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179 North Church Street


spartanburgh

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Spartanburg will be getting another Bank building downtown. Meridian Bank will tear down the Hub City Coffee (old bank) building and the old HBJ furniture building at the corner of Church and St. John to build its new bank. The Liberty St. and Broad is a temporary location and demolition should begin soon on those old buildings on Church St..

I think this is a double edged sword. Those buildings need to go, but I don't think a start up bank can't build a building that would do justice to a site like that. I have always thought that a building about the same height as the Montgomery building would look great on that site. I looked on the Spencer Hines web site and the HBJ building was listed for 1,300,000 and I would assume the old bank building on the corner would cost at least 500,000, demolition would be another 200,000 making the land alone 2,000,000. You would think that they would have to build a major building to justify that land cost, but start up banks don't normally do that.

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To be fair, Carolina Alliance was a start up bank, and they did alright with their building. Now, IMO the old bank drive-thru should go but that HBJ should stay. We have so few historic buildings left in Spartanburg that its frustrating to see them torn down when you could tear down that crappy 70s brick building on the opposite corner.

This is a very significant update though, given that we have a down national economy and no major new projects have been announced in the past 6-8 months.

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Agreed Spartan, It would be better to demo the crap across the street than the old HBJ building as I have advocated keeping the historic sites as well. The heart of the town was torn out when other structures were demolished with little regard for their significance. I had really hoped that Bank Meridian would only be a tenant and someone would do mixed use here on a very important corner downtown. If its another office building that rolls up the carpet at 5 PM a great opportunity will be lost to help with the connectivity and night life potential for downtown on a very significant site. The walk from Downtown to the Marriott, CCC, the Memorial auditorium, Wofford, the USC-Business School etc. could be enhanced with more than a limited use cookie cutter office building. I think the Master Plan could help with development here if enacted in time. Either way it will still be better than whats there today, but opportunities keep passing Spartanburg by for Highest and Best use. Immagine the differance between a Bank building only or a Mixed use building with a bank on a floor or two(ground floor lobby), an Ice Cream shop, a Hub City Coffee shop, a couple of retail stores a bank drive through on the ground floor with a rear or underground parking, a small lobby for condo's above or a limited service Hotel (boutique hotel possibly), all with great views, all rolled up into a great asset in every respect. This is what we keep missing.

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Speaking of HBJ.... Kimbrells furniture has bought the HBJ building at Pinewood and moved out of their building on Morgan Square. That could be a great space in the heart of the square........

Also, are there any drawings for the new Meridian bank? I'm mixed on this development because while I'm glad something is happening there, another bank wouldn't be a the top of my list.

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  • 4 weeks later...

  • 2 months later...

Why on earth do they need a turning lane there? Can anyone justify that? Its never a good idea to make any intersection WIDER in a downtown area that is supposed to put pedestrians first.

The Urban Code has not been adopted, and supposedly it is so that "The George" and this new Meridian Bank can get away with things that the code wouldn't allow. This is beyond annoying. Traffic engineers are going to ruin downtown's future. The whole point of having a grid is so that you don't need turning lanes. Just go down a different block!

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I'm wondering that since the marks are on the sidewalk, they may be marking the entrance to the future parking lot/bank. Right now the exit to church street is one way and very close to the intersection, so maybe they are reconfiguring entrances/exits. I haven't been by, but that is a guess.

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It may not be either. I drove past the site today and noticed all the excavators etc. have been removed from the site. Not a good sign. It may be the economy or the banking troubles associated with it. I was looking forward to the renderings and hoping for something different than what we've been getting lately, but it looks like we may have a significant delay.

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  • 2 months later...

Maybe a more positive note. The Geotechnical crews were back at the Bank Meridian site today pumping the test wells again. Most of the wells appear to be on the old gas station part of the site. Maybe the delay is for an environmental reason that is taking a little longer to correct and the project will still move forward. I still haven't seen any renderings, but with all the money their spending on the site I would be dissapointed if its not a major development. These guys should be large enough to blow through Spartanburg's Bull crap pencil pushers. I'm sure they want be subjected to the same set of rules that shot down the man with the Hotdog cart.

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  • 4 months later...

It appears that the Bank Meridian building is history. The site has been listed for sale by Spencer/Hines at $2,100,000 and the website says the sale includes plans for the office building that was going to be there. This one seems to be a victim of the economy. I was really looking for a signature building on that site as its maybe the most desirable corner downtown for a new major building.

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  • 8 months later...

It's nice, but it looks too much like other 4-story office buildings in downtown Spartanburg. I say scrap the brick and go with an uber-contemporary glass and steel design, and make absolutely sure there is street level retail involved. It doesn't quite look like it is with these renderings.

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This rendering hasn't been shown before, but it's the building that was going to house Bank Meridian at Church and St John. That project has been put on hold as far as I know. Its a shame too because that is an attractive building. Great find though, thanks for posting!

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All prior posts to this one were pulled from the Downtown Projects & Developments thread. This is part of the process of creating individual project threads for the more significant projects in and around downtown.

I'll post the renderings that Skyliner linked to a few posts back later, in addition to adding this project to the Project Database for Spartanburg.

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