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South Ridge (Church St. and University Ridge)


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Well, if everything goes through I will be moving in October 23rd.  Fourth floor in phase 1 opposite of the Church Street side thankfully. 

And I am sorry that you complain about every single project that gets built downtown. How about contributing a positive statement for once. 

Since Greenville County is inching closer to doing something with County Square, I thought I would post an idea I got yesterday.  The Greenville School Board property is now surrounded by a dramatical

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Regarding Church St. road work.... sidewalks done heading north, sidewalks 90% done heading South (just need to be finished at the corner of Church and University in front of the auto maintenance place there on the corner), had cones in the middle of the road last night and repainted lines on the north side to move traffic towards the sidewalk (my guess is to begin the median and they will probably do the same on the other side of the road today), the new stop light arms have gone up at Pearl/Haynie and Church and look very good. They have reduced the number of utility poles and put in new ones (though not as good as burial would have been, better than nothing). There is still a few shorter ones up that only have one cable running on them, including in the middle of a turning lane and in the sidewalk, which I think will come out when they put in the stop lights... not sure though. Also, Pearl Ave. no longer connects to Church St. heading South and they have reduced number of entrances to the Marathon gas station from 2 to 1 heading south on Church. The updated paint and repaving of the Marathon have made the gas station look MUCH better than it did as a BP.

Landscaping and the repaving is going to really change the appearance of the road.

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Great to hear of the progress. I haven't been down Church in a while. The reduction of curb cuts is great!

Agreed. The median will dramatically cut down on the center turning lanes. If I remember correctly there will only be turns available at Pearl/Haynie, University Ridge, and Augusta (could be one more between Pearl/Haynie and Augusta but none between Peral/Haynie and University).

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I don't see hypocrisy when the county doesn't have any bearing on what does or does not happen to the Walmart site. They are not an particpating party.

We'll need to agree to disagree- I do see hypocrisy when the city allowed and continues to allow County Square (and, before that, the destruction of the Furman campus on the site, replaced by big-box discount stores and a cheaply built mall) yet is not allowing Walmart. The city was heavily involved in the change of ownership of the Bell Tower Mall site in the '80s.

More recently, the city allowed McAlister Square, which is also unattractive and not urban at all, to be transformed into a college-in-a-mall along a corridor in dire need of improvement, yet did nothing to make the area more aesthetically appealing and urban, other than a few plans that never came to fruition.

At least I'd hope that people can agree that Columbia's downtown needs a Walmart even more, since retail there is so limited.

Edited by mallguy
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We'll need to agree to disagree- I do see hypocrisy when the city allowed and continues to allow County Square (and, before that, the destruction of the Furman campus on the site, replaced by big-box discount stores and a cheaply built mall) yet is not allowing Walmart. The city was heavily involved in the change of ownership of the Bell Tower Mall site in the '80s.

I don't think it is fair compare the two. That's like criticizing a successful, responsible family man for being immature when he was a teenager. Different times, different eras. Mistakes were made, but things were learned from them. That's the important thing. Nothing hypocritical about it if you ask me.

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We'll need to agree to disagree- I do see hypocrisy when the city allowed and continues to allow County Square (and, before that, the destruction of the Furman campus on the site, replaced by big-box discount stores and a cheaply built mall) yet is not allowing Walmart. The city was heavily involved in the change of ownership of the Bell Tower Mall site in the '80s.

Yeah but that was in the 1980's. Times have changed and the people running the city now aren't the same people who ran the city back then. If Walmart wants to locate on this site so badly then they need to get their act together and design a building that is small, has elegant design, and mixed use elements. Oh and I really don't like the fact that the retailer stated this store would look different than any other Walmart in the country when it looks exactly like the new one in Easley design wise.

Edited by citylife
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I don't think it is fair compare the two. That's like criticizing a successful, responsible family man for being immature when he was a teenager. Different times, different eras. Mistakes were made, but things were learned from them. That's the important thing. Nothing hypocritical about it if you ask me.

The McAlister Square "redevelopment" was in the last decade, when there was already a plan to improve the Pleasantburg Drive corridor.

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The McAlister Square "redevelopment" was in the last decade, when there was already a plan to improve the Pleasantburg Drive corridor.

It's a stretch to say McAlister has been redeveloped, but to the degree that it has, it is an improvement over what was there before. And it is in keeping with the Pleasantburg plan.

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It's a stretch to say McAlister has been redeveloped, but to the degree that it has, it is an improvement over what was there before. And it is in keeping with the Pleasantburg plan.

It has new paint on the outside and a reconfigured interior and some exterior changes, like County Square (which had a dead mall corridor, with shuttered stores inside it, until the '90s). The Pleasantburg Drive plan that I saw called for building a housing, with streets on a grid pattern, in most all of the McAlister Square parking lot- it was called "University Village" or something. Haven't seen that.

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But nothing that Gville Tech DID was in violation of the plan. That village can still be created.

All of the renderings in all of the plans are merely examples of what developoment COULD look like with the respective plan in place. The real world implementation will always differ, but the regulations put in place will have to be followed.

To build a suburban-stye 100,000 k single-use, single user development in Haynie-Sirrine, WOULD be in violation of the Haynie-Sirrine plan. If you let the Walmart be built as originally proposed, then none of the plans have any validity.

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Then what should be done is for the city to adopt a zoning plan, without exceptions, for both the University Ridge/Church Street and McAlister Square areas, requiring more "urban" development- e.g., limitations on the number of parking spaces, street setbacks, blank walls, etc. McAlister Square and County Square would have to "fix" their design issues (mostly in their parking lots) then, and nobody would be singled out. I just don't like government singling out one business while letting others off the hook- treatment should be equal.

The Lowe's on South Boulevard in Charlotte, in the South End, is an "urban" store in that it abuts the street, has parking on top of the store and side (rather than right along South Boulevard) and no blank walls, and it even has housing along the back of it. I'd be fine with a Walmart like that.

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You can't legally make anyone retrofit a building to comply with newly passed codes. All existing buildings are grandfathered in, at the time of plan passage.

If the owner chooses to expand, then yes, they have to comply to the new regulations. But nothing that McAllister did was AGAINST the plan. Therefore, the city has no standing to stop them. Now, if Gville Tech decides to expand the building, then whatever is proposed would have to comply with the plan. But all they really did was paint the building, add a few exterior touches, and add tress to the parking lot.

I think the Lowe's example is exactly what everyone here has in mind, and wants to see done.

Edited by vicupstate
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You can't legally make anyone retrofit a building to comply with newly passed codes. All existing buildings are grandfathered in, at the time of plan passage.

If the owner chooses to expand, then yes, they have to comply to the new regulations. But nothing that McAllister did was AGAINST the plan. Therefore, the city has no standing to stop them. Now, if Gville Tech decides to expand the building, then whatever is proposed would have to comply with the plan. But all they really did was paint the building, add a few exterior touches, and add tress to the parking lot.

I think the Lowe's example is exactly what everyone here has in mind, and wants to see done.

Sure buildings can be required to be modified to comply with zoning changes- for example, NYC just banned roll-down metal gates on storefronts in certain parts of town. Small businesses that were affected were livid about the expense of the change, but they were just given a few years to comply.

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Sure buildings can be required to be modified to comply with zoning changes- for example, NYC just banned roll-down metal gates on storefronts in certain parts of town. Small businesses that were affected were livid about the expense of the change, but they were just given a few years to comply.

You can require someone to abide by new rules for future construction, but you can't require someone to build a new building on their own property. What you describe above would never fly here, (and it shouldn't fly there either), no one voting for that would ever expect to be re-elected.

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You can require someone to abide by new rules for future construction, but you can't require someone to build a new building on their own property. What you describe above would never fly here, (and it shouldn't fly there either), no one voting for that would ever expect to be re-elected.

Democrats (responsible for that NYC law) exist in both NYC and Greenville.

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No SC Democrat would support such a law, and even if they did, they are in the minority in Greenville. Would you want the city to pass a law requiring you to spend thousands of dollars on your house, just to appease the city?

First you want to allow Walmart to ignore existing law and build whatever they want, then you want McAlister to be forced to retrofit to comply with a law that was passed after the fact.

Edited by vicupstate
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No SC Democrat would support such a law, and even if they did, they are in the minority in Greenville. Would you want the city to pass a law requiring you to spend thousands of dollars on your house, just to appease the city?

First you want to allow Walmart to ignore existing law and build whatever they want, then you want McAlister to be forced to retrofit to comply with a law that was passed after the fact.

I want equal treatment for everyone. If the city will let the county operate a large office center in an un-urban, dated, eyesore former Walmart location (true--the Bell Tower Mall anchor on the east end, upper level was owned by Walmart before it closed), then it needs to let Walmart build what it wants. If the city wants a large property owner such as Walmart to build a nice urban-style store (which I'd prefer), it needs to require the same from all large property owners in the area.

Democrats are democrats, wherever they are located- don't let the Southern accents fool you.

And the city has required my parents at least to spend money on real estate (apartment buildings that they have owned), to comply with building codes. What they have been required to do is not unreasonable.

Edited by mallguy
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If the city wants a large property owner such as Walmart to build a nice urban-style store (which I'd prefer), it needs to require the same from all large property owners in the area.

You're still missing the point.

If we demand that every business and property owner along Church Street demolish their structures and required them to rebuild new mixed-use and appropriately-sited buildings RIGHT NOW, we're going to have a SEVERELY over-saturated market for retail space, office space, and residential units. That's the ultimate goal for the corridor, but we absolutely CANNOT ask it to be done all at one time. How would that ever make sense? It's nothing like asking for new security devices for retail stores in NYC. When County Square is redeveloped, it will be held to the same standards. But asking it to be done today would cause major problems in the market, plus no one could get financing with that kind of saturation of the market.

This has NOTHING to do with the fact that Walmart is a potential user. This has everything to do with the site's current zoning and the master plan adopted several years ago. IKEA could want to go there, but they'd have the same standards to be held to.

Edited by GvilleSC
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You're still missing the point.

If we demand that every business and property owner along Church Street demolish their structures and required them to rebuild new mixed-use and appropriately-sited buildings RIGHT NOW, we're going to have a SEVERELY over-saturated market for retail space, office space, and residential units. That's the ultimate goal for the corridor, but we absolutely CANNOT ask it to be done all at one time. How would that ever make sense? It's nothing like asking for new security devices for retail stores in NYC. When County Square is redeveloped, it will be held to the same standards. But asking it to be done today would cause major problems in the market, plus no one could get financing with that kind of saturation of the market.

This has NOTHING to do with the fact that Walmart is a potential user. This has everything to do with the site's current zoning and the master plan adopted several years ago. IKEA could want to go there, but they'd have the same standards to be held to.

Never said that I'm asking that existing things be demolished or anything major built. In fact, what I pointed to as good is the South End Lowe's in Charlotte. That's a regular Lowe's store with a more attractive exterior, plus parking on top (more than in front), and some type of (vacant) small brick structures along the street. County Square and McAlister Square could easily do that EDITED TO ADD largely by getting rid of parts of their oversized parking lots and making their exteriors more attractive, and perhaps building something along the street- even a nice brick fence-type thing like the South End Lowe's has, or a small structure.

Come on--if it were Target or Whole Foods, nobody would be raising a fuss. Since it's Walmart, however--and mostly because it's Walmart- people are pitching a fit.

Edited by mallguy
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Never said that I'm asking that existing things be demolished or anything major built. In fact, what I pointed to as good is the South End Lowe's in Charlotte. That's a regular Lowe's store with a more attractive exterior, plus parking on top (more than in front), and some type of (vacant) small brick structures along the street. County Square and McAlister Square could easily do that EDITED TO ADD largely by getting rid of parts of their oversized parking lots and making their exteriors more attractive, and perhaps building something along the street- even a nice brick fence-type thing like the South End Lowe's has, or a small structure.

Come on--if it were Target or Whole Foods, nobody would be raising a fuss. Since it's Walmart, however--and mostly because it's Walmart- people are pitching a fit.

Your beef seems to be County Square's existence. Something that vicupstate has already explained that WILL be held to the same standards if and when it every proposes to be redeveloped. Its last "redevelopment" doesn't count because it happened so long ago and before these current initiatives were being pursued.

Personally, I'd hate to see what you're asking done to County Square. It needs to be demolished and the site master planned, not simply built around. It's no longer a mall and has no need to remain a massive footprint (of office space). McAlister, that's a fine solution.

As for the retailer, people may not have the best view of Walmart, but let's be honest here: the City has spent way too much time and $$$ on the redevelopment of this corridor for the first new project to be built to be a single-use tenant of any kind, retail or otherwise. This is meant to be a catalyst location and nothing short of a catalyst project SHOULD or will be accepted.

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Your beef seems to be County Square's existence. Something that vicupstate has already explained that WILL be held to the same standards if and when it every proposes to be redeveloped. Its last "redevelopment" doesn't count because it happened so long ago and before these current initiatives were being pursued.

Personally, I'd hate to see what you're asking done to County Square. It needs to be demolished and the site master planned, not simply built around. It's no longer a mall and has no need to remain a massive footprint (of office space). McAlister, that's a fine solution.

As for the retailer, people may not have the best view of Walmart, but let's be honest here: the City has spent way too much time and $$$ on the redevelopment of this corridor for the first new project to be built to be a single-use tenant of any kind, retail or otherwise. This is meant to be a catalyst location and nothing short of a catalyst project SHOULD or will be accepted.

By comparison, how about the Fresh Market across from McAlister Square? That was built in an area that has a master plan (of which almost nothing has happened), and while the store looks fine, there's nothing urban about it; there is still a sea of parking around it and it's not pedestrian-friendly. The Fresh Market project is certainly not a catalyst project, although I'm glad to have it. That doesn't give me a lot of hope of what will happen if and when County Square is redeveloped.

EDITED TO ADD: All I'm asking is that government treat everyone equally, yet this is another example of one business (Walmart) being singled out for stricter treatment than other public and private actors.

Edited by mallguy
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How is Walmart being singled out? If Target were to present the same plan, they would receive my opposition as well as that of most everyone else that is opposed to the initial Walmart proposal.

If I had my druthers Target would be building an urban, mixed-use project on this site. But if Walmart chooses to do so, I'm fine with that too. Like 87% of Americans, I shop at Walmart.

Even if Saks Fifth Avenue were building on this site, I would want it to be in compliance with the Haynie-Sirrrine plan.

The Pleasantburg plan and the Haynie-Sirrine plan are not identical, each is tailored to the corridor it seeks to enhance/protect. To my knowledge, the Fresh Market project did not violate the Pleasantburg plan. Haynie-Sirrine is on the edge of an existing and prosperous urban environment that lends itself to that environment being extended. Pleasantburg is a long-time suburban retail corridor that is seeking to become more urban. Considering that teh Fresh Market project was infill on a totally abandoned site, it was a step in that direction. The economics simply don't support deck parking at that location though.

Given the considerable sum it will take to purchase and redevelop County Square, the economics will almost certainly require considerable density.

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How is Walmart being singled out? If Target were to present the same plan, they would receive my opposition as well as that of most everyone else that is opposed to the initial Walmart proposal.

If I had my druthers Target would be building an urban, mixed-use project on this site. But if Walmart chooses to do so, I'm fine with that too. Like 87% of Americans, I shop at Walmart.

Even if Saks Fifth Avenue were building on this site, I would want it to be in compliance with the Haynie-Sirrrine plan.

The Pleasantburg plan and the Haynie-Sirrine plan are not identical, each is tailored to the corridor it seeks to enhance/protect. To my knowledge, the Fresh Market project did not violate the Pleasantburg plan. Haynie-Sirrine is on the edge of an existing and prosperous urban environment that lends itself to that environment being extended. Pleasantburg is a long-time suburban retail corridor that is seeking to become more urban. Considering that teh Fresh Market project was infill on a totally abandoned site, it was a step in that direction. The economics simply don't support deck parking at that location though.

Given the considerable sum it will take to purchase and redevelop County Square, the economics will almost certainly require considerable density.

The Pleasantburg plan also contemplated higher-density uses of McAlister Square, Pleasantburg Shopping Center, the area where the Fresh Market is, etc. When the Fresh Market moved in, there was no community uproar, even though its building is not urban at all, and doesn't fit with the existing Pleasantburg plan in that the Fresh Market isn't a high-density, pedestrian-friendly development as the plan contemplates. Conversely, Walmart is facing significant community opposition. You may apply your concerns to all retailers equally, but others don't.

My parents live in a central neighborhood not far from the proposed site and their neighbors are venting about Walmart coming in. I am 100% confident that if it were Whole Foods or an "upscale" retailer, they wouldn't care about the fact that it's not "urban" since they don't walk anywhere much- they just tool around in their Range Rovers.

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