Third time’s the charm for the Homewood Suites by Hilton already underway at 942 S. Main St., Greenville, across from Fluor Field.
After being sent back to the drawing board in August for the second time, the newest version of the hotel and parking garage presented by developer Shaunak Patel of Parks Hospitality Group was approved by the Design Review Board Urban Panel at the Oct. 5 meeting.
Additionally, certificates of appropriateness were approved with conditions for Camperdown Plaza, the Citisculpt mixed-use development at the Agfa Healthcare site, and the Famous Toastery signage at Poinsett Plaza.
Homewood Suites by Hilton
The DRB had previously approved plans for the Homewood Suites by Hilton at its March 2016 meeting, but Patel said design changes to the project were required because of high costs.
An informal review at the June 2017 DRB Urban Panel did not go in the developer’s favor when he presented new plans to eliminate a rooftop opening, changing the exterior materials and the parking garage footprint.
The formal review in August went similarly, with the panel asking Patel to redesign where the rooftop opening was removed, return to the brick façade, and make the parking garage appear less industrial.
Patel returned with new plans this go-around to high praise from the panel.
“It’s a beautiful design for the West End,” said panelist Danielle Fontaine. “I like it even better than the original.”
The design of the 175-by-300-foot central plaza in the mixed-use Camperdown development at Main and Broad streets was overwhelmingly approved by the panel after many revisions of the original plan.
“It will be there for a while and be the center of our town for a long time,” said the project’s developer, Brody Glenn of Centennial American Properties, emphasizing the need for all of the details to be exactly right.
The plaza, which sits atop a three-level parking garage, will include a variety of paver-tile surfaces, a play area, a variety of seating options, planters throughout with trees and other vegetation, a stage designed to be used for performances and recreational use, and shade sails suspended from the surrounding buildings. Subtle lighting will be incorporated into the permanent fixtures. The project will be completely ADA accessible.
Panelist Bogue Wallin asked if grass were considered for the plaza surface instead of the pavers.
The plaza designer, Dan Ford, vice president of land planning for Beau Welling Design, said the depth of soil required to support grass growth would cause a weight problem for the parking structure beneath. Grass would also require much more maintenance, and synthetic grass becomes too warm to be a viable option, he said.
Panel chair Carmella Cioffi questioned whether the proposed stage height of four inches may be too low for the stage elevation and suggested the designer aim for 18 inches.
The design team will continue to work with City of Greenville staff on the smaller details, such as the stage height and the exact design of the structures for the play area.
A certificate of appropriateness for the site review phase of the Citisculpt project at 10 S. Academy St. was approved with conditions.
Those include requests that the architect, Jeff Tiddy of MacMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, give special attention to increasing the set-back distance between the buildings and Academy Street, the width of the plaza between the proposed multifamily and existing Agfa office building, making the area inviting to pedestrians, the addition of protected bicycle lanes, creating generous landing spots for pedestrians at the corners of Academy Street and McBee Avenue and Washington Street, and working with SCDOT to put trees along Academy Street.
Plans call for an office building and hotel to be built on the existing parking lot fronting Academy Street. The multifamily with parking garage behind the Agfa building will come later, according to market demands.
An externally lighted blade sign was approved to be installed at the patio entrance to Famous Toastery with conditions it be half to two-thirds the size of the proposed dimensions.
The restaurant, at 104 S. Main St., is located inside the Poinsett Plaza building, opposite TD Bank, in the former Two Chefs Deli location. Owner Cindy Stone requested the sign because she says multiple customers call a day wondering where the restaurant is located.
“I wonder how many give up,” Stone said.
Ryan Pieffer, vice president of the building’s owner, Hughes Investments, asked the panel to please consider the exception to the sign ordinance, because Famous Toastery doesn’t have a presence yet like Two Chefs did for 17 years, and the restaurant needs to be visual to pedestrians in order to remain in business.
The panel granted the exception to sign standards and also recommended the involved parties follow the city’s recommendation that there be a sign including all of the tenants in building.