On March 17th, I participated in a ULI (Urban Land Institute) meeting in Greenville, S.C. The session was led by Joe Pazdan, AIA of McMillan Pazdan Smith, and the topic of the discussion was the Haywood Road Master Plan. About 100 people attended.
Dan Roberts, AIA (Clark Patterson & Lee) and I made a presentation on the master plan process and recommendations. It was a special day for Dan, since he is Irish, and the session was held on St. Patrick’s Day. However, no green beer was available.
The presentation was followed by a panel discussion. The panel consisted of Kevin McOmber (Clark Patterson & Lee), Jeannine Bowers (Duke Energy), Nancy Whitworth (City of Greenville), Michael McNicholas (Carolina Holdings) and Gaye Sprague (Sprague & Sprague Consulting Engineers). Bill Misiaveg of Carolina Holdings was the moderator.
Urban Edge Studio and the Greenville office of SW+A were on the design team for the project, led by Clark Patterson & Lee. About a year or so ago we facilitated a week-long charrette held in a vacant storefront in the study area that was very well received and attended.
The solution involves marketing the area as Greenville, S.C’s “Uptown” and guiding the suburban redevelopment through a hybrid form-based code. Some of the first initiatives include a signage program, a model intersection improvement, and placing utilities underground in what amounts to a “pilot project” between the City and Duke Power. My part of the presentation focused on the form-based code aspect of the project and the important of getting the streets right – and knitting the street network back together.
Even in this economy, the general mood in the session was very positive concerning the future of the Haywood Road area. While the mall is aging but strong, everyone realizes that could change in the future and they need a good “road map” for how the area evolves. After all, there is an entire Web site devoted to dead malls and everyone in retail knows malls are not the way of the future.
Haley, Russ and I enjoyed leading the charrette effort and planning process and are thrilled that the city of Greenville is moving forward as quickly as they are with some of the early initiatives. Greenville does not mess around when things need to be done! We see a great future for Greenville’s Uptown!
Bill Eubanks, FASLA