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Old 03-02-2016, 09:45 AM
 
294 posts, read 272,121 times
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The current convention center location was a mistake and likely influenced by the Hilton group, but that doesn't mean the opportunity has sailed for Greenville's city center. We could circumvent toe steppage and redundancy with an Uptown arena. Perhaps partner with ECU as new home for men's hoops. The facility can also host large scale events with capacities above the current convention center.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:44 AM
 
2,401 posts, read 3,367,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancisDrake View Post
The current convention center location was a mistake and likely influenced by the Hilton group, but that doesn't mean the opportunity has sailed for Greenville's city center. We could circumvent toe steppage and redundancy with an Uptown arena. Perhaps partner with ECU as new home for men's hoops. The facility can also host large scale events with capacities above the current convention center.
I know that has been offered many times, but in all reality the ECU athletics campus is not far from downtown...you could easily walk...its like 10 blocks.

ECU's proposed performing Arts Center however could be a major attraction...CFCC's in Wilmington has brought in many national acts including Grace Potter and Jewel recently. Put that into perspective...a community college is bringing in national acts 2 hours away. Know how they helped pay for it...a Bond. Another investment in downtown Wilmington BY THE PUBLIC.

So what is the City doing to promote that being built sooner than later? Or promote a 2nd hotel downtown? Re-striping 1st Street? Is that really all Greenville's got?

The City is finally getting going on the Theater project, but many folks are still complaining about the investment when they see numbers. Business as usual it seems with the old guard part of the electorate in Greenville...good to see at least a couple of council people are looking at the future.

Even had some folks griping about selling a public parking lot for private development. God forbid if you have to walk a couple of blocks.

Anyone else see a pattern here....that's been going on for decades (and led to the bad decision about the convention center).
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:07 PM
 
1,022 posts, read 1,006,674 times
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Yea the arena thing is a bit tricky. Having a 7-8k arena in the city already built is a plus. But ECU has only started hosting other major events in the arena for the last year or so. I'd like see so closer partnership with the city and an entertainment company that brings in national acts. Maybe an offer from the city by bond or tax to help renovate Minges to be able to host more events.

Otherwise. 70-80+ million for a brand spanking new arena is not something I see passing in any vote. A small events arena (3-4k seats) could be a possibility downtown.


HP, I will agree that many people are a bit short sighted with what the future can hold for Greenville. I was skeptical about the Uptown Theater recently , but I'm in full support after doing more research. I believe an ordinance a couple of years ago would have allowed parks like the Town Common to have wine& beer sold/consumed at events, but it was changed to ban it at only the Town Commons?!?! Bad idea, IMO.

Something like that prevents the Town Commons from hosting more events. So that leaves having events that sell beer/wine like Freeboot Friday confined to a small parking lot when thousands of people go each Friday. They could/should have it at the Town Commons/1st street where there is actual space for a band and lots of people. The Town Commons / 1st street should have much more usage. 1st street should be more like Raleigh's Fayetteville Street. Blocking off 1st street for events is probably one of the easiest things to do for the city since it's not really a heavily traveled road in the first place.

Even something like a food truck event spanning the majority of 1st street would be an awesome event the city could try. The new ECU performing arts center will be a great addition, but who knows how long that will take to even be built? Will they actually allow other events not sponsored by ECU to even be held there? Regardless, there has to be a draw there to get more people to visit downtown and stay for an extended period of time.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
839 posts, read 1,041,089 times
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I've wondered why they put the Freeboot Fridays & Food Trucks only in the parking lot. The festivities have grown far too big for that parking lot...they really need to move somehow.

I have stopped going to Freeboot because there is just no room to move around. I went to the Food Truck Rodeo last time & it was so busy & congested I didn't buy a thing...just left after 5 minutes, walked the kids down to the Town Commons & let them run around.

If they could move this stuff down to the Town Commons it would be superb...I wasn't aware of the no alcohol at the Commons rule.

Some many people in Greenville are backwards thinkers...like Greenville can't be more, can't be greater, can't be a destination..it drives me crazy. The more we add to the city the less people will leave to spend their money in other larger cities.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:18 PM
 
181 posts, read 185,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrecufan View Post
I think it was collusion with the Hilton ownership. Maybe that's too strong of a word and they were looking to partner to a degree. And the design of the CC was abysmally boring. At least the facade has been updated but I agree - should have considered an uptown location instead.
Funny thing is, now here the Hilton ownership goes opening a hotel at 4th and Reade.

Short. sighted. It was so obvious back then that live, work, play small walkable downtowns were on the up and up. Now they're the hottest thing in urban planning.

ECU could've already had the alumni center downtown, and I guarantee that the convention center would've spurred a private investor to 100% fund the refurb of the theatre building into a small concert venue if the convention center (and therefore hotels) were downtown as an anchor.

100% guarantee it.

But as is being said above, that doesn't take away the fact that there are plenty of other opportunities for development - one of which being that ECU PAC. Very intrigued also at what Taft is thinking on that BofA block.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:36 AM
 
1,022 posts, read 1,006,674 times
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Update on Theater project:

Quote:
Thursday, March 3, 2016
The historic theater on Fifth Street took another step toward redevelopment with approval by a city board to begin work at the downtown Greenville landmark.

The Greenville Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved a motion to let the city’s Public Works Department to begin contract negotiations with a company to perform environmental cleanup and stabilization work on the building. Economic Development Project Coordinator Thomas Wisemiller said the remediation and stabilization, which includes putting a roof on the building, is the first step in redeveloping the theater.

“This work must be done first and must be done concurrently,” Wisemiller said.

Wisemiller said the budget for this phase of the project is $290,000. Last month, the commission accepted a $125,000 subgrant award from the Eastern North Carolina Brownfields Coalition to support costs associated with site remediation. The grant does not require a city contribution and will not include any non-reimbursable expenses from the city.

The remaining $165,000 will come from City Center bond funds, he said.

Wisemiller said the city received three bids for the contract. Progressive Contracting Co. from Edenton submitted a bid for $271,300, American Builders Inc. of Greenville submitted a bid for $185,000, and IMEC Group LLC of Columbia, Md., submitted a bid for $168,200. Wisemiller said all three companies passed a compliance review conducted by the city.

The board approved Public Works to start negotiations with IMEC Group LLC.

“This will put the city well below budget on this phase of the project,” Wisemiller said.

The commission also unanimously approved $12,500 to conduct a design study on the city-owned Washington Street parking lot.

Assistant City Manager Merrill Flood said that the study, which will be conducted by East Group, will analyze the 20-space lot and will have design suggestions to make the lot more efficient and attractive.

“It’s not really a study, but essentially a design reconfiguration of the lot,” Flood said. ”We would be able to move forward with the building phase of the project after this is completed.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the commission:

*Appointed members to sit on the Small Business Plan Competition Selection Subcommittee, which interviews applicants and reviews proposals for people seeking small business grants from the city;
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:17 AM
 
2,401 posts, read 3,367,962 times
Reputation: 1406
Quote:
Originally Posted by michealbond View Post
Yea the arena thing is a bit tricky. Having a 7-8k arena in the city already built is a plus. But ECU has only started hosting other major events in the arena for the last year or so. I'd like see so closer partnership with the city and an entertainment company that brings in national acts. Maybe an offer from the city by bond or tax to help renovate Minges to be able to host more events.

Otherwise. 70-80+ million for a brand spanking new arena is not something I see passing in any vote. A small events arena (3-4k seats) could be a possibility downtown.


HP, I will agree that many people are a bit short sighted with what the future can hold for Greenville. I was skeptical about the Uptown Theater recently , but I'm in full support after doing more research. I believe an ordinance a couple of years ago would have allowed parks like the Town Common to have wine& beer sold/consumed at events, but it was changed to ban it at only the Town Commons?!?! Bad idea, IMO.

Something like that prevents the Town Commons from hosting more events. So that leaves having events that sell beer/wine like Freeboot Friday confined to a small parking lot when thousands of people go each Friday. They could/should have it at the Town Commons/1st street where there is actual space for a band and lots of people. The Town Commons / 1st street should have much more usage. 1st street should be more like Raleigh's Fayetteville Street. Blocking off 1st street for events is probably one of the easiest things to do for the city since it's not really a heavily traveled road in the first place.

Even something like a food truck event spanning the majority of 1st street would be an awesome event the city could try. The new ECU performing arts center will be a great addition, but who knows how long that will take to even be built? Will they actually allow other events not sponsored by ECU to even be held there? Regardless, there has to be a draw there to get more people to visit downtown and stay for an extended period of time.
There you have it...the backward thinking in regards to the Town Common. Let me throw another Wilmington example out there. They had this old amphitheater that no one used in a public park (sound familiar). They renovated about 5 years back and approved the sale of alcohol.

James Taylor showed up to open it.

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, Concerts, Wilmington NC

Now, they have a significant concert series going. In May, they have Willie Nelson coming.

Downtown Greenville needs to be an Entertainment district (along with the government)...and you need VENUES to do that as well as parking, sidewalks, etc...with the Theater as a 500 person indoor venue and say the ECU PAC is a 2500 seat indoor venue...you could also have a 1500 (or more) seat outdoor venue. But you HAVE to be able to sell alcohol. You could have concerts in Greenville every week and you have 25000 students or more to market to. Seriously, why not?
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:42 AM
 
1,022 posts, read 1,006,674 times
Reputation: 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancisDrake View Post
The current convention center location was a mistake and likely influenced by the Hilton group, but that doesn't mean the opportunity has sailed for Greenville's city center. We could circumvent toe steppage and redundancy with an Uptown arena. Perhaps partner with ECU as new home for men's hoops. The facility can also host large scale events with capacities above the current convention center.
I'm sure they went the cheaper way out. There was already a building shell there large enough to support something large like a convention center . I'm sure Hilton gave a lot of incentive to help the city make the decision. There also wasn't as much of a focus on the uptown area back in 05 like it has been the last 5 years. The convention center is still successful, even if they did choose to put it in the wrong place.

Personally, I'd like to see something similar (but smaller) to the Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh come to uptown.

Maybe a baseball stadium & amphitheater combo somewhere in the Dickinson Ave/10th street corridor? That would bring lots of people immediately to the area pretty much every week of the Spring, Summer, and Fall. One can only dream at this point!
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:26 AM
 
1,022 posts, read 1,006,674 times
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HP, great example!! We should definitely be looking to other cities that we want to emulate. A true outdoor venue that can be used for more "adult" events (and family friendly events) would certainly be a plus. Greenville really doesn't have any great outdoor parks.


Even Rocky Mount's mill project looks great and includes multi-story mixed use areas, a farmers market, single family homes, restaurants, breweries, and an amphitheater that you have to cross pedestrian bridges to access!. It will certainly change that city.

http://brewmill.com/rmm_brochure_121815.pdf
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
839 posts, read 1,041,089 times
Reputation: 176
Nothing frustrates me more than to see a city like Rocky Mount or Wilson do something that Greenville should have had upteen years ago.
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