[ ABOVE: Pop-up cart at Spinx Station storefront ]
A new hotel in the West End and an apartment building for the Camperdown project headlined the March meeting of the Urban Panel of the City of Greenville’s Design Review Board.
Spinx Station on Pendleton Street
This application is for an exception to the sign standard ordinance. The gas station, soon to be under redevelopment, wants to retain the existing signage but with some modifications, and incorporate it into a larger entrance sign to the Village of West Greenville. The new entrance sign/sculpture will be “to identify the off-the-beaten-path commercial area of the Village of West Greenville,” city staff said.
The Arts in Public Places committee approved the funding of the sign/sculpture last week, said a Spinx spokesperson. Extensive landscaping will ensure a wall area will be protected from pedestrians and will not be a “hangout place.” The remodeled store will also feature a community garden that will be maintained by the Feed N’ Seed organization. The garden will offer children’s classes on gardening and community farming.
The application was approved with conditions, including that the brick color and detailing be revised and reviewed by city staff.
Construction has already begun on parts of the four-acre Camperdown project on South Main and Broad streets by developer Centennial American Properties. When completed, the project is expected to include condos, 200+ apartments, a seven-story AC Hotel, two office buildings (including a new home for the Greenville News) and retail and restaurant spaces. Sadly, a dine-in movie theater is not part of the current plan.
The two applications heard at the meeting were for the parking garage and the 12-story apartment building. The DRB had informally given feedback for this application at the February meeting, so there weren’t really any surprises. Last month, the DRB asked for more variation on the building design and to activate the corners of the parking garage for pedestrians. As a result, the openings and designs were changed, and a bike-sharing station and digital interactive kiosks were added on one corner of the parking garage.
The DRB said the new design was a “big improvement” and additions to depth and modulation were successful. One resident spoke against the project, saying that while she liked the overall footprint and design, the height and sheer size of the project are too massive.
The DRB said the building size fits within the design guidelines and the footprint was already approved in prior meetings Both applications were approved with staff conditions.
Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel
This new proposed hotel by Cary, N.C.-based Parks Hospitality Group is planned for the Elgin-Williamson Collison Repair property at 942 S. Main St., across from Fluor Field.
The DRB also reviewed this application informally last month and wanted to see more modulation of materials and vertical modulation and to make the street level more inviting. City staff had said in its report that the design doesn’t meet the setbacks required in the West End or the new retail requirements the city just adopted requiring mixed-use projects to include retail on the ground level.
The developer and architect presented revised renderings this month, which now show storefronts and wrapped retail around the corner to match the grades on the ground level. The building was stepped back and more brick was incorporated into the design. An eighth-floor wine bar and lounge will be partially enclosed with an outdoor patio.
City staff says it still has concerns about the brick color chosen and wants to see something that “more matches the area.” Staff also said it wants to see vision panels on the retail storefronts and to see the hotel entrance along Main Street better defined.
This project “has quite an opportunity to become an active retail space, more so than other projects we have seen,” said Michael Kerski, planning and development manager for the city of Greenville.
The hotel entrance on Main Street is not the main entrance to the hotel, but awnings and more work can be done on it, said Danny Bounds with Bounds + Gillespie Architects. Bounds also said the brick color can be adjusted, open stairways with more glass can be included and windows above garage doors can be lined up appropriately.
A representative from the West End Neighborhood Association spoke against the project, saying that while the hotel is much more attractive than the original design and they are happy a hotel is going in the area, the size of the building doesn’t fit in the neighborhood and it will dwarf Fluor Field.
The DRB responded that while public comments are taken very seriously and they take their jobs very seriously, some of these projects are very complex and their job is to work within the guidelines designed by the city. The application was approved with conditions.
816 and 818 S. Main St.
This application is to demolish two buildings and replace them with one. The new mixed-use building would have retail space on the ground level and residential on the second and third floors. City staff said the proposed setbacks on the building didn’t comply and recommended denial of the application in their report.
Much discussion by the DRB ensued about the recessed and retail space on the ground level. Finally, the board approved the application with the condition that the developer work with staff to bring the front setback into compliance. If it can’t be worked out, the application will then have to come back before the DRB.