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Old 10-17-2018, 11:50 AM
 
29 posts, read 30,370 times
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It is my understanding from the developer that the 14th & Charles project is still going ahead. They have just in the last week updated their website to include this project. Please see the website here with new rendering:

East Carolina Student Housing - Dewitt Carolinas
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:06 PM
 
293 posts, read 270,724 times
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Originally Posted by BMORE View Post
As far as I’m concerned, I’m not satisfied with any of the three proposals for the Imperial Site. I’ve advocated in the past for a phased approach, but after reviewing the proposals again a week or two ago, I believe it’s time to go back to the drawing board completely. None of the three proposals are daring in any sense of the word nor do they scream “artistic” as the Dickinson Corridor is allegedly going to become (still, as far as I know, only one artist operates in the corridor).

I think it would be wonderful if we could bring in some creative minds (hell, go to ECU and consult with students if need be) to actually use the small remaining portion of the imperial site for something as opposed to tearing it down entirely. One of the proposals has a building that must be designed by the same architect as Dickinson Lofts/U. Edge; I feel such uniformity is boring for the area. Plus the amount of surface parking in every proposal is unacceptable. Again: be daring.

When is the last time we had a major job proposal in Greenville? Uptown is cool and all, and building more and more student housing complexes is genius, but what about an actual job announcement? Losing momentum? When we did ever even have it? Student housing, at least in my opinion, isn’t classified as momentum nor is adding more retail space on Dickinson. It makes us “cooler” as a city to one extent or another, but in no way does it suggest dramatic change or “momentum” as a whole.

And before I am attacked, in no way am I saying Uptown shouldn’t be improved nor that adding a residential base in the area is a bad idea, but rather we continue to neglect our city and county by obsessing over the appearance of progress being made though reality is a much different story.
Jobs are crucial, but I don't think you can snub your nose at what has transpired thus far. Greenville has to make itself attractive to would-be business. A vibrant city center is a recruitment tool and more and more people prefer urban settings. Greenville was and is still behind with regard to having a truly developed UpTown.
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
1,070 posts, read 984,299 times
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BMORE’s post makes me look like an cheerleader, damn. I gripe about Greenville a lot, and no I don’t particularly care to live here, but I was born here a long time ago, never left, and want to see my hometown succeed.

We lost a huge advocate when Mayor Thomas resigned. I don’t fault him one bit, he has bigger aspirations and was offered a position he couldn’t/shouldn’t turn down. But I’m sure growth and new deals have slowed in his absence. He knew the right people in the right places.

I’ve worked at the same business downtown for over 15 years and the change I’ve seen, mostly good, is mind blowing. Just set the Google maps street view timeline back to 2007/2008 (when they started) and take a virtual drive around.

Job growth here is slow and organic and the proximity to the Triangle precludes it being any other way. It’s the reality. We just have to make what is here appealing enough to entice what does come our way and I don’t think Greenville has done a bad job of doing that.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:32 AM
 
3,285 posts, read 5,434,497 times
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Late reply, but I don’t want my criticisms of Greenville to be read as purely anti-Greenville nor suggesting I want Greenville to fail; quite the opposite actually. To dive in-depth with no momentum sentiments I issued, what I am suggesting is that Downtowns (in our case, Uptown) across the country are surging with development as more people want to live in the city-center and considering student housing is in near constant demand in College Towns, the developments in Uptown, IMO, are all but inevitable. This isn’t to bad mouth our local government nor any organization leaders, but I don’t see how any of the aforementioned would be the reason such student housing is underdevelopment outside of approving the process of them being constructed.

Dickinson Lofts (the portion of University Edge that young professionals live in) is the only development not related to students.. kind of.. and I wonder how they’re doing in respect to occupancy. When I was suggesting there is no momentum, I also don’t want to make it seem as if that’s restricted to Uptown as I was talking about the county as a whole. Other posters mention Trilllium, and I can’t say I know much about them albeit I’m glad they’re located Uptown, but I was speaking on significant job announcements as a county. Surrounding counties are picking up steam in respect to announcements all while the only job announcement I can remember this year for Pitt County is Wells Fargo closing and our petty response to close our accounts with them if they did close. Maybe someone can refresh my memory?

A quote from Glimpse (a publication of the Greenville-Pitt County Cahmber of Commecrce) suggests what we want Uptown to consist of and, I’m not sure how much I agree with such an approach:

We’ve looked at artisanal manufacturing as one of our targets,” said Johnson, who is campaigning to attract “high-value back office” tenants that would benefit from proximity to ECU. “Think of coffee roasters, think of craft breweries, think of hammock producers, any store front associates with manufacturer that wants to be in an urban core.

Again, across the country there has already been an uptick in craft breweries and coffee roasters in Downtowns and therefore, in my opinion, that isn’t something we need to attempt to scout. They’ll naturally come here. I’d love us thinking and saying:

“We want to bring companies that are working on the big problem of today: climate change. Greenville is close enough for companies to have quick access to the Atlantic, while being able to do research in close proximity to ECU within an urban core.”

Forget a hammock maker. We cannot compete with the Triangle across the spectrum, but one cannot deny that we do have our strengths and over the course of the next few decades, attempts to repair our oceans, do the critical research and change our energy consumption will be a big deal and Greenville should be selling ourselves as forward thinking on that.

So yeah, no momentum, no ideas, too fiscally conservative to actually invest are the problems I have with this city. The potential is being squandered because, as I mentioned in my other post, we’d rather look like progress is happening than to actually challenge anything in particular. I’m not saying any of this is easy, but we must try to think bigger.

We should be looking to be a testing ground for autonomous vehicles, we should be looking to draw in solar power makers, we should be thinking creatively on Uptown as opposed to thinking “ok, we now have _____ opening, so we’re a step closer to being a better city”, we should genuinely be exploring options to reduce traffic in our city as opposed to always being excited about road-expansions. We have so many brilliant minds in one city and yet we don’t give one damn to actually hear them.

Last edited by BMORE; 10-19-2018 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
1,070 posts, read 984,299 times
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The Hammock maker thing being specifically mentioned is a head scratcher. Greenville already has what I assume is the world's largest hammock maker out in industrial park, TheHammockSource. It's a huge facility and there's no way they could be or would want to be uptown. They actually moved out of an old warehouse off 10th Street to where they are now.

RE: Wells Fargo. I don't find the city/county desire to close their accounts to be petty, but either way, the city's banking relationship had not been evaluated in a quantifiable manner in over a decade. It needed to be looked at and something triggered that.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:42 PM
 
137 posts, read 140,847 times
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Originally Posted by BMORE View Post
“We want to bring companies that are working on the big problem of today: climate change. Greenville is close enough for companies to have quick access to the Atlantic, while being able to do research in close proximity to ECU within an urban core.”
I agree with the idea of thinking big and thinking out of the box. "Greenville" is a great name for a city that works on "green" issues. There are all kinds of "green" possibilities that could be used to create entrepreneurial businesses, and I use the term entrepreneurial on purpose. Since ECU now has a School of Entrepreneurship this should be a focus. It also should be a focus because entrepreneurial businesses are more likely to stay rooted in Greenville than those that are recruited and they are also more likely to give back to the community, both through volunteerism and financially.

I work with young adults and even though the ones I work with may be more inclined toward sustainability than their age group as a whole, there is a significant interest in this age group in taking care of the environment, creating an economy that supports them no matter if they live in a city or in a rural community, leaving their world in better condition than how they found it, being more self-reliant, and living in communities that have amenities that cater to their needs, such as walkable communities. Surprisingly, the young adults I work with are also more conscious about staying out of debt as much as possible. There are many possibilities for developing businesses that cater to these kinds of sensibilities. I also think there are more economic opportunities that could be created around the arts. ECU has a good reputation in the fine arts, and theatrical and performance arts, and educating people in all of them. That reputation and the people who live in Greenville who already work in arts should be leveraged to create more arts-related businesses and educational opportunities. One I think would be great to draw people to the area would be to establish arts schools that provide more arts opportunities for the public, similar to Penland School of Crafts and the Campbell Folk School in western NC. This would help drive tourism and help grow the hospitality industry in Greenville and eastern NC.

There are many possibilities, but it takes thinking out of the box and moving on from the strategies that haven't really generated a lot of economic development in the past. There is some value in following, but there could be greater rewards in Greenville striking out on its own path and capitalizing on what the future needs and strengths the city already have. Basically, the city should do a business plan for economic development and thoroughly evaluate its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and develop a plan on how to get to where it would like to be in 20-30 years.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:49 PM
 
3,285 posts, read 5,434,497 times
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Originally Posted by GoingLocal View Post
I agree with the idea of thinking big and thinking out of the box. "Greenville" is a great name for a city that works on "green" issues. There are all kinds of "green" possibilities that could be used to create entrepreneurial businesses, and I use the term entrepreneurial on purpose. Since ECU now has a School of Entrepreneurship this should be a focus. It also should be a focus because entrepreneurial businesses are more likely to stay rooted in Greenville than those that are recruited and they are also more likely to give back to the community, both through volunteerism and financially.

I work with young adults and even though the ones I work with may be more inclined toward sustainability than their age group as a whole, there is a significant interest in this age group in taking care of the environment, creating an economy that supports them no matter if they live in a city or in a rural community, leaving their world in better condition than how they found it, being more self-reliant, and living in communities that have amenities that cater to their needs, such as walkable communities. Surprisingly, the young adults I work with are also more conscious about staying out of debt as much as possible. There are many possibilities for developing businesses that cater to these kinds of sensibilities. I also think there are more economic opportunities that could be created around the arts. ECU has a good reputation in the fine arts, and theatrical and performance arts, and educating people in all of them. That reputation and the people who live in Greenville who already work in arts should be leveraged to create more arts-related businesses and educational opportunities. One I think would be great to draw people to the area would be to establish arts schools that provide more arts opportunities for the public, similar to Penland School of Crafts and the Campbell Folk School in western NC. This would help drive tourism and help grow the hospitality industry in Greenville and eastern NC.

There are many possibilities, but it takes thinking out of the box and moving on from the strategies that haven't really generated a lot of economic development in the past. There is some value in following, but there could be greater rewards in Greenville striking out on its own path and capitalizing on what the future needs and strengths the city already have. Basically, the city should do a business plan for economic development and thoroughly evaluate its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and develop a plan on how to get to where it would like to be in 20-30 years.
I have total agreement with this post. Greenville could be a brand to one extent or another and for that we need a social media campaign. Greenville, SC has a campaign directly against us by the name Yeah, THAT Greenville, which by the way has 1.1 million mentions on Instagram; it’s time to punch back. Most young people want to leave Greenville after ECU/PCC or just in general with the main factor anchoring them here being low-cost; let’s use such low-cost as a reason to lure and grow business here. We must have a culture of innovation and the arts fall under that. As I previously mentioned, our leaders are fiscally conservative but our artists could work around that as they rarely, if ever, have money in the first place. Develop an outdoor museum in Uptown as an extension of the Museum of Art and give our artists some paint to create such a museum. That’s thinking outside the box.

We need bus shelters across our city, we should be commissioning design competitions to design innovative yet cost-effective bus shelters. We should be looking to keep the small section of the former Imperial Warehouse that is standing and allowing our community of artists to come up with ideas for it. We should be committing GUC to reducing fossil fuel usage from 99% to 50% by the 2030’s for that would generate press for us that we are committed to being sustainable. Basically, our weaknesses could all be our greatest strengths if we actually wanted them to be. We are fiscally strapped (according to our leaders), but that should be the reason we become a community thinking outside of the box.

A VP at Patheon toured Charleston, SC early this year, or perhaps late last year, and said they were attracted to city simply because the city was thinking so far ahead. As you’ve stated, we should be looking thirty years into the future. People and companies alike (companies aren’t people, Mitt Romney) want to be part of communities that they feel are heading the right direction and want to be involved in such a process. Opening a Bad Daddy’s Burger is awesome, but not exactly going to make any company want to move or grow here. We need to be showing comprehensive videos and presentations of what Greenville will look like in 2029 — a city with a comprehensive transit system, offering a fully developed greenway, powered by increasing renewable energy, where a park is within cycling/walking distance of most residents, a hybrid micro-library system across multiple neighborhoods that doubles as incubator space and a resource center for residents and other exciting things.

None of what is happening is truly all that exciting to me. If I were an executive for XYZ company, seeing construction would be exciting for sure but when I hear it’s only student housing, how in the world can I feel like this a community that is exciting? How can I be excited going into an art corridor seeing only the work of one man all over that district, let alone the city? Great, we’ve built a new transit center but how much are we investing in our transit system? Outside of looking to increase homeownership, what are we doing to better the lives of residents in W. Greenville? There’s a prominent gap in an innovative approach to anything.

Last edited by BMORE; 10-19-2018 at 06:02 PM..
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:54 PM
 
3,285 posts, read 5,434,497 times
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Originally Posted by GarnetAndBlack View Post
The Hammock maker thing being specifically mentioned is a head scratcher. Greenville already has what I assume is the world's largest hammock maker out in industrial park, TheHammockSource. It's a huge facility and there's no way they could be or would want to be uptown. They actually moved out of an old warehouse off 10th Street to where they are now.

RE: Wells Fargo. I don't find the city/county desire to close their accounts to be petty, but either way, the city's banking relationship had not been evaluated in a quantifiable manner in over a decade. It needed to be looked at and something triggered that.
Do you know if such accounts were ever closed? I can’t help but to think it’s petty. Evaluate and move accounts if need be, but to suggest us potentially ruining the relationship with a bank we’ve had so long because they’re making a business choice seems petty.
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Old 10-19-2018, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
1,070 posts, read 984,299 times
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Wells closed the branch that was literally next door to city hall. I don't think they were trying to cultivate a good business relationship to be honest.

As far as I know the RFP for services is still out there.
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:32 PM
 
1,672 posts, read 2,040,411 times
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Originally Posted by BMORE View Post
Do you know if such accounts were ever closed? I can’t help but to think it’s petty. Evaluate and move accounts if need be, but to suggest us potentially ruining the relationship with a bank we’ve had so long because they’re making a business choice seems petty.
You want Greenville to promote real job growth, but consider it petty when it considers refraining from doing business with a major bank that is eliminating a couple hundred jobs right here in Greenville?
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