April’s City of Greenville Design Review Board Urban Panel public hearing led to three official approvals and positive informal feedback on two multi-family projects outside of the Central Business District.
Camperdown plaza entrances
First up was another piece of the Camperdown development – the stairway entrances to the public plaza – which received approval with conditions that the final lighting scheme for the LED lit stairs be approved.
Panelist William Crawford recused himself from the discussion and voting on account of a potential conflict of interest. Crawford’s wife, Marion, and her company Crawford Strategies are handling marketing and public relations for the Camperdown project.
This portion of the Camperdown project is a public private partnership between developer Centennial American Properties (CAP) and the City of Greenville.
The water feature previously planned for the wall along the stairwell entrance from Main Street has been replaced with a light feature. The city chose to eliminate the water feature because of concerns about long-term upkeep.
“We’re really trying to create something that is completely unique,” said Jason Tankersley of CAP.
The replacement light feature is a replication of the night sky’s pattern when Camperdown Mill was built, Tankersley said, crediting architect and physicist Beau Welling with that plan.
“Him, and the people in this room, will be the only ones who know,” joked panel chairwoman Carmella Cioffi.
Tankersley replied that they plan to install an informational plaque with the historical information about the pattern.
Panelist Danielle Fontaine said she wished the water feature could have remained because it is visible both day and night, but she likes the current option as well.
It’s difficult to argue with a developer proposing to move the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum when he introduces the project in question like this:
“I’m happy to introduce Lyles Davis who will be our intern on this project. Lyles is entering the Clemson Masters of Real Estate program. His family donated the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum,” said Brian Schick of Woodfield Investments.
It was essentially a “mic drop” scenario, yet the presentation proceeded.
Charlotte-based Woodfield Investments is proposing a class A, multifamily, mixed-use development for the site of the current “Blue Building” that sits at 24 Vardry St. next to Fluor Field. Plans are for a five-story, plus basement, 237-unit apartment building that will include four retail storefronts and a six-story precast parking structure. The corner storefront could be a signature restaurant, Schick said.
“I’m impressed by the quality of the presentation. All of the questions were answered there,” Fontaine said.
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.
“Shoeless Joe has always looked like it was plopped down in the middle of a field. I think this is actually a great move,” Crawford said.
The issue of preserving several mature trees on the property was raised. After learning that a few of them were leaning at a 60-degree angle and likely weren’t viable, Cioffi quipped: “When people leave the stadium that’s how they are too.”
Ultimately, a motion to approve the application was made and affirmed, with the condition that the courtyard transitional material be approved by two members of the DRB.
The large anchor restaurant space of Markley Station, previously approved by the DRB, came back with a redesign of the rooftop venue. Originally, the roof top structure on the second floor of Hoppin’, a tap room from Charlotte, was an open-air pergola. Now, it’s a fully enclosed penthouse that will be used to house restrooms and an interior stairwell.
The main point of discussion for the panel was whether the proposed brick exterior met the guidelines for structures of historic nature, which states that an addition must differentiate from the original structure either in material or design or both.
“Brick shouldn’t match if you use brick,” Cioffi said.
All panelists agreed the brick, rather than a stucco option, was the best choice of material, with Mitch Lehde and Fontaine recommending a darker shade to set it apart from the original brick.
“If it were my building I would put brick there” Fontaine said.
Harris Teeter site
Almost 10 acres at 401 and part of 429 Roper Mountain Road make up the proposed site for an age-targeted apartment complex. The former Harris Teeter building and neighboring site along Frontage Road will be developed by Homes Urban into a multi-family development with a large club house and pool.
Points of discussion and recommendations for the developer included adding first-floor exterior entrances to create a more welcoming environment, using more textured materials, and confirmation that the clubhouse rendering submitted showing a wooden storefront will actually be black.
“The clubhouse is just definitely a little bit of a departure,” said Lehde.
Crawford wasn’t at all sure the renderings showed only four colors or materials being used.
“I feel it’s a little psychedelic,” he said.
East Broad and Doctor David C Frances streets
A 38-unit condominium development on a sharply graded, almost-two-acre property is being proposed by developer Terry Birch. The angle of the building on the site near the Publix shopping center was chosen specifically to afford the best views of the city and Blue Ridge Mountains.
All of the panelists were in agreement at this initial surveying of the design plans: good selection of materials and colors, nice-looking landscaping, roof height was appropriately scaled to the surrounding structures, and the elevation without as many windows could use some visual interest either by adding more windows or in variation of the material pattern.