Apr
18

Project Approved for Greenville’s West End

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Panel OKs West End development project

April 18, 2008

By Rudolph Bell – Greenville News

A city panel approved a four-story redevelopment of two historic buildings in the West End on Thursday after having twice rejected earlier versions of the developer’s plan.

With approval from the city’s Design and Preservation Commission now in hand, Greenville developer Stephen T. Mack Jr. said he hopes to break ground on the $6 million redevelopment at the corner of South Main and River streets by the end of the year.

Mack plans a mix of shopping, offices and condominiums at the high-visibility corner and said he’s talking to two national retailers about taking space in the redevelopment, though he probably wouldn’t be able to accommodate both of them.

Previously, he had proposed demolishing the two attached, two-story buildings currently on the site that date back to the late 1800s and are so-called “contributing” buildings to the West End Commercial Historic District. The DPC unanimously rejected that plan in March 2006, citing concerns about historic preservation.

Mack then proposed a compromise that would have preserved the brick facades of the existing buildings, but the DPC in September rejected that plan as well.

Mack then took the issue into Greenville County Circuit Court, following the specified appeal process for commission decisions, and negotiated a revised version of his earlier plan with three DPC members during mediation. Thursday morning, the full commission voted 7 to 2 in favor of the latest plan during a special meeting called to address the matter.

Commissioners Jeff Dishner and Graham Kimak cast the dissenting votes, with Kimak saying he couldn’t vote for the latest plan because it permits Mack to demolish the historic buildings in the event they are so deteriorated that they can’t possibly be incorporated into the new development.

Mack previously had said renovating the existing buildings wasn’t economically feasible and had presented evidence that they are deteriorating and have structural problems.

His architectural firm, Craig Gaulden Davis of Greenville, made various changes to the redevelopment plan — such as reducing the visual impact of the two upper floors — as part of the successful effort to placate the commission. The developer also needs approval from Greenville City Council and a circuit judge.

The buildings are owned by Jeff and Erica Zaglin, who operate the Greenville Army & Navy Store across River Street from the development site. Mack’s project would also take in a vacant lot next to the buildings that is also owned by the Zaglins.

Asked about potential tenants for his proposed development, Mack said one national retailer has expressed interest in occupying the first floor and another in occupying all 8,000 square feet of retail space on the first and second floors.

The developer said he’s also talked to tenants interested in 6,000 square feet of planned office space. Three planned condominiums “have already been spoken for,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of interest in the building,” Mack said. “We have had a problem defining a delivery date for the space, and now we can solidify those leases.”

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080418/BUSINESS/804180319/1003
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