A class A, multifamily, mixed-use development is being proposed for the site of the current “Blue Building” that sits at 24 Vardry St. next to Fluor Field.
Woodfield Investments, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based developer of The Greene mixed-use development a block away, has submitted plans to the City of Greenville Design Review Board Urban Panel for a five-story, plus basement, 237-unit apartment building that will include four retail storefronts and a six-story precast parking structure.
The application for a certificate of appropriateness will be evaluated by the DRB at the April 4 public hearing.
Bordered by Field, Vardry, Augusta, and Markley streets, the triangular property is also the site of the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum. With unanimous support from the museum, Woodfield Investments plans to relocate the building from the northeast corner to the western corner of the property.
The museum’s address is 356 Field St., the number referencing Jackson’s career batting average. In keeping with the theme, the development’s proposed name is .408 Jackson, paying homage to the late baseball player’s rookie season batting average that still stands as a major league record, says Brian Schick, Woodfield Investments partner.
Moving the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum to the highest corner of the property places it at the main entrance to the development nearest the clubhouse and leasing office and across from the VIP entrance to Fluor Field. Schick says the developer is incurring all expenses for moving the building, replacing the roof and HVAC system, building a plaza around it, and potentially adding an annex of up to 500 square feet.
The four storefronts along Field Street could be traditional retail or a restaurant user that doesn’t require a full kitchen, Schick says, giving the example of The Whale taproom and bottle shop planned to open this spring in The Greene that will be serving food that doesn’t require a hood or grease trap.
Schick says his group has been eyeing this piece of property for almost five years. Now that it is included in an “Opportunity Zone,” the financial investment with the potential of deferring capital gains over the next 10 years made the deal even more attractive, he says.
The property will include numerous entry points that activate the street, promoting pedestrian activity, Schick says.
If the DRB approves the design of the project, Schick says they plan to close on the two parcels under contract in October and begin demolition shortly after, putting the project on a 22- to 24-month completion schedule. Because the project is relying on Opportunity Zone investment funds, the project must be underway in 2019 to take full advantage of the financial benefits, he says.