if it was mixed use with other retail, restaurants, and residential) but that too would require rezoning. The corner of Church and University technically could hold a 30k sq ft building and is zoned for retail... but I think this space is so prime it needs some sort of residential and multi story. The views from that piece are supposed to be some of the best in the city. I would rather see something like Harper proposed (http://i54.photobuck...an8-12-05-1.jpg) with a much smaller 15k-30k sq ft hybrid Walmart in the middle (this middle area is currently zoned residential though). I could see the city signing off on something like that MUCH easier than a big box stretching all the way from university almost to Pearl.

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I am glad that the people in attendance at the meeting were opposed to this plan, because I certainly am too.  The idea of 430 parking spaces in a surface lot, in that location, makes me nauseous.  Something lie that, adjacent to an already huge one story building, is about as stupid as it gets when it comes to urban planning and retail development.

The city better stick to its guns on this.  The master plan is great as is.  If Walmart wants to be a part of things in the urban core, then they will have to abandon their M.O. and actually work with the city and nearby landowners.  Otherwise, this site should remain empty until a better tenant comes along.

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