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Sprucing up the entrance to the Courthouse:

courthouse_rennovate.jpg

The old Spartan Hotel. I tried to see what sort of progress had been made on the rennovations, but there wasn't anything worth takign a picture of. Hopefully its further along that it looks from the outside!

spartanhotel.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

According to the Journal, the Downtown Association has hired a coordinator to, well, help coordinate projects and efforts downtown. Long term, the Downtown Association wants to become separate from the Chamber of Commerice (I assume something like Charlotte Center City Partners). The example the article uses is Fort Worth, TX where the downtown association coordinates and manages concerts, festivals, signage, and cleaning streets. But that situation would be at least five years out- if not more (IMO). This is a positive step for Spartanburg.

There were no TBA's this week.

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GREAT NEWS!!

The HJ is reporting that developers are looking to invest in a multi-million project on the corner of Main and Pine. The current Pine Street Crossing that has the Skillet, Ford's drugs etc... and the Economy Inn adjacent will be torn down and redeveloped. Plans are still preliminary, and it may be an August '09 start, but this is great for downtown.

Check out more details in the ARTICLE

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This is fantastic news. The best part is that all three of those sketchy hotels will be gone. This, plus the road diet on East Main could really help create a secondary entertainment/restaurant area in downtown. It very specifically said retail and dining would be inlcuded and that it would mesh with the city's master plan. If the City adopts it soon, it will HAVE to mesh with it. I hope that the buildings that face the corner are multi storey and that we see some kind of residential component to it.

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Ok, I read the article again, and I misunderstood what they said. The develpoment will only be the SW corner of Main & Pine. They just bought the Economy Inn from the people who own the other three sketchy hotels in that area.

I went through my files and I have no pics of that corner that I can find. But I do have some of the opposite corners!

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Here is the areiel Photo the HJ did not include on the website

1244186288_3f840270be_o.jpg

Nice. Thanks for sharing that! It really puts things into perspetive. If we can just get those frappy old hotels out of there like the Travel Inn, Village Inn (or whatever the old HoJo is called) and the College Inn.... we're so close!

It's cool to see the Mellow Mushroom on that shot. They did however, put the 2nd Johnson building on the wrong block. They put the red where the new Catholic sanctuary will be located. You can see the old Spartanburg County Foundation building where the new building will be.

You're right, they got the wrong corner. Thats the HJ for ya. I want to do something like that for all of Spartanburg's projects. But thats a ways out from now.

Look at these maps, but think "Spartanburg"

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Highway 29 is signed for St John and the extension as far as I know. If you go west on East Main St, you get to St John and the signs for 29 tell you to follow St John, not Main St. This is the second error on that map form the HJ. I'm beginning to wonder if those people even have a clue what's on the ground today!

Roads-scholar might know better than I- but it did come up when I went to the master plan charrette to resign 29 over to Daniel Morgan so that St John could be changed into a more ped-friendly environment without getting SCDOT involved. I dont' know if that was ever officially finalized, but it seems like a good idea to me. Who cares where it goes at this point.

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More good news for downtown. I haven't been keeping up with Spartanburg developments long, but it appears to me that the pace of development may be accelerating; would I be correct? I think the city is in a good place now, especially if it adopts the masterplan. Doing so at this stage in the city's history, when there aren't a lot of mistakes to correct (compared to larger cities), will ensure that things are done right the first time around and will eventually set the city apart.

Any plans for the empty land surrounding the Spartan hotel?

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Highway 29 is signed for St John and the extension as far as I know. If you go west on East Main St, you get to St John and the signs for 29 tell you to follow St John, not Main St. This is the second error on that map form the HJ. I'm beginning to wonder if those people even have a clue what's on the ground today!

Roads-scholar might know better than I- but it did come up when I went to the master plan charrette to resign 29 over to Daniel Morgan so that St John could be changed into a more ped-friendly environment without getting SCDOT involved. I dont' know if that was ever officially finalized, but it seems like a good idea to me. Who cares where it goes at this point.

I did not attend the charette and have no information regarding the US-29 routing through downtown Spartanburg. However, I could see 29 using Daniel Morgan and perhaps even Drayton Avenue / Isom Street as an alternative to St. John.

I think your comment "who cares where it goes at this point" should not be construed as negative. I doubt many motorists use 29 as a through route anymore.

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More good news for downtown. I haven't been keeping up with Spartanburg developments long, but it appears to me that the pace of development may be accelerating; would I be correct? I think the city is in a good place now, especially if it adopts the masterplan. Doing so at this stage in the city's history, when there aren't a lot of mistakes to correct (compared to larger cities), will ensure that things are done right the first time around and will eventually set the city apart.

Any plans for the empty land surrounding the Spartan hotel?

I don't know that I would say accelerating, but definitely keeping a steady pace. The announcement for the Main & Pine development has actually given me more hope for downtown because until then we haven't had any significant planned projects announced since Library Commons this spring.

I'm not aware of any other projects around the old Spartan Hotel, but having that changing land use could lead to many things. There's a lot of empty land and a lot of under-utilized land on Magnolia Street and north of the courthouses, so who knows....

I did not attend the charette and have no information regarding the US-29 routing through downtown Spartanburg. However, I could see 29 using Daniel Morgan and perhaps even Drayton Avenue / Isom Street as an alternative to St. John.

I think your comment "who cares where it goes at this point" should not be construed as negative. I doubt many motorists use 29 as a through route anymore.

Thats exactly what I meant, roads-scholar :) That would be an even better route, IMO. US Highway routes are important for smaller towns because it means that they will get through traffic. Spartanburg is a destination, so the routes were planned to go to us to begin with. As long as it goes through town, it doesn't matter to me where it actually runs.

My only concern with running it along Drayton/Isom is that it might make it difficult for the Beaumont community to bring itself back.

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I don't know that I would say accelerating, but definitely keeping a steady pace. The announcement for the Main & Pine development has actually given me more hope for downtown because until then we haven't had any significant planned projects announced since Library Commons this spring.

I'm not aware of any other projects around the old Spartan Hotel, but having that changing land use could lead to many things. There's a lot of empty land and a lot of under-utilized land on Magnolia Street and north of the courthouses, so who knows....

Thats exactly what I meant, roads-scholar :) That would be an even better route, IMO. US Highway routes are important for smaller towns because it means that they will get through traffic. Spartanburg is a destination, so the routes were planned to go to us to begin with. As long as it goes through town, it doesn't matter to me where it actually runs.

My only concern with running it along Drayton/Isom is that it might make it difficult for the Beaumont community to bring itself back.

Regardless of where 29 is routed I think St. John definitely needs to be downsized into less of a through street and more of a more pedestrian friendly corridor, at least between Magnolia and Converse. Patrons of the new Chapman Cultural Center better be careful as St. John is like a speedway now!

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Pedestrian Friendly? Narrow Main St. from Converse to St. John? How much will this cost?

First, where are the pedetrians? Sidewalks already exsist. I usually don't see anyone walking on them. In that stretch of roadway, there are two mega-churches, a new office building, a bed and breakfast and a couple of banks. There is no land left for new development.

Spartanburg is a city of car-drivers. If you narrow Main St. it will discourage drivers from driving-through to see what the city may offer. It will not encourage people to walk. Take for example the huge sidewalks on Dunbar St. Ever see those filled?

Morgan Square used to be several streets. Now it is a parking lot with red lights. The flow sucks. I assume a good many people avoid driving through there now. Is this good or bad? I realize that somethings have to be sacrificed for design. The park-like atmosphere of Morgan Square is a lovely addition to downtown. However, stalling the traffice on East Main due to imaginary pedestrians is a waste of effort,resources and money.

It will take more than wider sidewalks to convince the fair citizens of Spartanburg to walk on city streets. We have been taught that cars are symbols of our personality, status, and freedom; not our feet.

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Pedestrian Friendly? Narrow Main St. from Converse to St. John? How much will this cost?

First, where are the pedetrians? Sidewalks already exsist. I usually don't see anyone walking on them. In that stretch of roadway, there are two mega-churches, a new office building, a bed and breakfast and a couple of banks. There is no land left for new development.

Spartanburg is a city of car-drivers. If you narrow Main St. it will discourage drivers from driving-through to see what the city may offer. It will not encourage people to walk. Take for example the huge sidewalks on Dunbar St. Ever see those filled?

Morgan Square used to be several streets. Now it is a parking lot with red lights. The flow sucks. I assume a good many people avoid driving through there now. Is this good or bad? I realize that somethings have to be sacrificed for design. The park-like atmosphere of Morgan Square is a lovely addition to downtown. However, stalling the traffice on East Main due to imaginary pedestrians is a waste of effort,resources and money.

It will take more than wider sidewalks to convince the fair citizens of Spartanburg to walk on city streets. We have been taught that cars are symbols of our personality, status, and freedom; not our feet.

Perhaps so, at least in the short term, but I believe that in the long run Spartanburg residents will come to appreciate a walkable / livable downtown.

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