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Old 03-09-2014, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
6,632 posts, read 14,132,531 times
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Honestly, I'm glad somebody is finally pushing things at City Hall. I loved Bob Coble, but he always tried to reach consensus with people and that makes things move much too slowly. I say, "onward and upward"!
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:09 PM
 
116 posts, read 144,062 times
Reputation: 43
Columbiadata do you think it's going to take any business away from the vista to have new bars and restaraunts there? Would you want to live in a 500k home in a neighborhood with a ballpark having games and events over eighty times a year? Would you want to live in a 500k home less than a mile from huge public housing development? (Btw why didn't cola food fresh remain open?). Conversely, what do you think would happen in the vista where downtown workers could feasibly walk from the big buildings or take a golf cart shuttle to the game after work... What could these folks possibly do with themselves between five and seven? Go to liberty, wild wings, grab dinner at m vista, colas, oak table maybe... You get the point I'm making? I know you disagree but I respect your opinion and would like to see a direct response to what I'm saying... In my opinion part of our issue as a city now is the split areas. I know people enjoy the different options but I'm talking about creating vibrancy and successful ventures for folks who invest in the "real downtown" of the vista. I'm by no means a developer and I'm sure these folks know more than I but who wants to be that close to the projects as major retailers? would loitering not be a problem? ballpark on bull st= walkability from projects... ballpark on kline property= walkability from downtown highrises and condos... the vista seems typically dead on week nights; why wouldn't we want all the benefits of the ballpark go to those businesses that have helped create what we have in the vista now? If the ballpark is in the vista people WILL want to live down there... No public housing near Kline property and no walkability from downtown at bull st property. Hmmm... Wonder which would produce more for the city?
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
9,612 posts, read 13,737,189 times
Reputation: 2082
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonatco View Post
Columbiadata do you think it's going to take any business away from the vista to have new bars and restaraunts there? Would you want to live in a 500k home in a neighborhood with a ballpark having games and events over eighty times a year? Would you want to live in a 500k home less than a mile from huge public housing development? (Btw why didn't cola food fresh remain open?). Conversely, what do you think would happen in the vista where downtown workers could feasibly walk from the big buildings or take a golf cart shuttle to the game after work... What could these folks possibly do with themselves between five and seven? Go to liberty, wild wings, grab dinner at m vista, colas, oak table maybe... You get the point I'm making? I know you disagree but I respect your opinion and would like to see a direct response to what I'm saying... In my opinion part of our issue as a city now is the split areas. I know people enjoy the different options but I'm talking about creating vibrancy and successful ventures for folks who invest in the "real downtown" of the vista. I'm by no means a developer and I'm sure these folks know more than I but who wants to be that close to the projects as major retailers? would loitering not be a problem? ballpark on bull st= walkability from projects... ballpark on kline property= walkability from downtown highrises and condos... the vista seems typically dead on week nights; why wouldn't we want all the benefits of the ballpark go to those businesses that have helped create what we have in the vista now? If the ballpark is in the vista people WILL want to live down there... No public housing near Kline property and no walkability from downtown at bull st property. Hmmm... Wonder which would produce more for the city?
Did you miss where $1 million condos are selling in downtown Greenville near Fluor Field?
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:32 PM
 
116 posts, read 144,062 times
Reputation: 43
Yes- is that walking distance from projects in Greenville though? Flour field area has bars, condos, and restaurants but not retail... I guess you read that and see that for bull st and when I read it I see that result for vista... I really believe if there was a better spot in Greenville they would have used it. That area in Greenville seems like a great spot to me... I think cola has a better opportunity at other site that would be better than flour field and bring EXISTING property values up as well as inject new development. I also feel like this deal is full of pork and I wonder why no one in city council gives hard line reasoning to eliminate Kline property... I think the reason is they know its better but want all the other "stuff" in this deal.

Lets say I conceded and ballpark goes on bull st... Why not place it on the corner of the property closest to hospital where views of the city exist?

Last edited by Sonatco; 03-09-2014 at 09:41 PM..
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
9,612 posts, read 13,737,189 times
Reputation: 2082
It's amazing what you can see that you didn't realize your would be able to see from certain vantage points. Maybe we'll see the Babcock building with the central business district in the background from some sections of the stadium. I see the Vista as having more hotels, bars, restaurants, retail and housing, and when it's filled up it will be amazing how close it and the CBD seem to Columbia Common. Density is a proximity game-changer in cities.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:59 PM
 
116 posts, read 144,062 times
Reputation: 43
I'll be happy with ballpark either way... I just really see it in Vista. I am worried about the impact it will have on growth down there and I worry about those business owners dealing with a loss instead of a shot in the arm. If there are views of the city at new ballpark I will be pleased and I loved the renderings of the condo complex for Kline site from years ago. I realize thats the vision some have for that property but I also see three more city blocks right behind Mcdonalds on Gervais (but along Assembly)where that can happen. What they want to do will be beautiful but will it make the $$ they want? I have my doubts... I'd love to be wrong though. BTW I've written Benjamin about this thrice without response. If I didn't have twin infants I'd have been at the town hall meetings
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:19 AM
 
572 posts, read 734,934 times
Reputation: 266
Terry Brown (CEO of Edens) made some great comments that were highlighted by The Fishwrapper in contrast to their usual Benjamin cheerleading.

Quote:
After his speech to the Columbia Rotary Club, Brown in an interview said he also has serious concerns about a proposal to spend millions of city taxpayer dollars to build a baseball stadium and parking garage on the historic city-owned Bull Street tract, which also is slated for a massive retail and housing project.


That is an expensive and inconvenient place for the city of Columbia to spend public money on a minor league baseball stadium, Brown said.


“You want to locate a baseball stadium where people can walk to it,” he told a reporter. “The 800 students that are going to be living in the new Main Street dorm (Hub at Columbia), they won’t walk to the Bull Street stadium.”


A far better place to locate the stadium – where there are already shops, hotels and housing – would be on the vacant and expansive Kline steel mill property across from Columbia’s Vista, Brown said.



The old Kline property is located across Assembly Street from the bustling downtown Vista business section and would be a natural location for a ballpark and convenient for pedestrians, Brown said.


Brown said he had emailed Mayor Steve Benjamin – the lead backer of the project – about his concerns and got back a long email from Benjamin “with about 10 attachments.” Brown said he has been thinking about writing an op-ed piece for The State about his reservations concerning the Bull Street project but has not yet done so.
Brown also said, in remarks he prepared but didn’t say to Rotarians, that city officials pushing a stadium for the Bull Street tract are not acting as businesspeople would.



“A businessperson would say that it should be built in an area that already has infrastructure like roads, utilities and hotels, somewhere walkable. … A place that amplifies and cements the long-term success of the city’s and university’s investments into Main Street, the Vista and Innovista,” Brown’s prepared remarks said.
I think his point about the Kline Steel site being better suited is spot-on. Just imagine if they put the minor league park there, and partnered with Lexington county to put satellite parking on the other side of the river and ran the trolleys across the bridge as a parking shuttle. We would see all kinds of in-fill development, state street would get all kinds of pre/post game traffic, and it could drive utilization of the river walk in both directions. Could be a true anchor for that part of the region. And it would compliment the existing development in the Vista, rather than further spreading out everything in Columbia.

Bottom line is that if the city is dead-set on spending money on a baseball stadium, I'd rather see it set in a location that rewards existing businesses/establishments instead of pulling people away from those areas to benefit a Greenville developer.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:01 AM
 
26 posts, read 26,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXGamecock View Post
Bottom line is that if the city is dead-set on spending money on a baseball stadium, I'd rather see it set in a location that rewards existing businesses/establishments instead of pulling people away from those areas to benefit a Greenville developer.
Brown is probably right about which site is better, and that seems like the more natural site for something like a baseball stadium, especially to complement an existing district. Columbia has been making a lot of progress in building up vacant portions of downtown (or downtown-adjacent lots), but at the current pace it has been going in the direction that got Columbia where it is today; to wit, building up individual distant districts that have no transition or consistency into a more cohesive urban space. This may or may not be especially frustrating considering the Hughes' (thus far successful) role as ambassadors and key players in New Urbanism's presence in South Carolina

That being said, however, Brown's comments at this point are amazingly unhelpful, because it's proposing a site that wasn't on the table, after the Bull Street site was teed up for this since the get-go. Further, everybody knew that, and rather than taking prophylactic action to propose a baseball stadium (or anything else, for that matter) elsewhere, it's come down to fighting the current proposal tooth-and-nail after it's already picked up traction, has an eager property owner, and the has backing of private developers who are willing to put their own money into the kitty (which is less than the amount that the should be paying, namely all of it, but it's still more than is usual).

The City is completely complicit in this, but to a lesser extent so is the business community, Brown, and whoever else is currently opposing this with unusual relish. It's a sign of Columbia's (and South Carolina's) long-standing problem, that everybody wants to play quarterback and nobody wants to play center. I would say that the whole City Council should get the heave-ho for manifesting that problem since this is the most visible in-fighting I've seen among one (though I'm sure it happens back-stage elsewhere) but they wouldn't behave like this if they thought that their constituencies didn't elect them to do exactly what they're doing now.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:21 AM
 
29,698 posts, read 27,133,604 times
Reputation: 18232
Columbia's challenge in recent years has revolved around the decision to either focus exclusively on one or two parts of downtown (e.g., Main Street, the Vista) and have more development spread out to other areas from there, or to focus primarily on a few parts of downtown while also targeting other areas. With downtown having such a large footprint and opportunities for development opening up on large tracts formerly used for other purposes, it can be difficult making those types of decisions. I think a ballpark on the Kline tract would definitely help take the Vista to the next level, even possibly speeding up the proposed new park along the river, but I can also see how it could jumpstart development on the Bull Street campus as well which is in relatively close proximity to neighborhoods like Cottontown. I do think a potential location at the Kline tract is worth exploring though, particularly if some concessions can be made that make the Bull Street proposal viable. The State Museum with the new planetarium, EdVenture, Canal Front/Coble Plaza, and a ballpark would make quite the combination.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Irmo, SC
1,531 posts, read 1,421,061 times
Reputation: 362
Isn't the Kline property owned by an individual? Wouldn't that require more money down to purchase it from this person? I do like the idea of it being on the Kline site. Front and center off of a major artery, walking distance from the Vista and the riverfront neighborhoods and student apartments (~1-2 miles away). Oh, and not to mention the existing and developing student sites that are even closer, I believe that was already mentioned though.

Also, would the size of the land be an issue? Don't even factor in the parking, just the stadium itself. I did a very unscientific measure on google maps of the area that the land that Carolina Stadium sits on vs the Kline site.
Carolina stadium came out to being .10 miles in width to .18 miles in length.
The Kline site came out to being .08 in width to .14 in length.

The measurements from the Kline site INCLUDE the parking lot that extends out from the state museum, you'd probably have to tear that up in order to have the .08 miles in width.

In the end though, having the ball park at the Bull Street site is an attractive option because that gives the area an extra jump start and would be yet another area of the city to be an attractive, up and coming destination. Might even help in the gradual revitalization of North Main street, who knows?

Also, there is the SCDOT owned site right next door, on the other side of Williams Street.
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