Front Row: April Design Review Board Urban Panel

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The newest design of the AC Hotel by Marriott must undergo revisions before receiving final approval

The April City of Greenville Design Review Board Urban Panel public hearing, with six items on the docket, was destined to run long, even without the late start as a result of the previous meeting’s running 20 minutes over. Upon adjournment, however, even the three panelists in attendance mentioned their surprise that the meeting concluded before 7 p.m.

That was due, in part, to two of the items — the TD Self Storage proposed for 101 O’Neal St. and new monument signage for the Shops at Greenridge — requiring little to no discussion before the applications for certificates of appropriateness received unanimous approval.

The remainder of the two-hour-plus meeting was spent discussing the AC Hotel by Marriott, the BB&T Building renovation, a two-unit condo building at 229 Augusta St., and an IberiaBank ATM. Only the BB&T project received its certificate of appropriateness with conditions, while the other three items were tabled, requiring further revisions.

AC Hotel by Marriott

The AC Hotel component of the Camperdown development at 305 S. Main St. was back at the DRB with revisions to the rooftop area, and previously approved exterior materials were exchanged for new ones.

The new materials and elimination of windows on the North elevation facing Broad Street were the main points of discussion, with the three panelists unanimously recommending the proposed stucco elements be returned to the previously approved metal panels.

“I don’t think that the stucco simplifies the building,” panelist Danielle Fontaine said. “Most important corner in Greenville, and it deserves in materials to be treated as such. I believe it deserves better material than stucco.”

Chairwoman Carmella Cioffi agreed.

“It looks more like a suburban hotel, not a hotel on a prominent corner,” she said. “Anything that’s been changed to stucco from metal is an issue.”

Additionally, a grid of lights was proposed for a wall on the north elevation from which windows were eliminated per Marriott’s specifications for its guest rooms. While Fontaine didn’t mind the design, both Cioffi and Mitch Lehde took issue with its simplicity.

“What happens during the day?” Lehde asked. “I think those will get lost.”

It was recommended the brick pattern on the wall in question be altered to provide more architectural interest and the lighting highlight the features rather than be the focal point.

A motion was made to table the application until the applicant, Auro Hotels, makes the suggested changes, after which they will return for consideration by the entire panel.

BB&T Building

The next phase of the Beach Company’s redevelopment of the downtown gateway project at 301 College St. is an undertaking that, among other alterations, will involve individually staining each of the yellow bricks on the BB&T Building, and enlisting an artist to paint monochromatic murals on two sections of the iconic building.

After an audible gasp went up from the panel and those in attendance when the applicant, Beach Company senior vice president Dan Doyle, described the painstaking process of staining the bricks a darker color and leaving the mortar its current hue, Cioffi validated that decision by saying she loved the idea of updating the dated brick. Fontaine wasn’t as welcoming to the idea of changing the historic look but was open to discussion on it.

Australian artist Guido van Helten, known for his historic monochromatic photorealistic murals, has expressed interest in the proposed project. Doyle says the subject of the murals, meant to connect the project to the art-centric Heritage Green, will be up to the artist. Overall, the panel like the idea of the murals, but the decision to approve it falls within the purview of Art in Public Places.

The panelists did not approve the black banding proposed to wrap around the building. It was suggested that it be removed altogether or moved to the very top of the building.

“The frame’s in the wrong spot,” Lehde said, referring to the building’s acting as a canvas.

Revisions were also suggested to the green screen elements proposed to run along the side of the parking garage on Academy Street.

The certificate for appropriateness was approved with conditions, with the suggested changes to be approved by city staff.

229 Augusta St.

A residential two-unit condo project by Nick Gilley, president of general contracting company Base 360, was tabled for staff and two members of the DRB to review once revisions to the plan were made. Specifically, the gated entrance to the building was strongly opposed, and Cioffi, in particular, did not think the renderings provided enough detail to approve the proposed materials.

IberiaBank ATM

The applicant, Jaclyn Cirillo of Gensler, for a walk up ATM at 110 E. Court St. outside IberiaBanks’ new location on the first floor of the EP + Co. building, managed to wrangle a tabling rather than having to resubmit to a future regular meeting when the design wasn’t approved.

The scale of the awning was deemed much too large and unnecessary. Cioffi at first wanted to request a redesign and new submission, which the applicant said would cause unnecessary and expensive construction delays.

“This thing is huge,” Cioffi said. “I realize you have to have room to service the ATM, but that’s a lot of room.”

The decision, after much discussion, was for the applicant to redesign the awning on a smaller scale and have it approved by staff and two members of the DRB in a timely fashion.

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