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Mary Black Rail Trail


spartanburgh

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  • 2 months later...

The former Ricky's Drive-In site was purchased by BVI Development, who also owns the shopping center across Union.  Looking at their website, they don't really own anything interesting or have really developed anything themselves, so I'd keep expectations low.  I wonder if this delayed the Rail Trail extension, since the trail would go along the Henry Street side of this property.  Hopefully that driveway will be closed off to make the trail safer.

Also, it appears that the sale of the Cannon Roofing site fell through.  It's no longer under contract, and it's back up for sale on CRE sites.

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  • 8 months later...

The Rail Trail extension inches forward. The ROW acquisition process is always painfully slow and it feels like nothing is happening.... but it looks like there is one parcel left and funding for construction is approved, which means a 2021 completion is realistic.
 

https://www.goupstate.com/story/news/2020/09/18/rail-trail-extension-could-begin-soon/5818776002/

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According to the article, the ROW acquisition has been relatively painless.  It's been the approval process with SCDOT that's been the slog.  Unfortunately, the dedicated bike signals and bike boxes at intersections that were planned have been nixed by SCDOT, because they are unwilling to truly commit to bike and pedestrian safety.  Makes me worry about the Henry Street crossing.  At least it's still curb-protected.

I am glad that it seems close to happening now, but honestly I won't feel fully confident until construction has physically begun.

Edited by westsider28
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5 hours ago, westsider28 said:

According to the article, the ROW acquisition has been relatively painless.  It's been the approval process with SCDOT that's been the slog.  Unfortunately, the dedicated bike signals and bike boxes at intersections that were planned have been nixed by SCDOT, because they are unwilling to truly commit to bike and pedestrian safety.  Makes me worry about the Henry Street crossing.  At least it's still curb-protected.

I am glad that it seems close to happening now, but honestly I won't feel fully confident until construction has physically begun.

Glad when Converse Street is narrowed for the rail trail.  That street is toooo wide!

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  • 6 months later...

I was perusing the agenda for Monday's City Council meeting and found a cool project planned along the Rail Trail near Marion Ave (see pages 92-102).  The developer envisions a multi-phase development to create a mixed-use gathering place at 101 Fretwell Street. The development plan contains multiple structures, a stage, concession stand, various access points to the Rail Trail, and a new home for Little River Roasting Company. In the first phase, the developer will invest a minimum of $2.4 million.  I've said it before: I think the Pine-Union corridor is poised to really take off.

256684916_Fretwellmixed-useplan.thumb.JPG.8d5ee9000a7b66f5412dc0596da20eb7.JPG

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The City has put the downtown Rail Trail extension back up for bids (due May 18).  Here's the (very large) PDF file of the engineering drawings.  It's impressive overall, but I still think the Henry Street crossing is potentially very dangerous, especially with a right-only lane on NB Union to EB Henry.  And the block of Converse from Kennedy to Henry is a mess.  I don't understand why they split it into separate bike lanes when there's a 2-way path on the east side of Converse on both ends (RT ext and MHW Greenway).  I suppose it's not surprising that there are some awkward sections when it's the first-of-its-kind in the state, and was designed by committee over the course of 7 years.  Hopefully it works out well in practice.

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I think the cycletrack make sense. Its essentially the same function as the Rail Trail, just on a city street. The lack of physical improvements at Henry Street is terrible. SCDOT is why we can't have nice things. All the money for these upgrades and people are still going to feel uncomfortable crossing the street to continue into downtown. In my read of the plans, its unclear if there are going to be signalization changes to allow for a dedicated pedestrian phase. I guarantee you that once people realize how nice the other side is, that there will be a lot of complaints to get something installed to make it feel safer. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 6/15/2021 at 10:55 PM, westsider28 said:

The Fretwell project has begun.  I saw equipment out there and site work underway when I ran by on the Rail Trail today.

Website is now up as well: https://www.fretwellspartanburg.com/.  Not much info yet, but it mentions tenants Little River (known) and SpartanBar (new to me) so far.

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  • 2 months later...

Here's an update about the Fretwell development. Not too much new: Little River's new location is planned to open Spring-2022, and they mention possible future residential.

The more exciting news is this VCC filed by Fretwell developers for several (4) additional parcels at the corner of Marion and Union (see below).  They don't own them yet, but the VCC states under "proposed redevelopment": Fretwell will acquire the Property and intends to develop the parcels and surrounding area with retail, restaurant, and entertainment spaces. I've said before that Rail Trail adjacent development is likely to accelerate, and here's an early sign of just that.

793396736_fretwellnewprop.JPG.97b7aa12e0458e602f6d8a3df1ca1a3c.JPG

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  • 3 weeks later...

Development on the Rail Trail continues to heat up.  Lat Purser (they're back!) are asking to rezone 1097 Union Street (which they purchased in July for $1.5M) from I-1 Light Industrial to B-3 General Business to allow for redevelopment to multi-family housing.  The Planning Commission meeting for this rezoning is October 21.  This ~0.7-acre parcel (see map below) is right on the Rail Yard park and is crossed by Duke transmission lines on the southeastern half (so that will have to be parking).  It's exciting that Lat Purser is already back for another project and impressive that they paid that much for a lot relatively far from downtown.  Can't wait to learn more!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Turns out Lat Purser bought the large warehouse next door as well (that explains the $1.5M cost: it's the total for both parcels).  They are planning retail, restaurant, and creative office space for the existing warehouse and 100-125 units of apartments (3-4 stories, oriented toward the trail) on the previously mentioned parcel.  The goal is for a synergistic relationship: the apartments supporting the retail, and the retail as an amenity for residents.  The developer seemed to suggest that parking requirements for B-3 may make the number of units they want difficult to achieve, which is disappointing as far as our regulations go.  Hopefully that can be resolved.  Anyway, the rezoning was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission, so now it will go to City Council for approval.  Excited to see this progress!

lpboxcar2.JPG.693b0bb1bcf98228d45cdb48565e70b3.JPG

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This is awesome! 

 

10 hours ago, westsider28 said:

Turns out Lat Purser bought the large warehouse next door as well (that explains the $1.5M cost: it's the total for both parcels).  They are planning retail, restaurant, and creative office space for the existing warehouse and 100-125 units of apartments (3-4 stories, oriented toward the trail) on the previously mentioned parcel.  The goal is for a synergistic relationship: the apartments supporting the retail, and the retail as an amenity for residents.  The developer seemed to suggest that parking requirements for B-3 may make the number of units they want difficult to achieve, which is disappointing as far as our regulations go.  Hopefully that can be resolved.  Anyway, the rezoning was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission, so now it will go to City Council for approval.  Excited to see this progress!

lpboxcar2.JPG.693b0bb1bcf98228d45cdb48565e70b3.JPG

 

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On 10/21/2021 at 10:08 PM, westsider28 said:

Turns out Lat Purser bought the large warehouse next door as well (that explains the $1.5M cost: it's the total for both parcels).  They are planning retail, restaurant, and creative office space for the existing warehouse and 100-125 units of apartments (3-4 stories, oriented toward the trail) on the previously mentioned parcel.  The goal is for a synergistic relationship: the apartments supporting the retail, and the retail as an amenity for residents.  The developer seemed to suggest that parking requirements for B-3 may make the number of units they want difficult to achieve, which is disappointing as far as our regulations go.  Hopefully that can be resolved.  Anyway, the rezoning was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission, so now it will go to City Council for approval.  Excited to see this progress!

lpboxcar2.JPG.693b0bb1bcf98228d45cdb48565e70b3.JPG

Meaning they have more parking than they want, or they feel like they need more?

This is great news though! I feel like there are a lot of cool old buildings along Union that could be repurposed... this is not one of them. Glad to see this one go.

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5 hours ago, Spartan said:

Meaning they have more parking than they want, or they feel like they need more?

This is great news though! I feel like there are a lot of cool old buildings along Union that could be repurposed... this is not one of them. Glad to see this one go.

I believe he meant they're forced to have more parking then they want (i.e. they can't squeeze enough parking on the land for the number of apt units they want).  Looking at the City Zoning Ordinance, it appears that 2 parking spaces per unit is required for multifamily, so 200-250 spaces, which is absurd and basically impossible on that site.  Bike parking can reduce it by up to 20% (so down to 160-200 spaces) or they can ask for a variance.  For B-3, there also seems to be a density limit of 1 unit per 800 sq ft of lot size.  This lot is ~84,000 sq ft, so it would be limited to 105 units.  These are clearly things that need to be changed/removed in the new Comp Plan.  And hopefully something can be worked out for this project in the mean time.

Oh yeah, there's also a minimum parking space size in the zoning ordinance.  I recall that The Fitzgerald had to get a variance to have mostly compact spaces.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/21/2021 at 10:08 PM, westsider28 said:

Turns out Lat Purser bought the large warehouse next door as well (that explains the $1.5M cost: it's the total for both parcels).  They are planning retail, restaurant, and creative office space for the existing warehouse and 100-125 units of apartments (3-4 stories, oriented toward the trail) on the previously mentioned parcel.  The goal is for a synergistic relationship: the apartments supporting the retail, and the retail as an amenity for residents.  The developer seemed to suggest that parking requirements for B-3 may make the number of units they want difficult to achieve, which is disappointing as far as our regulations go.  Hopefully that can be resolved.  Anyway, the rezoning was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission, so now it will go to City Council for approval.  Excited to see this progress!

lpboxcar2.JPG.693b0bb1bcf98228d45cdb48565e70b3.JPG

On 10/24/2021 at 6:19 PM, westsider28 said:

I believe he meant they're forced to have more parking then they want (i.e. they can't squeeze enough parking on the land for the number of apt units they want).  Looking at the City Zoning Ordinance, it appears that 2 parking spaces per unit is required for multifamily, so 200-250 spaces, which is absurd and basically impossible on that site.  Bike parking can reduce it by up to 20% (so down to 160-200 spaces) or they can ask for a variance.  For B-3, there also seems to be a density limit of 1 unit per 800 sq ft of lot size.  This lot is ~84,000 sq ft, so it would be limited to 105 units.  These are clearly things that need to be changed/removed in the new Comp Plan.  And hopefully something can be worked out for this project in the mean time.

Oh yeah, there's also a minimum parking space size in the zoning ordinance.  I recall that The Fitzgerald had to get a variance to have mostly compact spaces.

This project is coming back before the Planning Commission at their Jan. 20 meeting.  The developers are now requesting both parcels be rezoned to B-3 from I-1.  Initially, they were just going to rezone the SE parcel (apts) and leave the other I-1 (which allows commercial).  I suspect this has to do with the City's outdated ordinance for B-3 that requires excessive amounts of parking.  By rezoning both parcels, I think the commercial parcel can "donate" some parking (and/or residential square footage) to the apartment parcel, allowing more density (or they may combine the parcels, likely achieving the same effect).

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/5/2022 at 12:32 PM, westsider28 said:

This project is coming back before the Planning Commission at their Jan. 20 meeting.  The developers are now requesting both parcels be rezoned to B-3 from I-1.  Initially, they were just going to rezone the SE parcel (apts) and leave the other I-1 (which allows commercial).  I suspect this has to do with the City's outdated ordinance for B-3 that requires excessive amounts of parking.  By rezoning both parcels, I think the commercial parcel can "donate" some parking (and/or residential square footage) to the apartment parcel, allowing more density (or they may combine the parcels, likely achieving the same effect).

This new rezoning of both parcels to B-3 was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission.  It will go before City Council at their Feb. 14 and 28 meetings.

A rep from Lat Purser said that the breakdown of uses has changed to work out better financially (which was why they decided to rezone both parcels).  They're increasing the residential from ~130 originally to ~175 units now, and reducing commercial from ~35k sq ft to ~15k sq ft.  They also said the increased residential numbers should allow for lower commercial rents.  The current warehouse on site is very large, so I wonder if they may demolish part of it to accommodate more residential.  It will be interesting to see the site plan.

It was also mentioned that Lat Purser has been considering some sites in the City for potentially another development in the future.  They certainly seem to be betting big on Spartanburg.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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