City works to manage changes as Village of West Greenville draws developers’ interests

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The Village of West Greenville plaza will be extended to make room for a sculpture commissioned by Artisphere for its 15th anniversary. Branwood Street, see n on the right, has been made one way to make room for the statue and for sidewalks. Photo by Will Crooks.

A new statue and new businesses aren’t the only things coming to the Village of West Greenville — more public improvements and development regulations are likely on the way, as well.

The Village has received unprecedented development interest with more than a dozen businesses either opening or announcing plans since spring. The city of Greenville is trying to keep up with the transformation with new public improvements and additional zoning regulations.

Last week, the city made a one-way out of Branwood Avenue, which is one block off Pendleton Street, the Village’s main commercial road. The city plans to extend the Village’s plaza, which was made possible by closing a portion of Perry Avenue in front of the Community Journals office, The Anchorage restaurant, and Artisan Traders. The city plans to extend the plaza to make a home for a statue Artisphere has commissioned for its 15th anniversary.

The closure is part of a plan to make the Village more walkable and increase the number of parking spaces, said Tracy Ramseur, senior economic development project manager for the city. The extra lane would allow for sidewalks.

The city wants to work with developers of Poe West, a mixed-use project on the site that most recently housed Diversified Systems Inc., to install streetscape improvements and lighting in the front of the property. The city is considering having reverse-angle parking in front of Poe West because it is supposed to be safer, Ramseur said.

In addition, the city is considering an “overlay” zoning district for the Village’s main commercial district, Ramseur said. The new regulations could limit the height of buildings, city planning director Jay Graham has said. Currently, buildings can be four stories tall.

In addition, the city is considering lessening parking requirements for businesses in the Village. Currently, businesses are required to provide one parking spot for every 100 square feet of commercial space. A shopping center requires one for every 650 square feet, which city officials said might be more reasonable.

The overlay district could also possibly allow uses that are not currently allowed in the RDV (redevelopment) zoning classification, Ramseur said. One idea the city is considering is requiring the front third of a building be devoted to active uses so pedestrians don’t have to walk past buildings with drawn blinds, she said.

“We don’t think people in the Village want a huge restaurant or huge grocery store on Pendleton,” she said. “We think they want uses that are more like urban downtown buildings.”

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