Monday, February 17, 2014

Greenville News Relocating, Gateway to Greenville Development , Nine Times Forest Conservation, Greenville SC Weather

Greenville News to Relocate Printing  
Greenville News building,
Downtown Greenville, SC

Sitting on a prime corner at S. Main and Broad Streets in downtown Greenville, the Greenville News has around since 1874 and in the current building since 1970.  But the future use of this corner across from the Peace Center is unknown since the parent company Gannett has announced that printing operations will be moved to Spartanburg and Gastonia.  That will result in a loss of 42 full-time and 75 part-time jobs; however, whatever goes into this 4-acre downtown site will certainly generate more employment.  And with the way commercial and apartment projects have been popping up downtown, it might not take too long to reach fruition.

Gateway to Greenville gets Apartment Complex?
Having sat empty since 1997, the land across from the Bon Secours Wellness Arena (formerly the Bi-Lo Center) might be the future home of 4-story apartment complex called the Broadstone Gateway Apartments.  There is an application in on this project to the City pending review, and officials are hopeful it will be the right use for the parcel.  Since the Greenville Memorial Auditorium was taken down, several developers have attempted to utilize the awkward wedge of land that is squeezed between two busy one-way streets. The projects never worked out on the location that truly acts as a “gateway” into Greenville as motorist come in on I-385 and enter the City center.

The apartment concept for the Gateway comes as no surprise as Greenville’s downtown appeal has attracted residents resulting in a spate of apartment construction.  Currently there are apartment projects at McBee and Spring (site of the failed Peacock Hotel) and Rhett and Wardlaw in the West End.  Another proposal under review puts 300 units in at Reedy View and Westfield, very close to the Linky Stone Park on the Reedy River and the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Nine Times Forest get Conservation Status
On the other end of the development spectrum, a large chunk of land in Pickens County has been recently purchased to create a protected forest that is an ecological jewel of the Upstate.  Located off scenic Highway 11 near Lake Keowee and close to Jocassee Gorges, the 1600 plus acres offers three mountains with granite outcrops that overlook the pristine Blue Ridge escarpment rising to the north.  Naturaland Trust and Upstate Forever had been working to acquire the land for 10 years and were able to purchase it for $3.5 million from Crescent Communities with the help of several contributors.  The U.S. Forest Service provided a grant under the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program, one of only 10 nationally.  Fred and Nancy Stanback from North Carolina made a generous donation, and Duke energy provided more than $1 million as part of negotiations to renew their lease for their Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric Project. It’s nice to have scenic areas of protected land within an hour drive from Greenville and there are plenty of great areas to explore along this wonderful portion of South Carolina’s Upstate.

Snowstorm Hits Greenville

Some rare South Carolina snow!
We don’t get that much snow in Greenville, and when it comes, it usually paralyzes the area before the typical warmer temperatures return and melt it all off. So it’s a bit unusual that we were frozen in after about 4 inches of snow since Tuesday, with a few more inches Wednesday and freezing temperatures through last Thursday night. Most people stayed safe at home instead of hitting the roads which are usually a bit risky with autos that are not prepared for this kind of weather. This week things warm up, with highs in the upper 60s. There were a lot of business closures, including the school system which will probably be out until after Presidents Day. Hey, it’s South Carolina y’all, and you still have to love the fact that the daffodils will be popping up by the end of February!

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