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New Southern Development Attitudes Outside Primary Markets

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Outside of primary markets like Atlanta, Nashville, Jax, Charlotte, etc, where are any examples in secondary (ex: B'ham) and tertiary (ex: Montgomery) markets of the affects of a re-awakening of the private sector's interest in urban development. (For this purpose, think of a secondary market as almost big enough for a major league sports team, and a tertiary market near or over 500,000 but not nearly big enough for a sports team). In a tertiary market like Columbus, GA, for example, some mill conversion into loft apartments in downtown on the Georgia side of the Chattahoochee and the possible construction of a mid-rise on the Alabama side is nearing realilty. What are other good examples of mixed-mixed use or infill development? Looking specifically for private sector development, not public or non-profit/educational projects. And especially residential, but also new mid-rise or high-rise commercial development. Another good example of new urbanization is a grocery store opening in an urban setting. Was the development done by a local developer, or an out-of-towner?

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Outside of primary markets like Atlanta, Nashville, Jax, Charlotte, etc, where are any examples in secondary (ex: B'ham) and tertiary (ex: Montgomery) markets of the affects of a re-awakening of the private sector's interest in urban development. (For this purpose, think of a secondary market as almost big enough for a major league sports team, and a tertiary market near or over 500,000 but not nearly big enough for a sports team). In a tertiary market like Columbus, GA, for example, some mill conversion into loft apartments in downtown on the Georgia side of the Chattahoochee and the possible construction of a mid-rise on the Alabama side is nearing realilty. What are other good examples of mixed-mixed use or infill development? Looking specifically for private sector development, not public or non-profit/educational projects. And especially residential, but also new mid-rise or high-rise commercial development. Another good example of new urbanization is a grocery store opening in an urban setting. Was the development done by a local developer, or an out-of-towner?

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Outside of primary markets like Atlanta, Nashville, Jax, Charlotte, etc, where are any examples in secondary (ex: B'ham) and tertiary (ex: Montgomery) markets of the affects of a re-awakening of the private sector's interest in urban development. (For this purpose, think of a secondary market as almost big enough for a major league sports team, and a tertiary market near or over 500,000 but not nearly big enough for a sports team). In a tertiary market like Columbus, GA, for example, some mill conversion into loft apartments in downtown on the Georgia side of the Chattahoochee and the possible construction of a mid-rise on the Alabama side is nearing realilty. What are other good examples of mixed-mixed use or infill development? Looking specifically for private sector development, not public or non-profit/educational projects. And especially residential, but also new mid-rise or high-rise commercial development. Another good example of new urbanization is a grocery store opening in an urban setting. Was the development done by a local developer, or an out-of-towner?

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Birmingham wouldn't be considered a secondary market as it is statistically similar in size to the latter 3 cities your introduction.

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Very interesting input guys - didn't realize there was nothing going on in Birmingham worth discussing.

Regarding tertiary markets, I would strongly believe that not only are new rehab projects occurring in the central cities, but they are being funded & developed locally. But regarding new construction, my feeling is that much of it is being developed from outside. I just think many of the rehab projects are more civic initiated or financially assisted by public means. I would even think it is common in sub-tertiary markets, as is the case with a textile mill conversion in my hometown of Rock Hill, SC. Quality infill new construction has to be a tougher sell I would think.

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Yea, I wasn't gonna say anything, but now that I'm not alone. Birmingham is comparable in size to Nashville, Jax, and Charlotte. Charlotte's a bit further away in population, but still comparable.

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in macon two local developers bought a block of bulidings downtown restored them.now they are bussiness on the first floors,mostly graphic arts type bussiness.the second floor they are turning into loft apartments.the old telephone exchange buliding downtown is being turned into condos by a local developer.another developer is buliding a 100 loft apartments in two downtown bulidings that will connect with a new parking deck with retail space on the first floor.there is also a local developer who is buliding a live,work,play development downtown called "riverside" it will have a hotel toped by condos,retail,restaurant and office space overlooking the river.

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If I'm not mistaken, B'ham just recently surpassed the one-milion mark. Speaking in terms of MSA's, Nashville and Charlotte both have about a half-million more folks than B'ham, Jacksonville a coulple hundred thousand - a pretty significant difference. Though that's far in population from very large primary markets like Atlanta or Houston, etc - maybe that's a tipping point. (The Atlanta's and Chicago's and the like are really more like city-states, but that's a different discussion all together.) That's why I included the deal about pro sports as kind of a rule of thumb for folks who aren't quite as familiar with populations. True, there are more factors than population that determine the vaibility of a pro sports team. And certainly there are smaller metro's, like Buffalo, who have major league sports and larger ones like Ft Lauderdale that don't. But those are the exception.

I really intended to discuss the much smaller cities like Montgomery, Macon, Chattanooga, Columbus (GA), with the thought that some things might be happening in the larger cities like Birmingham (like the SoHo development in Homewood) could provide inspiration.

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in macon two local developers bought a block of bulidings downtown restored them.now they are bussiness on the first floors,mostly graphic arts type bussiness.the second floor they are turning into loft apartments.the old telephone exchange buliding downtown is being turned into condos by a local developer.another developer is buliding a 100 loft apartments in two downtown bulidings that will connect with a new parking deck with retail space on the first floor.there is also a local developer who is buliding a live,work,play development downtown called "riverside" it will have a hotel toped by condos,retail,restaurant and office space overlooking the river.

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Riverside sounds like an awesome development. That concept is very big in larger markets.... great news for you!

So is there anything going on in B'ham - like Soho - that the smaller burgs could aspire to?

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Actually, quite a bit of those types of developments, but on a smaller scale are occuring her. Woodlawn, Avondale, and most recently Ensley have small-scale developments in which older structures are being redeveloped into ground-level business and upper level lofts and or condos. The trend of such developments in Birmingham has leaned more towards the preservation of the older structures. The larger projects are such as the City Center are currently on hold while awaiting the opening of the first phase of the Railroad Park in 2009.

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I also recall seeing a small development on 280 just outside Mt Brook. But that re-alignment of Shades Crest seems to have really messed up traffic. I don't think I've ever seen a community take a good x intersection and create an off-set intersection. Usually it's the other way around...

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Wilimington, NC is seeing a rise in downtown development. The PPD HQ building which brings some height to DT and also there is talk of developing the West bank of the Cape Fear with some mid-rise mixed use buidings. You can get a comprehensive rundown of all of the projects in the Wilmington sub-forum. I'm not sure if the Cape Fear skyway is dead in the water but if was to be built it would bring another river crossing to the city and complete I-140. Wilmington is one of NC faster growing cities. Its nice to see the city grow and finally give the state a major city that sits on the coastline.

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In Little Rock there are many examples of new urbanism. Since the announcement of the Clinton Presidential Center, $1 billion has been invested in the downtowns of Little Rock and North Little Rock with the majority of that being private money. Most of the development in downtown Little Rock has been in the River Market District. This includes:

-The River Market Pavillion which houses several food venders and hosts the farmers market. The city put up the money several million to build this.

-The main branch of the Central Arkansas Library System is in a renovated furniture warehouse. A millage increase was recently passed to finish the top floor of the Library and to convert and add to two other buildings on the library "campus" to form the Butler Center for Arkansas studies.

-The Museum Center is a converted newspaper warehouse that is now a mixed use building with The Museum of Discovery, restaurants, offices and an art gallery.

-The Arkansas Capital Commerce Center is a seven story mixed use builiding built in the late 90's with condos, offices and a restaurant

-First Security Center is a 14 story mixed use building built in the early 2000's with condos, offices and a Courtyard by Marriot hotel.

-300 Third is a 18 story building that was finished last year that has condos and a restaurant and small grocery store on the first level.

-River Market Place is currently under construction. It consists of the River Market Tower which is 20 story building that will house condos, a seperate Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel and some retail. Arkansas Capital Commerce Center, First Security Center, 300 Third and River Market Place were developed by two local developers.

-The Clinton Presidential Center was finished a few years ago and is the only presidential library in an urban setting. The $165 milllion facility includes the Clinton Museum, the archives of all the materials from Clinton's presidency and the Clinton School of Public Service.

-Heifer International, a relief organzation, built their $17 million HQ near the Clinton Presidential Center. Heifer just broke ground a $7 million education center on the grounds of its HQ.

-Acxiom, one of the largest data processors in the country, built their 12 story HQ downtown in the late 90's.

-Several other condo and loft developments have been newly built or placed in renovated buildings

-The River Rail Trolley, which goes through parts of downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock began in the early 2000's.

-The convention center was expanded in the mid 90's.

-Several restaurants and entertainment venues have opened downtown

-Every existing hotel has been renovated at least once since the mid 90's and some are about to undergo their second round of renovations. The Capitol Hotel just reopened after a $24 million renovation that lasted over a year.

These are just some of the things that are happening in downtown Little Rock. I haven't even touch on the many things that are going on in dowtown North Little Rock, just across the Arkansas River.

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In Little Rock there are many examples of new urbanism. Since the announcement of the Clinton Presidential Center, $1 billion has been invested in the downtowns of Little Rock and North Little Rock with the majority of that being private money. Most of the development in downtown Little Rock has been in the River Market District. This includes:

-The River Market Pavillion which houses several food venders and hosts the farmers market. The city put up the money several million to build this.

-The main branch of the Central Arkansas Library System is in a renovated furniture warehouse. A millage increase was recently passed to finish the top floor of the Library and to convert and add to two other buildings on the library "campus" to form the Butler Center for Arkansas studies.

-The Museum Center is a converted newspaper warehouse that is now a mixed use building with The Museum of Discovery, restaurants, offices and an art gallery.

-The Arkansas Capital Commerce Center is a seven story mixed use builiding built in the late 90's with condos, offices and a restaurant

-First Security Center is a 14 story mixed use building built in the early 2000's with condos, offices and a Courtyard by Marriot hotel.

-300 Third is a 18 story building that was finished last year that has condos and a restaurant and small grocery store on the first level.

-River Market Place is currently under construction. It consists of the River Market Tower which is 20 story building that will house condos, a seperate Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel and some retail. Arkansas Capital Commerce Center, First Security Center, 300 Third and River Market Place were developed by two local developers.

-The Clinton Presidential Center was finished a few years ago and is the only presidential library in an urban setting. The $165 milllion facility includes the Clinton Museum, the archives of all the materials from Clinton's presidency and the Clinton School of Public Service.

-Heifer International, a relief organzation, built their $17 million HQ near the Clinton Presidential Center. Heifer just broke ground a $7 million education center on the grounds of its HQ.

-Acxiom, one of the largest data processors in the country, built their 12 story HQ downtown in the late 90's.

-Several other condo and loft developments have been newly built or placed in renovated buildings

-The River Rail Trolley, which goes through parts of downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock began in the early 2000's.

-The convention center was expanded in the mid 90's.

-Several restaurants and entertainment venues have opened downtown

-Every existing hotel has been renovated at least once since the mid 90's and some are about to undergo their second round of renovations. The Capitol Hotel just reopened after a $24 million renovation that lasted over a year.

These are just some of the things that are happening in downtown Little Rock. I haven't even touch on the many things that are going on in dowtown North Little Rock, just across the Arkansas River.

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Outside of primary markets like Atlanta, Nashville, Jax, Charlotte, etc, where are any examples in secondary (ex: B'ham) and tertiary (ex: Montgomery) markets of the affects of a re-awakening of the private sector's interest in urban development. (For this purpose, think of a secondary market as almost big enough for a major league sports team, and a tertiary market near or over 500,000 but not nearly big enough for a sports team). In a tertiary market like Columbus, GA, for example, some mill conversion into loft apartments in downtown on the Georgia side of the Chattahoochee and the possible construction of a mid-rise on the Alabama side is nearing realilty. What are other good examples of mixed-mixed use or infill development? Looking specifically for private sector development, not public or non-profit/educational projects. And especially residential, but also new mid-rise or high-rise commercial development. Another good example of new urbanization is a grocery store opening in an urban setting. Was the development done by a local developer, or an out-of-towner?

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Whoa. Thanks theman. Has DT Little Rock seen any national or regional restaurants or retail, or has all that been local?

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Most of South Carolina's large fall into this category. I disagree with your notion of using sports teams as a qualifier though. Population is enough. If you are between 500k and 1 million, your are likely a tertiary center. I agree that 1 million to 2 or 3 million is secondary (eg Charlotte, Jax, Nashville, etc). I won't go in depth on all of the individual projects because we have the SC forum for this. However, I'll provide some highlights. South Carolina has tons of old textile mills that are being converted into lofts. Not all of them are "urban" in terms of location, as they are often tucked away in small mill villages. All of the cities I mention below have attracted the attention of regional and some national builders except Spartanburg, which has mainly local developers for the moment.

Greenville

Riverplace is an extensive development fronting the Reedy River in the heart of downtown Greenville. They turned a very dirty/industrial/shameful creek into one of the better public spaces in South Carolina. It connects to Fall Park, which is has an awesome ped bridge that over looks the falls. I highly recommend checking out the Greenville forum's Photo of the Day thread to see some pictures of this. This project is on going (I think they're near phase 3 now). This project has spurred even more development in the West End, which is a district with its own distinct urban characteristics that are separate from the "downtown" area. One of the larger developments here is a miniature "Fenway" complete with a Green Monster. It includes some condominiums that overlook the stadium. There are many other urban condos available in downtown Greenville. And none of this includes the many "new urban" developments are going up around the city.

Greenville has two urban grocers, the most recent of which is a Publix that opened up in a mixed use development just a few blocks east of Main Street.

Columbia

This city has had urban housing for years, and with the presence of USC in the heart of the city, there has always been a demand for it. We're now seeing more urban projects and a greater push for urban residential. There are several high density condo buildings going up near the USC campus. The largest is known as Adesso, and it has over 100 units plus street retail. There is also CanalSide, which is effectively a new urbanist project that will add a massive amount of infill in downtown. Then you have the former Bull St mental health campus which will eventually be turned into another large new urban project. Another one that we're excited about is going to be a mixed use building about 6 stories tall that will incorporate residential units, retail, and a concealed parking garage. There are plenty of other urban projects here.

With the presence of USC, several historic neighborhoods, government, and the second largest business district in the Carolinas, there is and has been residential located in the center of the city for years. About 3 or 4 years ago, Columbia got its first urban grocer- Publix. They moved in to the former Confederate Printing Press, where SC printed its money during the years of Confederacy. They retrofitted it and turned it into a nice store in the trendy Congaree Vista district.

Charleston

This city is the ultimate urban city in SC. You can't build anything downtown and it not be urban. The Midtown development will be a large hotel/retail complex that will hopefully help to accelerate the redevelopment of Upper King Street. They've left ROW for a future LRT alignment. Very exciting. I can't name all of the urban projects in Charleston because there are too many, and most of them are mixed use by nature, or at least dense urban. Charleston has at least 35-40k people living on the peninsula. There are two urban grocers and lots of corner store type of places. You don't have to leave downtown for much of anything if you don't want to. Just don't expect to find many discount retailers :)

Spartanburg

My home town is on the verge of completing its first brand-new mixed use residential building. Very exciting. There other large development is a redevelopment of a very large tract of what is now vacant land called "Renaissance Park." Though not technically a park, it will be the site of a new mixed use urban village. There have been several conversions of existing builings and several are in progress as we speak.

==

So, as you can see, SC is full of urban projects, and most of our cities are tertiary centers at best :)

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Also for Columbia, a major factor which is spurring some of the development that is planned or currently underway is Innovista, USC's downtown research campus (which will be the largest urban research park in the nation) which will consist of a mix of research and educational facilities with recreational, residential, and retail spaces all within an existing urban context. Innovista will spread out over 500 acres downtown (yes, Columbia has that much available land in its core) and one of its signature features will be Columbia's new "front yard," Waterfront Park, to be built along the banks of the Congaree River and will consist of almost 100 acres.

To shed further light on what's happening in Charleston, development is starting to push northward from downtown up into an area called "the Neck"--an old industrial area which connects Charleston with North Charleston. There are tons of developments slated to be built in this area, the largest of which are Noisette, which will cover approximately 3,000 acres encompassing the former Charleston Navy Base and historic core of the City of North Charleston and is the nation's largest sustainable urban redevelopment, and Magnolia, a 216-acre mixed-use project.

The bigger developments in Greenville are planned/underway along I-85 (CU-ICAR [Clemson's automotive research campus], the Point, etc.) in an attempt to gain more visibility along one of the South's most heavily traveled corridors. The goal is to connect these developments via mass transit and encourage green building technologies. These don't really constitute infill projects, but I think they represent solid efforts to make what would typically be considered suburban developments (in terms of form and location) more sustainable. The biggest infill development in Greenville would be Verdae, an 1,100-acre "city within a city" mixed-use development located just southeast of downtown. The entire development will be implemented in phases over a 20-30 year period.

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Innovista will spread out over 500 acres downtown (yes, Columbia has that much available land in its core)

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New Urbanism is alive and well in Mississippi. Several developments near Jackson include the town of Lost Rabbit near Ridgeland, the new town centers being built in Madison and Flowood and several other projects elsewhere. Most notably, Plein Air is being built near Taylor in Lafayette County. This has much to do with the strong growth of Oxford in recvent years. Another new urbanist development is a new town called Tradition in Harrison County. All promise varying degrees of architectural distinction, but most should be better than the average suburban development.

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