Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

distortedlogic

DT Greenville

13 posts in this topic

Ok guys, not trying to be too negative here, but just wanted to express some frustrations about the major projecs for DT, and get some discussion about what it means, and where DT may be headed from here. The list of failed DT projects appears to be growing, as the Ct St project may well not happen, and the Peacock is sounding more doubtful by the day. Add the POM unending problems, the long delay in RP continuation, and deaths of most of the projects proposed a couple years ago, and DT seems to really be struggling for major projects. I know some, like Macbee St, Palmetto Bank, and RP 1 have happened, but WAY more have failed. What gives? Poor planning? Inadequate developers? Unrealistic goals for DT? What is going on with DT major projects? Even others that are supposed to start, such as the Kroc Center and Main at McBee seem to have unending delays. All this suggests, to me, that DT is just not ready for the next level yet. Maybe DT (or Gville) just is not at the point of reaching the next level yet, despite our wishes. Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ok guys, not trying to be too negative here, but just wanted to express some frustrations about the major projecs for DT, and get some discussion about what it means, and where DT may be headed from here. The list of failed DT projects appears to be growing, as the Ct St project may well not happen, and the Peacock is sounding more doubtful by the day. Add the POM unending problems, the long delay in RP continuation, and deaths of most of the projects proposed a couple years ago, and DT seems to really be struggling for major projects. I know some, like Macbee St, Palmetto Bank, and RP 1 have happened, but WAY more have failed. What gives? Poor planning? Inadequate developers? Unrealistic goals for DT? What is going on with DT major projects? Even others that are supposed to start, such as the Kroc Center and Main at McBee seem to have unending delays. All this suggests, to me, that DT is just not ready for the next level yet. Maybe DT (or Gville) just is not at the point of reaching the next level yet, despite our wishes. Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DL, no offense, but you are looking at the picture in a very negative manner.

First, that ANY city would have soooo many proposals is positive. People want to be in downtown Greenville. Like linkerjpatrick says above, no failures would mean fewer are trying.

2nd, to say downtown has had more failed projects that completed projects simply is not true. Projects that have come to fruition.....West End Field, The Fieldhouse, Liberty Bridge, Riverplace (and the sheer size of this project could be classed as multiple projects), Poinsett Corners, McBee Station, Marriot Courtyard, Wachovia Place, Palmetto Bank, 400 North Main, Rhett Street Brownstones, Pendleton West, Brick Street Lofts, the new Library, Upcountry History Museum, The Bookends, Hampton Pinckney Townhomes and the numerous smaller projects. Even The Peacock....the construction has started....not dead yet.

3rd, Downtown still is and will continue to be one of the best I've seen in the US. The 100 plus restaurants.....the nearly 100% leased retail spaces on Main Street.....the detail level.......all contribute to a major amount of pedestrian activity not found in many other cities of similar or larger sizes.

The "next level".....what would that be? Downtown is already at a high level. The quality of life is HIGH. People visit from other places and fall in love with the atmosphere of downtown. You can live, shop, eat, drink, work and have a great time.

There are additions that can happen for sure, but Greenville's downtown is already to a level of quality that few achieve. So is another skyscraper going to do anything positive for that quality of life?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I understand what you're saying about "next level." I don't pretend to have any answers, but I feel you can throw people in Greenville into three broad categories (and keep in mind that I hate categorizing anybody or anything).

The two categories:

  • those that want to see high rise development and more corporations and residents moving into Downtown and bringing with them the demand for more retail and dining and other street-level things of interest.

  • those that are quite pleased with Greenville just as it is (or even as it was before the most recent changes) and that don't want to see any of that

  • those who would prefer to invest in development along the highly-visible I-85/Woodruff Road area

I, personally, would prefer that core development continue downtown. I'd rather see the investment be made in making Downtown Greenville more visible from I-85. That is to say, I'd love to see corporations locating their offices into high-rise buildings downtown rather than into sprawling campuses on the outskirts. And, yes, this means South Financial Corp. and Hubbell Lighting and the like. Yes, they are going to be visible along I-85 to millions of passing motorists, but had they cared to invest in downtown, they could have been in downtown office towers that were just as visible (especially considering the amazing lighting that Hubbell could have created to illuminate the buildings) from I-85. Not only that, but their presence downtown would likely have drawn more residential development and retail development into downtown as well, further strengthening the downtown core. That's just the opportunity cost that can be associated with their decision to locate out on the outskirts instead of in the core. Raleigh knows about this sort of phenomena well and Raleigh has weathered it pretty well as the downtown core there is now starting to see some progress after several years/decades of watching the RTP area develop at its outskirts.

At any rate - your question is about why these projects have failed? I think gsupstate said it best. The fact that there have been as many proposals as there have been says volumes. It shows that there are people who do want to be in downtown. This will continue, too, and with any luck and some good planning, NIMBYs won't derail this progress.

The fact is that there are many large cities comparable to Greenville that would love to see even one project proposal. I can think of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Huntington, West Virginia; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Boise, Idaho, just to name a few. Also, many factors have converged globally and economically that have caused project proposals throughout the nation (not just Greenville) to fall through. I can cite Orlando because I keep a closer eye on what goes on there than anywhere. Just look at the proposed proejcts here. Most of them have either already fallen through or will. The ones that are under construction currently are even struggling or have gone through struggles similar to what we are seeing here. The 55-West Church Street saw issues similar to what our own Pinnacle on Main has seen. All this is to point out that we're not alone here. The Pinnacle on Main and the Peacock are wounded perhaps, but far from dead, in spite of my joking around that they may as well be declared dead - my joking comes out of similar frustration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I understand what you're saying about "next level." I don't pretend to have any answers, but I feel you can throw people in Greenville into three broad categories (and keep in mind that I hate categorizing anybody or anything).

The two categories:

  • those that want to see high rise development and more corporations and residents moving into Downtown and bringing with them the demand for more retail and dining and other street-level things of interest.

  • those that are quite pleased with Greenville just as it is (or even as it was before the most recent changes) and that don't want to see any of that

  • those who would prefer to invest in development along the highly-visible I-85/Woodruff Road area

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we just need to accept the fact that projects all over the nation are being curtailed or halted because of the credit crunch and skyrockting constructions costs. For an example, look in today's Greenville News to read about the huge project in NYC that has been stopped. It's just not in downtown Greenville. It's everywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point gman. I understand what you guys are saying, and perhaps I just have an unrealistic idea of how quickly projects typically happen. Just seems like things around here take forever sometimes. :rolleyes: I also understand what you're saying about the Liberty bridge, West End Field, RP1, etc. But, I also feel that those projects were the last round of announcements, many of which came true. But I feel the announcements that came in the latest round (the ones from 2-3 years ago), such as POM, Peacock, RP 2/3, Bookends 2, Camperdown, etc have not come to fruition (at least not yet). This seems to suggest that something is missing. I agree for sure that DT has made it to a higher level since 2000, with the prior wave of development. I also agree that Gville has a great DT for it's size, and that even failed proposals are better than none. But I think this current wave of projects not getting off the ground shows (at least a temporary) setback in DT's growth. I also think 85 success (while not bad) has made it more difficult for DT. Just for the record, I do not judge DTs success on highrises. Infact, I think the kroc center (as I have said amny times) could be one of the best DT projects in decades. But this too seems to be taking forever to come to frutition. I just have some frustration because I would like to see soem of these happen soon, and not 10-20 years from now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gman, FYI, you are going to be under some very close scrutiny because you have the same name as an infamous former member. if you are infact not him, then you will have no problems.

I think you have to distinguish between quality and the various levels of a downtown. Greenville with or without the projects that have been put on hold will continue to have a high quality downtown.

Greenville's projects that have been delayed, scaled down, or altered, are not a sign that its not ready or the next level. Like gman said, its just part of a nationwide trend that Greenville cannot escape. Columbia and Charlotte are seeing the same types of things happen. IMO, I think the projects that are going forward anyway are more a sign of Greenville's strong downtown.

The next level for Greenville is to have downtown become a denser corporate type of environment and a mixed urban residential area. Most of this will occur off of Main St. I am confident that it will happen (its already starting to) at a larger scale than it is eventually. Its just a matter of time before it happens. Its just going to take some weathering of the current national trends.

I also do not think that DT should be judged by how many skyscrapers it has, but by the quality of life and people here. If folks want skyscrapers, there are plenty of cities full of them, but not any in my opinion as great as Greenville as it is today. Its almost as if at some point, you have to sacrifice quality of life for the number of tall buildings that you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


DL, I understand where you're coming from. The emphasis isn't so much on skyscrapers as it is (mixed-use) buildings that make downtown denser and contribute to its vibrancy. With that in mind, it isn't that Greenville isn't ready for the next level. I just don't think that some of the developers in place are the ones that are ready to take it there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may be right Krazee. Perhaps if a couple of these do happen, ie RP2/3, Gateway, even POM, then the "way" will be paved for more successful projects and more experienced developers to step forward.

I too agree with you, gvegas, about the skyscrapers. And even though I talk about them a lot, in truth I think they are really just a "mine's bigger than yours is" type of competition. I will certainyl take quality anyday over a few tall buildings. That is why I think Falls park, and later, Kroc Center, and RP will be some of the most important DT developments ever. It just so happens that many of the devlopments stalled or died over the past several years have been mid-high rises. While they aren't so important, in and of themselves, but they do contribute to the urban density and land use issues Krazee was talking about.

Plus, they look cool and help to raise the visual awareness and impact of a successful city. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gateway may be a good litmus test for Greenville. If that project does like some of the other tower projects, then perhaps the time is not right for the next level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the city really wants a project, it usually happens. I'm not entirely sure of the City's involvement in the Gateway Site, other than it sold the property to the developer, but it seems like this project is one that the City really wants.

I think it will be interesting to see how the market can handle the redevelopment of the Woolworth Site (an entire City block and therefore a HUGE project), and the gateway site. Both projects should be large scale. If both of them happen, then I'd say the City is ready for anything. Even if one happens (considering their sizes), it will be a huge addition and overall nothing should be considered a failure. If the City could only choose one to push to fruition, I'd have to say it would be the Woolworth site. They've worked too hard for too long on helping get all those parcels in the right hands, and it's one of the last remaining empty spots on Main's originally revitalized section from Beattie to Broad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi folks! I just want to say that, before we can get more we must appreciate what we have. I'm not saying that we don't, because I want to see all of these happen too! But look at all that is happening. There is construction at about every corner in Greenville! That means people want to be here, and with that comes money and bigger investments. I want to see things happen quicker downtown, but who can argue that they don't like seeing the structures popping up near 85? Its quite impressive! Lets just be patient, enjoy what we have, and let those with the money build when they can. Or we can all come together and build our own. :shades:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.