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Renaissance Park Projects & Developments

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The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees voted unanimously to support USC Upstate's proposed building in downtown.

The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees approved this project and the immediate renaming of the USC Upstate School of Business Administration and Economics to the George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics. The facility will be located next to the Chapman Cultural Center in the Renaissance Park facing St. John Street. Initial plans call for a three-story, 44,000-square-foot building. The university expects to break ground in late fall 2008 and anticipates that construction will be completed in December 2009. The city also will partner with the university for construction of a 780-space parking garage at a cost of $11 million with a minimum of 250 parking spaces provided for USC Upstate. The exact location of the parking deck will depend on several variables, including the size of the garage, the contour of the land, how much of the garage is built below ground, and whether retail space or housing will be "wrapped" around the garage on the first level.

Facts summary:

Cost: $26 million

Height: 3 stories

Sq Ft: 44k

1 acre site on St John St

780 space garage- possibly with retail/housing wrapped around it

The Herald-Journal

The Greenville News

University of South Carolina Press Release

University of South Carolina Upstate Press Release

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I will be very disappointed if the parking garage doesn't at least have some ground level retail, and if they can get some housing in there too, its that much better.

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I wish this building could be more vertical, but it's a good thing nonetheless. I think the location of the garage will determine if any type of space, retail or otherwise, goes into the ground floor.

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As far as height goes, I wouldn't object to its being a little taller, but this is USC Upstate we're talking about. Its not Carolina or Clemson that have the money to building much larger buildings.

As for the garage, I think that either way, retail space needs to be made available on the ground level if not more. Even if its on the rear of the building, the rest of the property will be developed someday, and right now its sounding like it will be a mixed used urban village of some kind.

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Another article. This one highlights George Dean Johnson and his contributions to the city with a focus on the USC Upstate Business School. Basically, at the rate things are going, they will need to rename East Main Street to George Dean Johnson Jr Boulevard. Its crucial that the city have its philanthropers who recognize the importance of a strong downtown.

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The city appears to be moving forward with some infrastructure for Renaissance Park. They are now working on a road to connect the Marriott to Barnet Park Although it will be parallel to St. John, they want it to flow throught the area and not divide it. They also appear to be still open to some other enhancements like water features etc...

ARTICLE from HJ.

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This is a critical connection to make. I assume that this new road will be an extension of Silver Hill Street, though they may call it something else, and connect over next to the Marriott. There has never been any other road in the alignment they are talking about, so the name may be up for grabs. I hope its something simple like "Renaissance Street" and not "Mayor William Barnet, III Boulevard" or some ridiculously long name like that.

Is there a map in the print edition?

This is my concept of what I think/hope the road's location will resemble. I'm not sure how much 'meandering' you can do on this site, unless they are trying to do a mini Lobard Street like San Francisco.

renaissanceroadcopy.jpg

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No there wasn't a map in the paper. I guess by meandering this road would have to drift over a little to enter the new garage for the business school and maybe catch the Liberty Street extension, and then work it's way back to connect to Silver Hill? I just don't know, but it would be great to really have a defined master plan for the whole area before putting in the road.

At one time Floyd's had agreed to tear down their garage for this road, but that was way back in the day. Any insight on this?

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There has never been any other road in the alignment they are talking about, so the name may be up for grabs. I hope its something simple like "Renaissance Street" and not "Mayor William Barnet, III Boulevard" or some ridiculously long name like that.

The name for the new street will be Promenade Road. This has been floating around. I work for one of the companies that bid for this project and that was the name that was used for those purposes. This is original bid discription for the project:

Scope of Work :

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN The City of Spartanburg is requesting competitive proposals to provide engineering services needed for a potential road construction project to be built starting behind the Marriott Hotel and connecting to North Converse Street behind the Chapman Cultural Center. The street will include storm drainage, sidewalks, street lights, landscaping, and electrical infrastructure to provide power for public events. The consultant selected will develop full construction plans and specifications based on the City

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I know this is kind of nitpicky, but I'd much rather it be Promenade "Street" as opposed to "Road." A "road" to me is more rural, and when in a city is more of a through-road... like Reidville Rd or Blackstock Rd.

Thanks for that information Zebra. Do you know if the new street will actually connect to Church Street, or is that something for the consultant to determine? From that scope of work it sounds as though it will just dead end behind the hotel, or maybe connect to Daniel Morgan some how. Any thoughts on that?

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I agree with Spartan as to the name. Actually I think I'd prefer boulevard or avenue--sounds a bit more classy, and I think the new thoroughfare will have the potential to be just that.

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Avenue I could live with. Boulevard implies a large tree-lined street with a median. This won't be a thoroughfare though... just a ''through road'' (like Converse Street).

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I'm not real clear on if it will actually conect to Church St. or not, although in my opinion if it doesn't there is no real purpose for it and it will not flow well at all. Sorry I could not be of any more help but I will ask around about it....I know the City was very vague on it and I dont belive they know what they want. Renaissance Park is in a very critical stage right now. With the USC Upstate Business School being implemented, the new parking garage, the Chapman Arts Center (already up and running well), and this new road being planned this site which has enormous potential could go either way. They need some sort of plan for the infill and hopefully mixed use developments which this area needs. I heard of one a major developer had proposed for a mixed use development but I have not seen it. If any one knows where I could find it please let me know. On a side not I was in Krispy Creme the other day and they had the plans on a bulletin board showing the conceptual plans for the Alba Ct/Memorial Dr. realignment and the Memorial Auditorium expansion.

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If anyone could get a picture of that realignment, or find a rendering of it somewhere to post here, it would be quite awesome :)

I agree that its at a crucial stage. We had heard of a group of local developers that were interested in this site, and it sounded as though they would be redeveloping it. I had not heard of a 'major' (which I assume means 'national') developer that was interested in the site. Either way its going to set the tone for the forseeable future in terms of development downtown. This is on project we HAVE to get right the first time.

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^Now THAT would be awesome. :) Some how I doubt Novare is involved in something in Spartanburg though....

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The city is considering a 1.7 million enhancement to Barnet Park. It would move the Main entrance on down Converse Street to tie into the CCC and Renaissance Park, also moving foot traffic off of St. John (how I don't know) It also has spaces for 12 covered vendors, green rooms, more restrooms plus other landscaping. If anyone out there can find a drawing of the improvements, I'd love to see them.

ARTICLE from HJ

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Its $1.2 million worth of improvements.

I think that the new entrance probably makes sense given the large crowds that the park tends to draw during events. The city seems to be starting to invest in further enhancements rather than basic improvements now. We still have a ways to go, but Spartanburg is slowly but surely bettering itself :)

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^That sounds good. I think the new entrance will give the park more of a presence when driving (or walking by), which is about the most you can do until significant infill links it to the heart of downtown.

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Great find!

Thats the rendering from the Master Plan overlayed on an aerial image of downtown.

The only problem I have with that is they don't show Papa Sams staying! I know its conceptual, but thats an institution that will be important to keep. Where else would I be able to get a trashcan omelette and more importantly a Spartan Burger? :)

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The City has approved $750k + hospitality tax funds to build the parking garage on St John Street. This is in partnership with USC Upstate who will commit $3 million. The total cost of the garage is about $15 million. It will have 800 - 1000 spaces.

HJ Article

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Has anyone seen the drawings of the new business school yet? I think they are pretty much ready to go, saying that classes should begin in Dec. of '09. If that is the case, site work should start soon I would think. I guess McMillan-Smith is the architect, but I don't know.

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So still no images for the Upstate College of Business & Economics. All we know is: "Initial plans call for the three-story, 44,000-square-foot building to be completed by December 2009."

And this from the USC Upstate website:

Future_SBAE_Site.jpg

We have another player in the development of Renaissance Park- Central United Methodist Church. They have reached an agreement with the City to swap some of their land so that Upstate and the city can build their parking deck. In return they get some land behind their church fora new family life center.

Article

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I did some digging and found the following link:

http://www.uscupstate.edu/press/article.aspx?id=18208

They had a rendering, but the photo quality is not that great.

GDJ_Rendering.jpg

I was wondering if it was gonna be a more modern style like the new QS/1 building. Looks like 'no' to that, but I'm not disappointed either. It has an elegance to it. Can't wait to see the final product.

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