The Village’s business association saw the proposed first phase of improvements to the area of Pendleton Street where arts-based groups and other business have been repopulating several empty commercial spaces. During a presentation by McLeod Landscape Architects and Darrohn Engineering, they learned the project is estimated to cost $265,000, of which only $180,000 will be available from public funds this year. The figure does not include lighting, stormwater improvements or decorative landscaping.
Nor does it include the major change, turning one block of Perry Avenue adjacent to Pendleton into a pedestrian-only plaza for events and other activities. The area had been closed off for about a week to test the feasibility and impact on nearby residents and businesses. One complaint was reported from a company that said its trucks had difficulty maneuvering the blockade, but meeting attendees unanimously approved of the idea.
To reflect artistic identity, the design team suggested embedding steel plates into the sidewalk, possibly designed by area artists. McLeod said the community feedback at a charrette had included the desire for any development to be unique, mimicking neither downtown nor the Augusta Road area.
The city had asked the designers to look at traffic calming, parking analysis, pedestrian safety and lighting and streetscape infrastructure
The first phase of the projects would consist of only modest changes, a response to the modest budget, said Parks McLeod of McLeod Landscape Architects. It would increase pedestrian safety and calm traffic with bump-out landscaping at the intersection of Pendleton and Lois Avenue.
A preliminary parking analysis completed as a project by Furman University math students showed as many as 200 parking spaces available during certain times of day, though some in the audience said in reality there were far fewer because many of those are privately owned.
“If the city wants the area to grow, it needs to invest in legitimate parking,” one business owner said.
The design team said they had received favorable and supportive responses after sharing preliminary plans with city officials. They have yet to make an official submission.
“This is probably the area’s third wind. We’re very excited. This is a big day,” said Tracy Dozier, project manager with the City of Greenville’s Department of Economic Development. She said her office receives calls about the area daily, and lots of interest and investments are moving in.