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The Grain District

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On 2/17/2020 at 11:48 AM, westsider28 said:

This project will come before the DRB for Preliminary Conceptual Review & Approval at their March 3 meeting.  It's called "The Danmor" and is located at 203 Harris Place.  The parcel is only 0.11 acres, so it will be interesting to see what can be squeezed onto that site.

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This came before the DRB this evening.  It's 5-stories (65ft to roof), retail on the bottom, 2 ground floor ADA units, 20 apartments above (5 per floor), no elevator, fills the whole lot, no dedicated parking.  I'm really impressed by the density on that small of a lot.  Feels very "big city". 

The design is . . . lacking.  TBH, GPN seems like a really mediocre architect, but Royce always uses him.  Anyway, ignore the clock, Royce said that's not happening.  The pointed corner tower doesn't seem right in an urban context (DRB said as much).  Ostensibly, it's to reference the residential (Hampton Heights) nearby as a "transition".  Also there are way too many different materials (as usual), the DRB asked them to simplify. 

The DRB didn't give conceptual approval yet, as there were also questions about windows (enough in places? and shape), ceiling heights (as low as 8ft in places), and sidewalk width on Harris Place.  The DRB did really like the concept, so hopefully those issues can be worked out.  I think we got a better building at 198 West Main from this process, so I'm sure we will here too.

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Edited by westsider28
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I like that they're proposing no dedicated parking. If they can get the design right, then this could be a great project! Fingers crossed.

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I don't say it often but...that is an ugly building.  I like that they are filling in the empty spots but wow. I would also hate to be moving in to the 5th floor with no elevator......and any thoughts on where the stairs are? 

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First you go up an outside staircase (on left, 1st pic below) to a landing on the second floor, then there are 2 interior staircases (pic 2).  Yeah, moving in and out seems like it would be a struggle.  It's basically a 5-floor walk-up, much like NYC.  Definitely still work to be done on the design.

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I love the concept. I generally agree with all the comments above, although I like the use of height/parapets as accents on corners. It's something that most architecture these days is lacking, aside from the curvy/circular corner phase of the previous decade.

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Just a small bit of news, but Hub City Writers Project is leasing the old lawyers office at the corner of Daniel Morgan and Ezell (next to the former Brickhouse) for their publishing operation.  They've been using a small space in the back of the Bookshop to this point.  In case you're unaware, several books they've published have received national acclaim, and their profile has grown rapidly in the publishing world, so they needed the extra space.  You can contribute toward their building up-fit expenses here.

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The Danmor was up for conceptual review tonight at a Zoom DRB meeting.  The DRB liked the simplified design, but they had issues with the blank brick wall facing east on Harris, the lack of windows on the inner ground-floor residential unit, the width and treatment of the DMA sidewalk, and a few other details.  So they did not give conceptual approval.  A DRB member suggested possibly going all-residential, due to the COVID-19 accelerated retail apocalypse.  Interesting thought, though I would prefer the possibility of retail.  Anyway, I think it looks much better, and I hope the details can continue to be worked out.

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Lack of retail doesn't bother me. It appears to have an active ground floor design, which is the most important part and hopefully there's an office or gym or something down there to contribute to the life on the street. Generally speaking, most of Spartanburg's true retail is going to be be concentrated around the Morgan Square core + 1-2 blocks around it for the forseeable future. Unless we get a wave of dense residential apartments in and around downtown its going to be hard to sustain additional retail.

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The Danmor received conceptual approval, with conditions, at the DRB meeting last night (H-J article, scroll down).  It has changed to all-residential, and there is now an elevator planned in the rear.  There are still some details to be worked out with the window boxes, juliet balconies, and stoops (stairs to on-street ground floor unit entries).  I wish there were more on-street entrances, but I think there's some difficulty making that work with the grade change and how it relates to the height of the upper floors.  Still a solid filler project with good density (30 units, all 1BR), and no parking remains unique.

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I'm falling in love with this building.  It has decent height that will add to the city's skyline, help the revitalization of The Grain District, and add bring more housing options to downtown.  
 

 

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Wow I thought this one was dead. Glad to see it's moving forward! No parking should keep the cost per unit down, too.

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They need to figure out something to do with the giant kudzu field along Butterfly Creek. My vote is to make it a large park, although, I feel like I saw a housing development concept somewhere for that land. Either way, making it so that it is something other than an empty field is a step in the right direction.

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