Front Row: January 2019 Design Review Board Urban Panel

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Proposed awnings for 1 Augusta St. Rendering by McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture.

The first public hearing of the City of Greenville Design Review Board Urban Panel of 2019 was held Jan. 4, with a short agenda and the low attendance expected due to the shortened holiday week.

New panelist William Crawford joined the board to take the seat of Bogue Wallin, who resigned from the panel this month.

The one informal review of a nine-story proposed development in the West End consumed the majority of the meeting following a quick approval of the 1 Augusta St. application for a certificate of appropriateness.

1 Augusta St.

The new exterior paint colors of three buildings that house Smoke on the Water, The Emporium, and Mellow Mushroom were approved at the November 2018 DRB meeting, but this time the steel canopy to replace the awning over the Mellow Mushroom entrance and the new storefront was up for approval.

Rob Couch, architect with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, said the storefront would be altered to created a street entrance for The Velo Fellow on the basement level of the same building, under Mellow Mushroom.

“I think it’s a big improvement,” said panelist Robert Benedict.

The certificate of appropriateness was unanimously approved.

Advice and Comment

322 Rhett St., 106, 108, and 110 Wardlaw St.

The former Ballentine Equipment warehouse and three adjoining properties that were sold mid-2018 to Lighthouse Greenville LLC is the site of a proposed nine-story multi-family development that was presented to the panel for advice and comment.

The current design calls for 14,200 square feet of commercial space on the ground level with 244 residential units, a pool, common areas, and a rooftop restaurant for a total of 319,000 square feet of constructed space. Additionally, the developer will be working with the City of Greenville and Department of Transportation on a pocket park at the corner of Academy and Wardlaw streets to connect the West End to the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Architect on the project, Scott Johnston of Johnston Design Group said the current timeline is to submit the site design for formal approval in March and the full architectural design in April or May.

Johnston presented three place-making opportunities for the project: the Academy Street gateway into the city, an urban plaza at Rhett and Wardlaw streets, and the rooftop restaurant that would have 360-degree views.

Aside from the lengthy introduction to the project, the majority of the discussion focused on the property at 110 Wardlaw St., on which sits the former McClaren Medical Shelter built in 1940 that served the African American community for many years. Most recently it was used as an art studio.

Panelist Danielle Fontaine raised the issue of preserving the building, which led to discussion of how best to commemorate that part of Greenville’s history. Johnston said at this time, the plan is to demolish the building rather than incorporate it into the design because it is in poor condition, but moving the building or creating a significant public art component is being considered. No final decision has been made, so plans could change, he said.

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