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Old 04-11-2014, 06:54 PM
 
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You guys are thinking way too big...you don't need a whole city block to have a hotel....the Wilmington Marriott is on the corner of 2nd and Grace St...literally on the corner, with buildings on both sides. It has its own parking on the bottom floors, but if a lease was available to a parking deck next door, you could go from a 6-7 story hotel to s 4-5 story hotel which could be a starting point for downtown Greenville.

The yellow area would work as well...just need to move the house on site, which would be a good idea.

Doubtful that ECU is giving up that property on that city block anyway.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
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I don't know how many people made it uptown to the Piratefest this weekend but I was very surprised how big of an event this is becoming. There were easily thousands of people down there...most activity I've seen uptown in a long time. Goes to show what a great place uptown could be we the city can continue the growth in the right direction.

Also - The parking garage is coming along nicely.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:35 PM
 
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The hotel WILL BE (confirmed through reputable sources) on the south side of 4th street between reade circle and cotanche street. ECU will sell that building/property and the hotel will be a new building that is attached in some fashion to that historic brick house. The house will serve as the "front" of the hotel. This is why the garage at 4th and cotanche is imperative to the building of the hotel -- there is no other parking around there which hotel guests will be able to use.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGuyInNC View Post
The hotel WILL BE (confirmed through reputable sources) on the south side of 4th street between reade circle and cotanche street. ECU will sell that building/property and the hotel will be a new building that is attached in some fashion to that historic brick house. The house will serve as the "front" of the hotel. This is why the garage at 4th and cotanche is imperative to the building of the hotel -- there is no other parking around there which hotel guests will be able to use.
The Inn at USC in Columbia, SC is built this way. It's beautiful.

The university owns the hotel and a local hospitality management company runs it. They have a bit of onsite parking but since it's owned by USC, the hotel guests are allowed to use the nearby university parking deck. Would be so much better if ECU did something like this.

http://www.innatusc.com/history.aspx

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Old 04-15-2014, 06:19 PM
 
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I think we are seeing the beginning of downtown filling in and starting to build up with the hotel, parking deck, and the Georgetown projects. This is really a great time for Uptown Greenville. Parking is definitely an important need for future growth and it might not be absolutely in demand right now, i think it will really be a great incentive.

If y'all get a chance, sometimes the city council meetings can answer a lot more questions and give more info about projects like the town commons and the parking deck. You can watch the meetings online at this link. http://www.greenvillenc.gov/departme....aspx?id=23746
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michealbond View Post
Excellent Question. The parking deck is going to be at the corner of 4th and cotanche...so here's a reference point for us.



The Parking Deck is in green. The yellow outline indicates a potential hotel site, but it's currently too small to be that. There is an ECU building right beside it in that block, but I'm not sure if they would move.

The better location would be the red outlined area. It's a much bigger space. Go-Science center is currently there, but since they are moving, that area could be cleared. There is a small portion that is an ECU building (I've filled that in with red) but the lot is large enough the ECU building doesn't necessarily have to move. Maybe even enough space to put some retail/commercial spots next to/underneath the hotel. I would think almost any 2.5 or 3-star hotel would be good at this point. I hope they can get some convention space inside the hotel so that small conventions/business meetings can be held. This would be great. We just gotta get this parking deck started.
So going back to the pic....and what the previous poster said...the space to the right would be the hotel (along the Reade St streetscape) and the house used as the front...that makes good use of space. What is the building next the old house? Maybe that gets removed. That could be a nice project to go along with the Community Smith project...and overlooking the ECU campus (and its future expansion on Reade St). This hotel would be a very short distance to the new performing arts center and alumni center.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:53 AM
 
1,022 posts, read 1,005,562 times
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Speaking of Downtowns...I just read in another thread that Rocky Mount is planning on building a Civic Center/Arena in their downtown. Makes me think that this would be better suited in Downtown Greenville.

Quote:
Event centers throughout North Carolina similar to one being contemplated for Rocky Mount operate at annual deficits ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars a year, figures show.

But officials from cities where they are operating say the centers contribute greatly to their community’s quality of life and have been a boon to spending at local businesses.

The city of Rocky Mount has hired a consultant who has recommended that the city move forward with constructing a $37 million, multipurpose facility with approximately 5,000 seats and an additional 15,000 square feet of event space for gatherings such as meetings and banquets.

An event center in downtown Rocky Mount is expected to operate at a deficit of approximately $315,000 to $640,000 per year, a consultant’s report from AECOM Technical Services states.

“However, its construction and operation would generate significant spending, employment, income and tax revenue impacts locally,” the report states. “While specific forms of funding have not yet been captured for the facility, a number of opportunities have been identified. These include New Market Tax Credits, sales taxes, hotel occupancy taxes and food and beverage taxes. Various combinations of these sources could fund facility construction and operations.”

AECOM Associate Principal David Stone, who prepared the report, said event centers that would be comparable to one in Rocky Mount generally operate at a deficit each year as far as operating expenses.

But he said officials in those cities are glad to have the facilities because of their many benefits.

“If you are focused specifically on the deficit, I’d say most, if not all, cities that develop these kinds of facilities either do understand or should go into them understanding that they won’t necessarily make money, and they plan appropriately. They go in with their eyes open. And they are doing it to respond to market need, to kind of offer a public service, and to capture the other benefits from economic impacts.”

Stone said he spoke with officials from other North Carolina cities with event centers in preparing the report for Rocky Mount.

“I don’t think any of them would say they regret having these facilities, and they are happy to have all the benefits they capture from their operations,” he said.

Skip Carney, who owns a local advertising and public relations firm, said he believes an event center in Rocky Mount would operate at a much higher deficit than the consultant’s figures project.

He is a member of The Community Council for Nash, Edgecombe & Rocky Mount, which is raising questions about whether the center would be a sound investment of tax dollars.

“I don’t think the projection of income (from the center) is even close,” he said. “Every time (city officials) take on something, the project ends up costing more than expected.”

He said the downtown train station renovation is an example, costing $12 million when original estimates were at $4 million.

“They are just not being realistic,” Carney said. “I’d love to think that an event center would work in downtown Rocky Mount. But now I don’t see where it could without incurring huge losses. And who is going to pay for those losses?”

In Concord, a facility similar in size to one being studied in Rocky Mount was built in 2002. The Cabarrus Arena & Events Center has a total of 140,000 square feet of event space and seating for a maximum of 5,000 spectators, in addition to 10 acres of outdoor festival and exhibit space.

The facility hosts a wide range of entertainment, sports and business events, including concerts, trade shows, dog shows, cheer and dance competitions, the Cabarrus County Fair and Cabarrus and Union County high school graduations.

The arena also is the home of a minor league football team and has previously hosted minor league baseball.

In 2009, the facilitiy hosted 263 events. In 2001, the center hosted 196 events. Total attendance for both years ranged from 230,000 to 250,000.

To help cover the annual operating deficit of about $1 million, the county’s tourism authority pitches in about $100,000 a year, and the county pitches in about $700,000.

Cabarrus County Manager Mike Downs said the center is a positive for the community and is worth the county’s investment.

“Definitely, the community benefits from the (enhanced) quality of life,” he said. “It’s another opportunity for entertainment in the county without having to go into Charlotte. But it also is another option in the county to have receptions, reunions parties, that type of thing. They can rent it out.”

He said the center draws many out-of-town visitors to Concord.

“So we get that benefit as well,” Downs said.

Cabarrus County owns the facility, but in 2005 hired SMG, a facilities management center out of Philadelphia, to manage the center.

“It was with the intent to reduce the contribution from the general fund as much as possible,” Downs said of hiring the firm. “That has steadily reduced over the years, but it has not gotten to zero, and we don’t ever expect it to get to zero.”

John Mills, executive vice president of the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, said the event center brings in many out-of-town visitors who spend money at local businesses, boosting tax revenues.

“They are dropping all these tax dollars in your community and going home,” he said. “There is definitely an economic impact benefit.”

The city of Fayetteville also recently hired a private company to manage its facility and to try and reduce the annual approximately $3 million operating deficit at the Crown Center. The center includes a 60,000-square-foot expo center and 7,800-square-foot ballroom.

Rita Perry, office manager for the Crown Center, said Global Spectrum started managing the Crown on Nov. 1.

Perry said Fayetteville benefits economically from having the Crown Center.

“They’ve done plenty of studies. It’s my understanding that none of these make a profit for the community, but they provide entertainment,” she said. “And economically, with all the spending in restaurants and hotels, (the financial benefit) trickles down.”

AECOM Technical Services out of Chicago has concluded that a proposed event center in downtown Rocky Mount would generate $12 million in annual economic benefit for local businesses and create 200 new jobs.

Rocky Mount Mayor David Combs said the indirect economic benefit would be more than $12 million annually.

“What other people spend, it expands out from there,” he said. “This would be money that is coming in from outside the community that is not being spent here that would certainly help our hotels, restaurants, convenience marts, gas stations.”

Combs said from a business perspective the Raleigh Convention Center doesn’t pay for itself, but it brings a tremendous amount of people to downtown Raleigh who are then spending money in Raleigh.

“While they are there, then they go shopping and do other things, but (the Convention Center) is what brings them to Raleigh to start with,” Combs said. “And I’m not comparing this (Rocky Mount) event center to the Raleigh Convention Center, but Raleigh also went through a transition with their downtown. It really has taken them probably 10 or 15 maybe even 20 years to get it where it is today. In other cities that have done similar type of redevelopment projects, it didn’t happen overnight. But there had to be some catalyst to continue to bring more people down.”

Combs said Rocky Mount city leaders have been pondering building an event center for decades.

“It never got passed the talking-about stage,” he said. “Here, we went one step further and had an extensive plan done.”

He said an event center in Rocky Mount could bring events in like the annual meeting of the N.C. League of Municipalities.

“They can’t come to Rocky Mount for their annual convention because we don’t have space big enough,” Combs said. “They’ve been to Greenville. They’ve been to Hickory, which is about the same size as Rocky Mount. There are events like that that happen across the state that can’t come to Rocky Mount even if they wanted to because we don’t have an event center big enough.”

He said there also are sporting events that could be held in an event center in Rocky Mount.

“There are things we could probably host here in Rocky Mount that would bring in traffic, but we can’t because there is not an event center here,” Combs said. “Some people would say, ‘We don’t need one.’ Well, maybe we don’t need the library. Maybe we don’t need the Athletics Complex or the Senior Citizens Center, because none of those things pay for themselves, and in any community that is probably the way it is.”

Combs said a case has to be made that projects like these improve a community.

“All of these things bring people in and add value to people living in a community like Rocky Mount or any other city,” he said.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:37 AM
 
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Lord knows Rocky Mount needs something, anything to improve its lot. Greenville's Uptown would benefit from the same type of arena. I hope in the future the ECU hoops team warrants a new facility and something like this event/civic center could be a town & gown project in the Uptown area.

Going back to the hotel, The William Long House is a national historic site... I wonder how they could incorporate it into a hotel or building on the grounds with such a designation.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:48 AM
 
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Switch gears back to an earlier post, with the state nixing the northern bypass options for Kinston and seeming killing the Quad-East initiative in the process, what viable options does Greenville have for interstate access? Are there any that are realistic? The state will eventually turn 64 into an interstate from Raleigh to Norfolk so does Hwy 11/13 become a spur to Greenville? Could we continue to push for 264 to become part of 795? Greenville still sits a the precipice. There is good growth and growth in the UpTown area. I believe interstate access is key to continued growth and economic development.

I am unfamiliar with the new legislation on DOT funding and NC roadways so it could very well be a moot point.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:08 AM
 
2,401 posts, read 3,364,833 times
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Originally Posted by FrancisDrake View Post
Switch gears back to an earlier post, with the state nixing the northern bypass options for Kinston and seeming killing the Quad-East initiative in the process, what viable options does Greenville have for interstate access? Are there any that are realistic? The state will eventually turn 64 into an interstate from Raleigh to Norfolk so does Hwy 11/13 become a spur to Greenville? Could we continue to push for 264 to become part of 795? Greenville still sits a the precipice. There is good growth and growth in the UpTown area. I believe interstate access is key to continued growth and economic development.

I am unfamiliar with the new legislation on DOT funding and NC roadways so it could very well be a moot point.
I think if 64 changes to an Interstate, then 264 could be an interstate spur...all they would have to do is turn 11 from 64 to 264 into Interstate quality, which could be fairly affordable because the Bethel bypass is already there. North Pitt could be an issue though.

That's a lot of work though to make 64 to an interstate, especially in Bertie County and Pasquotank County.

The biggest problem right now as I understand it is that the road where 264 ends in Wake County (at Five County Stadium) is NOT an Interstate. If 64 just gets interstate status from the beltline to I-95, then 264 can get it from Zebulon to Greenville (which crosses I-95). Interstates must intersect with Interstates. Greenville could be the dropoff point, just as Wilmington is the dropoff point for I-40. 264 must end in one direction with an interstate.
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