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Well, the bottom floor of ESA is still empty right? Why can that not be converted to restaurant or retail space? You don't have to loose the building, just rework the front. Those shrubs will have to go...

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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!

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

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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Ok, I didn't get the response I thought that I would, but nevertheless, this is what I expect we would have come up with. This is a map with the sides of this street highlighted in red or green. Green represents sections of street that currently have, or are set up to potentially have storefronts. I also included civic structures (CAC) and parks/plazas. Red indicates sections of street that are not set up for this considering their CURRENT status. I took into account buildings that are under construction, but not proposed or planned ones. I think you can see the pattern. Red does not mean that its bad, or that its not pedestrian friendly. Just that it can't have a store or restaurant based on the structure that is currently there.

spartanburgcopy.jpg

I also want to emphasize that I don't think all streets should have store fronts, but I do think that we need to work towards creating a more store-friendly downtown, with clusters of shops and restaurants centered around Morgan Square, and not spread out all over. If it may take multiple centers, like Main & Pine, the CAC, the Square, SMA, etc. to anchor several smaller clusters that could grow together over time. The possibilities are endless. I just wanted to illustrate the current hurdle we have to jump.

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It did to an extent. They took a slightly different approach, using a more widely accepted methodology :) My point was only to illustrate that we have a scattered street retail frontage. The Urban Code and Master Plan will address many of these problems in the FUTURE. But the CURRENT allotment is what I attended to address.

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I really like the building!!! I'm also impressed that they got the architect from Fort Worth to design the building with McMillan-Smith. It complements the arts center while not looking "just like it". I hope the design of the garage is just as thoughtful and includes store fronts.

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If Schwartz is doing this building, I have no doubt that it will be a classic structure. I hope he continues to make his mark on Spartanburg. If so, Sparkle City could become home to some of the best modern architecture in the state.

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This is an interesting article in today's HJ. It touches a variety of issues and to me it raises more questions than it answers.

  1. East Main St Road Diet
    Will cost about $1.2 million. $400,000 dedicated from the city, the remainder is from private funding. Sounds like this one is moving forward.

Major update on the East Main Street Road Diet in today's Herald-Journal. This project is now "delayed indefinitely." The reasons for it appear to be somewhat complicated, but are rooted in the fact that SPATS took away its $400,000 commitment and the City does not yet have funding to cover that cost.

The City withdrew its request to SCDOT to use some money that had originated from them (the article explains the money swap that took place). The reason - and this is what really ticks me off- is that some businesses complained about "traffic backups" on E. Main due to the construction of the Johnson Building, which has one block reduced to one lane in one direction.

The next part illustrates a MAJOR problem in the thinking at SCDOT:

SCDOT Commissioner Hugh Atkins voiced opposition to the project, effectively killing its chances of moving forward anytime soon.

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I saw the other day where Mark Scott has said that the city is looking at charging a $6 "fee" to pick up garbage to offset fuel costs. Why don't these folks just call it a tax, because thats basically what it is. I guess the word tax scares everyone so they choose not to use it.

In other words, would you guys please stop taxing and feeing the general public to death.

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Ok, I really thought that I had replied to this one! Its not a tax, because a tax is charged based on some rate (eg: 5 cents per dollar). You can say I'm arguing semantics, but it won't change the fact that its not a tax. As I said in the SPARTA thread, I think that local governments serve several basic purposes, and one of those is waste removal. I am not opposed to the City imposing a fee for basic government services. Besides, many other cities the size of Spartanburg and smaller have trash fees. A survey was conducted of 22 South Carolina cities and of those, 16 had trash fees.

The HJ reports that City Council is leaning towards the trash pickup fee. They cite a range from $4 to $8 is being considered, but it sounds like $6 will be it. One resident actually argued for $6.50. Ours would be in line with Florence, Newberry, and Greenville.

HJ Article

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How will the city enforce yet another fee? What are they gonna do if you choose not to pay it? What if you take your garbage to work and dump it in the company can or some other can or even the landfill or an auxillary site that are spread around the city? IMO they can't charge you if you don't have anything to pick up.

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Negative. If you buy a house in the city, garbage pickup is included as part of the city taxes that you pay. I live in Hillbrook but in a part that is in the county so I have to have to get a private service to get mine and I pay $15 per month. Also if you're in the city, fire protection is also included in your taxes.

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Just one note on the fire protection comment. In the city all firemen are paid employees which work 24 hr shifts. There are 3 shifts in the rotation. With the county fire depts. most are volunteer or combination. They have to rely heavily on personnel that may or may not respond. For the money spent the city has decent fire protection coverage but is lacking severely in manpower for a city of it's size. The City needs to pony up a few extra dollars to bring our City's fire protection up to the standards that have been recommended to Charleston.

On a side note- Sparkleman Hillbrook is a fire response mess. It is cut up between the City, Converse, and Glendale. One good note is that if you are in Converse's district you will recieve automatic aid from Converse, Drayton, and Cowpens.

*Gets off soapbox*

Edited by Zebra
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  • 4 weeks later...

A little positive note for Downtown Spartanburg. 162 E. Main St. has been sold and the new owners plan to open a new womens clothing boutique. This is the location of the former LuLu's accessories store that closed about a year ago. It seems small, but these little steps are the key to making downtown a real destination. The addition of this new store will also eliminate one more vacant store front which I think is critical. This information was in the latest Spartanburg Journal.

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Downtown will go through retail cycles, especially as the core is still very young in its redevelopment stages. Gville just went through a retail "bust" if you want to call it that. I'm glad to see that people are still interested enough in Spartanburg to open up some stores. I do wish that there were more restaurants that cater to the nightlife though.

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What is the heck is being built on the corner of Henry and Daniel Morgan across from Maaco? The whole piece of land has been blocked off with the orange mesh fences, dirt everywhere, and what looks to be a semi circular brick stucture that could be an unfinished fountain. Just what we need, another effing fountain. Why can't the money that is being used to "beautify" the city go towards something that would really be useful? This fountain (if thats what it really is) probably cost some $50000 when its all said and done. Couldn't we throw this money at the bus problem, or to say fix a bridge, garbage removal, etc? I still feel like I have not gotten my moneys worth out of the other fountains over at St Johns & Pine and Union & Kennedy.

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What is the heck is being built on the corner of Henry and Daniel Morgan across from Maaco? The whole piece of land has been blocked off with the orange mesh fences, dirt everywhere, and what looks to be a semi circular brick stucture that could be an unfinished fountain. Just what we need, another effing fountain. Why can't the money that is being used to "beautify" the city go towards something that would really be useful? This fountain (if thats what it really is) probably cost some $50000 when its all said and done. Couldn't we throw this money at the bus problem, or to say fix a bridge, garbage removal, etc? I still feel like I have not gotten my moneys worth out of the other fountains over at St Johns & Pine and Union & Kennedy.

But won't this fountain look nicer than a weedy lot?

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