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Affordability of Downtown Greenville


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I was reading the GV News story about the new 9 story condo on East Court. In the comments section at the end, someone had written a fairly long reply about Greenville's downtown condo's being only for the older and rich. Nothing affordable for the young professional. Looking at all the condo's that have gone up in the past several years, many are expensive, but some seem to be "somewhat" affordable.

We've seen Poinsett Corners, The Bookends, The Richland, Fieldhouse, 400 N. Main, the various condos within Riverplace, The Park, Northpark, Ridgeland at the Park, The Brio, Mills Mill, McBee Station and on and on, with many smaller developments. Of those, both The Brio and Fieldhouse seem more affordable.

So I guess my questions:

Why are Greenville's downtown condo's on the high end of pricing?

Is it market driven forces?

Why hasn't some developer stepped forward and proposed a truely cost effective development?

Are there cost effective developments and we fail to recognize them? Do we have an image issue that "oh, it's downtown, so it must be expensive"?

Just thought this would be a good topic to discuss. Not to bash current developers or developments, but simply to discuss the affordability of downtown. Who knows, the UP effect may strike and some developer reading this forum my announce cost effective condos in the next few months..............

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First of all, land costs downtown are higher, which obviously starts the price point higher. And apparently there is a demand for these high end condos as well. There is also a higher profit margin in the high end, if they sell quickly. If I were developing condos, I would go with the one that was going to make me the most profit as well.

The Brio is affordable, because it is in the middle of an emerging area. Looking at what is around it, and it is not very desirable at this time. This keeps the price point down. Well, that and the fact that it is a remodeled hotel. It is also not within walking distance to anything downtown, which again makes it less desirable.

Really the only way to do an affordable project is to put it in an emerging area where the inital land costs are lower. If the property is TOO desirable, it will naturally gravitate toward the high end.

I think we are even starting to see this with Pendleton West. Initally, the homes were priced affordably, and now that the townhomes are going in, we are starting to see the proce of these creep upward as well. I realize that building costs have increased, but also desirability in the area has increased.

Now we have to start looking for the next area that is going to turn around.

I personally see the area between Rutherford St and to the other side of Washington as the next area to rebound. Several reasons for this include: 1) the convenience and city's rezoning of the Pete Hollis Gateway area (Mulberry at Pinckney is a start) and 2) in the Washington area, the Kroc center and Rail Trail would be draws.

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Given the higher prices of downtown, something has to give to result in affordable residential prices.

Retrofitting older buildings for residential is one way to do it. But building new affordable housing in an area with land prices that don't lend themselves to being "affordable" is difficult to do and still profit from.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I question some of the logic here. Many other cities have been able to create tons of housing for young professionals in urban centers that is not so expensive they can't afford it. Greenville seems to have the highend market well saturated. And like y'all have said- there are more affordable units around, but they aren't in desirable areas. The Brio is a great example. Reasonable pricing, but its not an enjoyable walk to downtown from there, which IMO is the primary reason for wanting to live in or around downtown. Part of the problem is that housing in general is just not expensive in these parts, so to what would be a steal in some cities is sort of high here. Its going to be interesting to see how Greenville tackles this problem.

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i don't see a problem here, i live downtown and i am far from living the high life ( idoubt me and my wife are even what you would call "young professionals"). Also i for one don't really want to see any low priced units popping up everywhere because that will drive down my property values but i guess that is the risk of real estate.....just my two cents

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