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Old 09-30-2016, 04:12 PM
 
137 posts, read 140,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP91 View Post
It would be nice to have at least one retail space for the future, but its certainly not needed now.
I agree, but I think most or all of the street level space on Fifth and Greene Streets should be retail. I realize the Boundary has not been able to fill their retail spaces for some reason, but downtown Greenville has a limited footprint. I absolutely agree more people need to live downtown, but what has worked in other places is mixed use in and around the CBD, not strictly residential. Furthermore, by granting this variance, the city has set a precedent, which will probably be used again for other developments. I'm sure there is a concern the developer might back out if they don't get their way, which is possible, but not probable given the amount of money they've already invested in that property. I'm not anti-business either, I just want to see a thriving downtown area and I think it will take a lot more retail and office space to make that happen because the more area devoted to just residential makes downtown's footprint even smaller.
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Old 10-01-2016, 05:32 AM
 
2,401 posts, read 3,358,910 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingLocal View Post
I agree, but I think most or all of the street level space on Fifth and Greene Streets should be retail. I realize the Boundary has not been able to fill their retail spaces for some reason, but downtown Greenville has a limited footprint. I absolutely agree more people need to live downtown, but what has worked in other places is mixed use in and around the CBD, not strictly residential. Furthermore, by granting this variance, the city has set a precedent, which will probably be used again for other developments. I'm sure there is a concern the developer might back out if they don't get their way, which is possible, but not probable given the amount of money they've already invested in that property. I'm not anti-business either, I just want to see a thriving downtown area and I think it will take a lot more retail and office space to make that happen because the more area devoted to just residential makes downtown's footprint even smaller.
I see that spot as the edge of uptown. It is between the one way streets and on the other side of City Hall and the Greenville Utilities, which of course is offices. The Boundary is across the street from retail, so more retail makes sense and the other development is on Reade Circle next to the Dickinson Ave corridor, so additional retail is just an extension of Dickinson Ave.

With the extension of retail down Dickinson, into the warehouse district, uptown retail is experiencing a big expansion, and we know the Evans St corridor is making some progress but still has a long way to go. And the 10th St corridor is getting more retail. I just don't see the market for it west of Greene St.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:44 AM
 
137 posts, read 140,847 times
Reputation: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by HP91 View Post
I see that spot as the edge of uptown. It is between the one-way streets and on the other side of City Hall and the Greenville Utilities, which of course is offices. The Boundary is across the street from retail, so more retail makes sense and the other development is on Reade Circle next to the Dickinson Ave corridor, so additional retail is just an extension of Dickinson Ave.

With the extension of retail down Dickinson, into the warehouse district, uptown retail is experiencing a big expansion, and we know the Evans St corridor is making some progress but still has a long way to go. And the 10th St corridor is getting more retail. I just don't see the market for it west of Greene St.
I'll buy not west of Greene Street, but it should include anything facing Greene Street, which would eliminate my previous mention of the Fifth Street side of the Gather Uptown project. I doubt there is going to be much retail on Tenth Street other than the new Taft-Ward development which is outside the downtown district. These housing projects are bringing a lot more people to and near the downtown district to support more retail. The existing retail downtown and the assume retail in the Dickinson Avenue/Arts district would provide very little retail for the size city Greenville is and will become. Even the area I'm talking about is relatively small. If we want a downtown area that is vibrant in the future, there definitely needs to be more retail. Evans Street is redeveloping, and many of those storefronts are already or will soon be occupied. Compared to Asheville, which is similar in population, Greenville's downtown is tiny, and it was too long ago (1980's) when there was very little retail in Asheville. It's nice to see downtown Greenville developing, especially since it has languished for so long. But, it needs to be done right. A development in the downtown area that is all residential is setting a bad precedent. Mixed use is how other downtowns have revitalized -- who is going to be attracted to a downtown that has limited retail? It's not about now, it's about the future. Having three or four storefronts in a project that will be four or five stories tall and takes up most of a full block is not asking a lot.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:33 AM
 
137 posts, read 140,847 times
Reputation: 76
Default Downtown Mixed-Use with Office Focus

As much development as Greenville has seen and is seeing, there should be an interest soon in a downtown mixed-use development that includes significant office space. Getting the Town Common redeveloped should make First Street an attractive location. There also may be enough existing office space locally that might like to relocate downtown to support such a development. I also believe that the right kind of development would attract existing fine dining restaurants, boutiques, high-end stores, possibly a health club and television station to open another location downtown or possibly relocate to such a development. Pitt County alone has over 900 employees, then there are lots of existing law and other professional offices that could be interested in locating to such a location. That's been the experience with the redevelopment of American Tobacco in Durham, which includes much of this kind of list, plus residential. Young professionals/millennials love these kinds of work environments. This kind of development would probably also begin to attract more new businesses to the downtown area, as has been the case with American Tobacco and many other mixed-use projects that have helped revitalize long ignored downtowns.

This kind of development across from the Town Common would then help develop/redevelop all the side streets back toward Fifth Street and beyond, including Greene Street. Surely a motivated, energetic developer could line up enough commitments to build a smaller version of something like this: marketplace

Once something like this happens, the ball will be rolling and downtown development will take on a life of its own.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Danville, VA
4,631 posts, read 3,038,523 times
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River Park North in Greenville becomes first park in NC to be 'Green Travel Certified'
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:57 AM
 
1,020 posts, read 1,003,344 times
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Quote:
The announcement that the N.C. Department of Transportation will four-lane Fire Tower and Portertown roads from Charles Boulevard to 10th Street has many residents along the route uncertain about what the development holds for them.
The preliminary design shows about 20 houses and businesses must be bought out for the project to proceed, but of equal concern are the numerous homes and churches that will find the road and its right-of-way coming within feet of their front and backyards.

Many property owners left a Sept. 22 meeting hosted by DOT with more questions than answers. They find themselves in a limbo of sorts because the design won't be finalized until early 2017 and right-of-way offers won't be made until mid to late 2017.

"We want to build another building here," said Kirby Benton, who for six years has operated Service One Auto Repair out of a shop at the intersection of Fire Tower and Kittrell roads.

Benton and the property's owner, Rick Webb, want to build an eight-bay garage that will allow Benton to expand his custom 4-wheel drive retail and installation business. However, the design map indicates about 10 feet of the existing building will be swallowed by the road and its new right-of-way.

"We don't know what to do because we don't have enough land," Benton said. "We don't want to leave the area because we've been here six years and this is our business base."

NCDOT officials at the Sept. 22 meeting were split on whether the building would be relocated, Benton said. If the new right-of-way encroaches on the property it's unlikely they could build on the existing site.

"We're kind of in limbo this second. I've actually looked at a piece of land in Winterville as a back up," he said. Benton worries he’ll lose current customers, including seven fleet service contracts, if he relocates. The Bell's Fork location is easily accessible and visible and traveling to an out of the way location would make it less convenient for the businesses he serves.

Since Benton leases the existing building, he wants to know what, if any, compensation he may receive for lost business. The son of a mobile home park owner also questioned at last month’s meeting if his parents would receive compensation for the income they’ll lose if several rental lots are purchased by the state.

“NCDOT does not reimburse for lost income due to relocation,” said Bill Kincannon, NCDOT project development engineer. The state pays fair value for property involved, along with relocation costs, he said. Because each parcel is different, right-of-way officials meet with property owners, renters or business owners to gather appraisal information.

The widening project also is disrupting Benton's personal life. His home fronts Camelot subdivision, about one mile from his shop. The current map shows the road and its right-of-way taking about 30 feet of his front yard, shrinking the distance from his front yard to the highway curb to 30 feet from the current 60 feet. It appears there are no plans for NCDOT to purchase Benton's home or those of his immediate neighbors.

"The state just takes people's yards. They should take the entire property and make it commercial or something," Benton said. "No one wants to live on a four-lane road."

Across the street, Brianna Williams and John Hagen know what is happening to their 101-year-old, two-story Greek Revival home; the road and its right-of-way appears to plow through the house. Transportation officials confirmed the house will be bought out.


"We understand the vehicle problem in Greenville and the need for wider roads," Hagen said. He wonders if simply adding a turn lane would be a less disruptive option.

The future also is clear to members of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church. The road's right-of-way will likely end 15-16 feet from the rear of the current sanctuary, said Malcolm Williams, the church's junior warden.

"When we went to the meeting we talked about why they couldn't go more to the other side (of the road), but the old historic church (Red Banks Primitive Baptist Church) and cemetery on the corner has something to do with that, they don't want to mess with it," Malcom Williams said.

"We are concerned the traffic noise may bother us during church but we have a brick building so I don't think it will be that much of an issue," he said. He thinks noise issues could be solved by planting a screen of trees or building a wall.
Church officials have known for some time the road would be widened.

"We didn't know it was going to be as close to the church as it is but I don't think they are going to take the church from us," he said.

There are safety concerns because outdoor activity space will be lost, Malcolm Williams said.

"We may have to re-evaluate where we have the Lobster Fair (fundraiser). Obviously it is a concern and the vestry will talk about it and will talk to the diocese to find a way to make it work the best we can," he said.
Malcolm Williams said he probably isn't as worried about the widening project as others in the church. He believes Fire Tower and Portertown need to be four-lane roads. He's also seen this growth before.

Williams' family owns Greenville TV and Appliance and when they opened their existing location on Greenville Boulevard in 1971 people wanted to know why they built "out in the middle of nowhere," he said.

"You never know how things are going to develop and where it would develop. Who would have ever thought Greenville Boulevard would be one of the busiest roads in eastern North Carolina," he said.

People get frustrated with the city's traffic congestion. They are also understandably upset by how the the widening project will disrupt their lives, Malcolm Williams said. But it's a problem other areas would love to have.

"We have to have growth and we are lucky to have a university and the medical school and the dental school," he said. "Look at Kinston and some of these other small towns and how they suffered. I think we are fortunate to have the growth we've had and I'm not complaining."
Feel bad for the folks that will be affected. But it's part of growth.

-----------------

Also saw this on the Mayor's FB page. It's in reference to the Taft lofts on Dickinson and the growth coming up.

Quote:
#DAV District Downtown.What a #Transformation Only the Beginning. Multiple Projects Launched including Seattle BrewMaster's Micro-Brewery. Lofts, Retail, in 18 Months this area will be....wow.
Interesting note about another Brewery coming.

Last edited by michealbond; 10-03-2016 at 08:09 AM..
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Greenville
82 posts, read 98,276 times
Reputation: 43
This was the concern when they widened Hwy 43 W. Drive on it now and there are a few houses and a church that are within 50 of the new road. Although, Firetower and Portertown are busier roads.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
839 posts, read 1,039,416 times
Reputation: 176
Yeah - feel bad for the people affected by the widing of Firetower - but it is very necessary.

I mainly feel for those who just lose land in their front yard & not their entire house. I wouldn't want to live on that road to begin with, much less with the lane feet from your front door.

Looking forward to the expanded road in the future...and can't wait to watch all the jackasses try to navigate that double traffic circle.
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Greenville
153 posts, read 186,700 times
Reputation: 87
I think the double traffic circles are going to be a nightmare. The current one at Portertown and Firetower works great - but throw in another whole lane.....I think it will be a problem. BUT, it's likely better than a traffic light.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:20 AM
 
293 posts, read 270,724 times
Reputation: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrecufan View Post
I think the double traffic circles are going to be a nightmare. The current one at Portertown and Firetower works great - but throw in another whole lane.....I think it will be a problem. BUT, it's likely better than a traffic light.
If you've ever seen the traffic circle at Hillsborough and Pullen, in front of NC State University, that is a traffic circle but they have right turn lanes too for traffic not going through the circle. Works great. I hope they consider that model.
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