Front Row: June Design Review Board Urban Panel

The building next to the Army Navy Store, located at 656 S. Main St., will have its glass block windows removed and replaced with single hung windows. Repainting the façade and restoring the rear fire escape are among the other planned renovations. Rendering provided by McMillan Pazdan Smith

The June 7 public hearing of the City of Greenville Design Review Board Urban Panel was lengthy as applicants sought to receive approval before the annual July break.

Five items of new business, two items for advice and comments, and one item for informal review put the meeting at just less than two and a half hours.

The only item garnering almost no discussion and unanimous approval was the application for a certificate of appropriateness for a walk-up Bank of Travelers Rest ATM at 219 E. Washington St. Three-sided signage for the tower on the corner of Academy Street and 201 W. McBee Ave. was also approved as submitted after a brief discussion.

The remaining items were approved with conditions or will receive approval after meeting with planning staff for further adjustments.

St. Francis Signage

The size of the monument signs proposed by St. Francis for its Eastside Campus were taller than the city’s sign ordinance allows, and the DRB Urban Panel upheld the decision by planning staff to not approve them as submitted.

After hearing from St. Francis officials and a Greenville Health System architect, who was opposed to the size of the signs, all of the panelists agreed the signs were well-designed but too tall.

An application for a certificate of appropriateness was approved with the condition that the height be shortened from nearly 18 feet to 14 feet.

656 S. Main St.

Making its second appearance within the year at the DRB, the building next to the Army Navy Store is set to undergo a facelift after receiving approval for a certificate of appropriateness.

According to the plans submitted, the glass block windows will be removed because they are not original to the building and replaced with single hung windows closer to what would have been there originally.

Rob Couch with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture says the plan originally was to recycle the glass block, but after further research, it was discovered that the blocks were not, in fact, original to the 1919 version of the building. Accordion wall windows will also be installed to activate the streetscape; the façade will be repainted; the rear fire escape will be restored; and the original masonry openings for windows will be reopened on the rear.

Panelist Robert Benedict expressed his concern with the plan to remove the glass block.

“I’m excited that it’s finally being adaptively reused, but I do have a little bit of heartburn over the removal of the character-defining elements,” he said.

Benedict’s was the only dissenting vote of the four panelists present.

320 Falls St.

A lengthy and detailed discussion of the design changes to the Camperdown development’s previously approved multifamily component resulted in several suggestions from the panel. The applicant, John L. Knutsson for Daniel Corp., will need to address the suggested changes and meet with planning staff and two members of the DRB to receive approval.

While the DRB members all agreed that the new layout of the individual units — resulting in an overall footprint change — was much better, they had some concerns that will need to be addressed before receiving final approval.

Items requiring attention include the proportion of the brick colors used to break up the monotony of the long walls, the plain design of the plaza-level retail spaces, and the parapet at the top of the building. Each individual tenant for the retail spaces will be required to submit its unique design for approval.

Design items requiring attention for 320 Falls St. include the proportion of the brick colors used to break up the monotony of the long walls, the plain design of the plaza-level retail spaces, and the parapet at the top of the building. Rendering by Wakefield Beasley & Associates

Advice and Comments

Both projects submitted for advice from the panel prior to being considered for rezoning by the planning commission received positive feedback. They had both been presented informally at the March DRB meeting, and changes were made based on the suggestions given then.

A mixed-use redevelopment of 600 E. Washington St. by the Burgess Company was modified to activate the street, create a walkable environment with a pedestrian-friendly plaza, and save as many of the nearby mature trees as possible.

“Very successful project,” said panelist Mitch Lehde. “For being a modular structure, you’ve got a lot of nice elements.”

A senior living community by Solomon Development Services at Butler Avenue and Buncombe Street was also revised based on previous feedback.

“It’s a vast improvement over what you had before,” said panelist Bogue Wallin.

The main suggestion was to consider using masonry materials to upgrade the overall look.

Informal review

An informal review of the future J.McLaughlin storefront at 207 N. Main St. will require the applicant to make changes to the proposed canopy since signage is not allowed on canopies on Main Street. At first, panel chairwoman Carmella Cioffi was unsure about the proposed blue color on the aluminum frame surrounding the windows, but after learning the process to change the color wasn’t as labor-intensive and costly as she thought it would be, she was positive about the addition of more color to Main Street.


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