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Renaissance Park Projects & Developments

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That's because there isn't a master plan. There is the plan that they did in the Downtown Master Plan, but since it has yet to be adopted it is essentially meaningless. The loop is probably what they are calling the project to extend the road from the Marriott around to Converse St (which with out any plans to extend Converse St is still the stupidest thing I've ever heard of).

I agree, I wish they'd never disconnected Converse Street to begin with. I think it was done about ten years ago when the Marriott was under construction and developer Arthur Cleveland had plans for a 9-hole golf course in that area. I was looking at Spartanburg on Google Earth recently. The satellite photos are a few years old but reminded me that Converse St. not only previously went all the way to Daniel Morgan Ave. but was actually 4 lanes wide.

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I dropped into town for Memorial Day, and I checked out Liberty St. I would have snapped a few pictures but it was POURING rain.

I see what's going on back there now. It sort of makes sense. I mainly like that Liberty St is going to be reopened, though I am disappointed that Converse St will not punch thorough for a while. I think that it's being set up to where it will eventually. "Promenade Rd" or whatever they are calling it these days is going to link up with Converse right at the intersection of Silver Hill St. I think that Converse will be restored to Daniel Morgan eventually.

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The Spartanburg Marriott may be getting some new owners! Jimmy Gibbs and Andrew Cajka have put a contract down on purchasing the Marriott. I really hope this happens, because Gibbs is very passionate about Spartanburg and Cajka is the president of Southern Hospitality and has beeninthe hotel business for 25 years.

They say some of their 1st plans would be to renovate the hotel, and finish some of the vision by Arthur Clevland. While some details are still being ironed out they hope to close in a month or so. Hope this works!!

ARTICLE

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One other thing... I drove around on the new streets in Renaissance Park and overall it is very exciting. One thing I do not understand is why they made the road from the marriott to the new garage a one way street. You can drive from the hotel to the garage and other streets, but you can't drive back.

It bothers me that we have such a great opportunity there, but yet we continually "tip toe" around the ugly mortuary garage and the magnolia trees up on Church Street. That could have been a wonderful entrance into the hotel and Renaissance Park.

Everyone was up in arms to save the Dupree house and the trees, but now the house sits falling apart and the trees are unkept.

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The Marriott is getting closer to being under new ownership. City Council unanimously approved the first reading to modify and extend leases relating to the hotel.

Herald-Journal article

I was happy to read that the once the Marriott is under new and stable ownership, it sounds like the city will really push for development of the nearby land in Renaissance Park. I hope we can get a good mixed use development, maybe similar to McBee Station in Greenville (Publix, Staples, apartments, storefronts). I also hope that a developer can alter the road (i.e. Liberty St) to add some on-street parking (like Carolina Alliance Bank did on Kennedy Street), as that would be important for any restaurants/retail.

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Residential development is going to be key, and a McBee Station style of development is exactly what we need to see in order for the Renaissance Park thing not to be a flop. I think a grocery store could work, but being relatively close to several others kind of hurts the chances in the near term.

I'll also say this- after 10+ years of planning (or scheming) on what to do with that site, they better pull this thing off in style. We have every reason to expect something that is high quality and that will improve downtown as a whole.

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Residential development is going to be key, and a McBee Station style of development is exactly what we need to see in order for the Renaissance Park thing not to be a flop. I think a grocery store could work, but being relatively close to several others kind of hurts the chances in the near term.

I'll also say this- after 10+ years of planning (or scheming) on what to do with that site, they better pull this thing off in style. We have every reason to expect something that is high quality and that will improve downtown as a whole.

I mentioned it would be a good thing to put a grocery store somewhere along Daniel Morgan (or surrounding area) about 18 months ago an d was crushed by thinking such a thing. I still think it would be a slam dunk as there is no intown/downtown grocery store. Where are these other stores that are relatively close that would dish out the hurt on a new downtown grocery store? If say a Kroger wanted to set up shop within a 1/4 mile of the Marriot, are you telling me there is too much competition for them to succeed? If so, I find that highly humorous.

If you are gonna do something like this near the Marriot (which I think is the centerpiece of downtown), don't half ass it. Get good quality stores that other stores will want to be around. Folks from the east/west side will not come if its BiLo, a nails salon, a frame shop, and a chinese restaurant.

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I'm saying that I don't think there is a market for a decent (publix-like) grocery store downtown, and what market that there is can be accommodated by the stores nearby. There are several stores within 1-2 miles of downtown in almost every direction. Food Lion on North Pine is the closest, then you have several around Hillcrest and Cedar Springs that aren't inconvenient. Downtown is proximate to a lot of relatively low-income neighborhoods which might not support a larger grocery store. The best example is how difficult it was to get a grocer back on South Church St.

The other factor is the Greenville and Columbia support theirs in part by having much larger downtown workforces than we do (in addition to being near residential populations).

Don't misunderstand me though, I would love to see a grocery store downtown. How do you think one could be supported?

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I see what your saying, Spartan. One problem with a grocery store in Renaissance Park is that it would be too far to expect residents of the two relatively well-off neighborhoods near downtown (Converse Heights and Hampton Heights) to walk there. And, like you said, there are some other options (for driving to). You could probably get somewhat decent student usage from Wofford, VCOM, and The George (granted, those are "broke college kids").

The ideal answer is, of course, constructing buildings with residential components (apartments/condos/mixed-use) in Renaissance Park. Though, building anything residential isn't likely to happen soon with the current ecomony / housing situation. I think eventually, however, that Renaissance Park will be a great place to live since it's so close to the Memorial Auditorium, Chapman Cultural Center, and Barnet Park. Also, I agree that we need at least one more big, white-collar employer in downtown to get some real momentum going with development (in general).

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City Council approved the sale of the Marriott. Jimmy Gibbs and Andrew Cajka will close on the hotel on January 15.

Herald-Journal article

This past week, an article in the Spartanburg Journal mentioned that, as part of some planned improvements to the hotel after the sale, the new owners are planning an upscale restaurant. They believe that it is something Spartanburg is lacking. Isn't Dupre's still in the Marriott? Isn't that a pretty nice restaurant? But anyway, I look forward to any improvements to the hotel.

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For what it's worth, Andrew Cajka's Greenville-based business played a significant role in luring the USA Cycling Professional Championships to the Upstate. With Spartanburg already a host city for the annual Assault on Mount Mitchell and the locally "prestigious" Marriott hotel and conference center centrally located in the city, this transaction could become even better in the future.

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I want to compliment the City on the new streets in Renaissance Park. They line up perfectly with existing streets and create a nice grid pattern- or rather, they will when they are extended. The street in the middle is appropriately named Silver Hill St, and it connects to the neighborhood. Converse Street is set up to extend over to Daniel Morgan eventually, and Liberty St connects through. Overall this is exactly what I was hoping to see!

Thanks to roads-scholar for the photo :)

2545040380102245857S600x600Q85.jpg

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So there was a blurb in the Herald-Journal about a planned First Responders Memorial to be constructed in Barnet Park at the corner of Converse Street and Silver Hill Street. The plan will be officially unveiled tomorrow at 10 AM at the site. Here's the website about the memorial - http://scloddmemorial.org/ And here's a rendering from the website:

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Edited by westsider28

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I think that is an awesome idea and a great location, but how many of you looked at the design and thought of the Washington Monument and not 1st responders. I just hope the final design is a little more original...

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I wonder if they could do like Columbia did and get actual pieces from the wreckage--in Columbia's case, two steel beams from one of the towers:

6837072878_ee68380654.jpg

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I don't like that location at all. That is the kind of monument that should be out in the open, not tucked in the back corner of a park next to two streets nobody uses. Put it in that small park at the corner of Church & St John.

The monument itself is great. It has a classic design that will look good centuries from now.

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At the end of an H-J article about the City Council meeting, there was a blurb that I was happy to see.  The Chapman Cultural Center will partner with the City to increase the usage of Barnet Park by bringing more entertainment to the outdoor venue. 

 

Barnet Park is a huge asset to the City that definitely hasn't been fully taken advantage of, to date.  I look forward to seeing more events there.

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This sounds exciting!  The owners of the Marriott are looking to purchase 3 acres directly behind the hotel (fronting N Liberty) from the City for a significant, mixed-use development with an investment of at least $7 million.  The City would sell them the land for $1.  It would be a “high-value taxable development that strengthens our revenue base and contributes to downtown business activity” and would “exhibit attractive, high-quality urban design consistent with the downtown code” according to the Asst City Manager.

 

Can't wait for more details about this project to emerge!  I wonder what it could be?  $7 million isn't a huge amount, so I would guess something like stick-built (aka wood-frame) apartments with retail (total speculation).  For some context, the Library Commons (4-stories, concrete first floor w/retail, stick-built upper floors, condos) was a $10 million project in 2008.  What do you guys think?

Edited by westsider28
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I'm very excited about this!!!  That area needs a "start" and hopefully, that will encourage other development.  With this being developed by the Marriott owners, I'm sure they will bring something that will complement the hotel and surrounding area.  Can't wait to see some details.

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Well, the 2006 Master Plan had a mixed-use village in this area, but that was more of a "stuff that could possibly be here eventually" than a true "plan".  Plus that was before the Cultural Center or The George were built.  If you're talking about the Marriott owners (a group led by Andy Cajka and Jimmy Gibbs), they've only owned the hotel for about 3 years, and they've been focused on renovations.  I don't recall any plans from them for this area before now.

 

Alas, the project is only in the preliminary stages, and they are still looking for more partners.  So it will be a few months before more details are available.

Herald-Journal article

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Well, the 2006 Master Plan had a mixed-use village in this area, but that was more of a "stuff that could possibly be here eventually" than a true "plan".  Plus that was before the Cultural Center or The George were built.  If you're talking about the Marriott owners (a group led by Andy Cajka and Jimmy Gibbs), they've only owned the hotel for about 3 years, and they've been focused on renovations.  I don't recall any plans from them for this area before now.

 

Alas, the project is only in the preliminary stages, and they are still looking for more partners.  So it will be a few months before more details are available.

Herald-Journal article

The project includes a small convention type space for larger groups than the Marriott can currently handle; from the grape vine.

I would hope for a residential component, weather it be additional rooms for the Hotel or apartments or the ability to supply corporate apartments that could be used either way, depending on demand.

The urban code would limit the height to 3 stories, which is one aspect of the urban code that I hate. I am glad to see the development and progress finally happening in this area.

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