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That is the best site for a high rise in Downtown Spartanburg. It has the highest elevation in the downtown area.

It sits almost 50' or about 5 stories higher than the elevation of the AC Marriott. You would get a lot of good views

and your building could be seen from much farther away.  Hopefully, one day we'll see something there.

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Some major plans being refined and pursued right now. H-J parcel in particular. Should be a fun year.

Top 2 floors of the old Kosch & Gray building have been painted.  Looks much better, but that whole side of the block (minus the Evins residence) is soooo bland.   Need more color!

I think an easy compromise would be a redesign to close dunbar, and set up that block of Main Street to allow for vehicular traffic - but not look like it. Have you seen the redesign of Main Street in

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Hopefully,  the height and setback restrictions will continue to be deviated from.  So far Event Rentals was able to build

one story in a required two story district. 198 W Main was able to add a story over the code limit.  Aug on Main was able

to build 2 additional stories with a reduced set back requirement. The Smith Drug proposal set back for the upper floors

is much less than what code requires. I think all of these are positive moves and add to each project, other than the Event

Rentals Building. I also think that GDJ can do just about what ever he wants to do. I'm sure the City would change whatever

would be necessary to keep him happy, and that's not a bad thing.

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Height restrictions I could see being flexible on, but setback/build to lines are key to making a city feel like a city. I sincerely hope that never changes. I personally think the height limitations should be enforced so actual density is concentrated near the center of town first. 

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I don't understand how you get greater density with shorter buildings. Most all sites downtown are limited in dimension, very much limited. So if you

decide to build on a 100' x 100' site and go, say 4 stories, you have 40,000 square feet on that site. Now, build an 8 story building on the same site.

You now have 80,000 square feet.  Which is more dense?  You may say just build another building on another lot somewhere to close in all the gaps.

That may work in some cases, but most would prefer to be in one location. Also, you may not necessarily be able to acquire another site or the next

available site is not in close proximity. Just doesn't make sense to me. 

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The BoA lot is DT-5, which allows up to 6-floors as a base, but up to 10 with DRB approval (LEED, mixed-use).  So decent height is possible.  Still, I think DT-6 should be extended a few blocks further east (it ends at Converse St).  Too much of DT-6 is existing new or historic buildings (and large City & County parcels).  Then again, the Cambria is only going 6-floors in DT-6, so the market probably isn't there yet for significant height anyway. Urban Code here

UCmap.thumb.JPG.b9ba90cf621c4cab5aabd06805f64bbd.JPG

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7 hours ago, spartanburgh said:

I don't understand how you get greater density with shorter buildings. Most all sites downtown are limited in dimension, very much limited. So if you

decide to build on a 100' x 100' site and go, say 4 stories, you have 40,000 square feet on that site. Now, build an 8 story building on the same site.

You now have 80,000 square feet.  Which is more dense?  You may say just build another building on another lot somewhere to close in all the gaps.

That may work in some cases, but most would prefer to be in one location. Also, you may not necessarily be able to acquire another site or the next

available site is not in close proximity. Just doesn't make sense to me. 

It has to do with the market's demand for space and the ability to finance construction. If you have demand for 500,000 sq ft of office space, and it gets absorbed by one building that's 6 stories tall, then you get one building that's 6 stories tall. But If you have heigh limits, it pushes it down to a higher number of smaller buildings which creates a larger net area of the city that feels walkable. The net result is more land being occupied by buildings that are being used. Think about Charleston. There aren't many tall buildings downtown, but there are tons of 2-3 story buildings (houses, offices, etc) all over the peninsula. Those 2-3 story buildings create a more urban city fabric than the few random tall buildings we have in Spartanburg. While we will never be Charleston, in order to create a walkable city you need spread density around. We need to think about preserving our small town character but also expanding the urban/walkable area of downtown.  In a small market like Spartanburg, there isn't going to be much demand for high rises except for the one-off building here and there; and people claim to love the small town vibe of the city. So, by pushing developers to midrise buildings you can preserve the small town feel while still creating a walkable environment.

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Cleveland Hall will be preserved!  A couple has bought the home and will renovate it and live in it.  Even more positive, they plan to place a permanent preservation easement on the house.  The loss of Bon Haven and this situation I believe has rallied the preservation community to think more proactively about historic structures in our City.  Brad Steinecke, an historian at the SCPL, recently wrote an op-ed about doing more (enacting legal protections) to preserve our historic buildings.  I hope this momentum continues.

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Chapman Cultural Center is currently accepting proposals for a "Creative Crosswalk Project".  They're seeking artistic designs for crosswalks at West Main and Magnolia, and West Main and King.  The crosswalks will be painted in May/June.  This seems similar to the blue-and-white chevron crosswalks painted at East Main and Liberty a few years ago.  Always love to see more public art (that enhances pedestrian safety/awareness too)!

Crosswalks.thumb.png.a1fe2338bd340f12b05373ac22c49e45.png

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Looks like the Liberty streetscaping between Commerce and St John is complete.  Doubled the sidewalk width, added streetlights, removed power lines/poles.  It's a shame the co-op is closed, but this certainly improves conditions here for the future and helps connect Main Street to The George, CCC, etc.

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Previous condition for comparison (Google Street View)

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MUCH better!

Too bad they couldn't get that one overhead light pole out of the way. Still a vast improvement. I hope they will plant something between the sidewalk and the edge of the retaining wall to the left.

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The B-Cycle bike-share program has been expanded with the addition of 11 new dockless bicycles.  It's a partnership with SCC, which has a new bike rack along Converse Street for the bikes (next to where the new cycle-track will be, eventually).  However, they can be docked at any bike rack downtown, making these bikes much more versatile than the existing docked ones.  This is exciting! I hope these bikes get a lot of use, so we can get more of them in the future.

IMG_20190319_182546665.thumb.jpg.72a465c38cab22b0287b710f19c0cecd.jpg

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I saw a new "Leased" sign at 156 East Main the other day (the old location of Armoire, which moved to 162 E Main).  Well, I discovered that it will be Market on Main, a place for vendors and artisans to sell hand-crafted goods (home decor, clothing, gifts, jewelry, etc).  Sounds like an interesting concept.  It should open later this Spring (maybe April).

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Andrew Babb has purchased the building at 122 Magnolia Street. 

He intends to renovate and lease it and apparently is already in talks with several prospective tenants. 

https://www.goupstate.com/news/20190326/former-magnolia-street-smithworks-location-changes-hands

Hopefully another long dark building will see life again!

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  • 2 weeks later...
22 minutes ago, Sparkleman said:

Does anybody have any idea why the city is choosing to pave part of Pine Street and not the whole thing? The portion I was on yesterday rides like crap and looks like crap.

It makes the town look cheap.

I just came from [south] Pine Street and it appears a contractor is "patching" in advance of a complete repave.  

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1 hour ago, Sparkleman said:

Does anybody have any idea why the city is choosing to pave part of Pine Street and not the whole thing? The portion I was on yesterday rides like crap and looks like crap.

It makes the town look cheap.

Important distinction: SCDOT is doing this work, not the City.  And yes, the patching sucks.  I do hope they end up doing a complete repave.

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