Camperdown office tower in downtown Greenville final piece of project along Main Street
The expansive Camperdown project in the heart of downtown Greenville is in full construction mode, with tons of earth blown up daily by dynamite and the foundation of an 11-story apartment tower rising from the ground where the old Greenville News complex once stood.
The new office building for The News at the corner of East Broad and Falls has been completed for months, and the city has approved the design of the apartment tower, a hotel, underground parking garage and a central plaza in the middle of it all.
Now, the final major piece of the redevelopment — a 15-story office and condo tower near the edge of Falls Park — has reached the end stage of design.
The last touch of the design of the project is design of a grand staircase from Main Street into the central plaza. That will require separate approval, city Planning Director Jay Graham said.
The Camperdown project is being designed as a transition into Falls Park, and that blend is one of the most-important undertakings in downtown Greenville, said Brody Glenn, owner of Greenville-based development company Centennial American Properties.
"We know it has to be perfect," Glenn told the city's Design Review Board, which recently approved the design of the office and condo tower after several revisions.
The top five stories of the office building, the tallest in the project, will be premium condos overlooking the Liberty Bridge. At the bottom is space for retail.
The current street that runs between Falls Park and the site of the new office tower, Japanese Dogwood Lane, will likely close to vehicular traffic and become a pedestrian walkway akin to Laurens Street at the ONE tower on at Main and East North streets, Glenn said.
The renderings for the office tower show a staircase that leads down to Japanese Dogwood beneath the historic Main Street bridge. The idea is for the staircase to become the pedestrian entrance to Falls Park from Main Street on the east side.
The stairway will lead to a half-acre piece of land along the Reedy River that the city agreed to buy from Glenn for $4 million. The developer had proposed to put another office building on the slice of land, which stirred opposition over environmental and aesthetic concerns.
Last month, the City Council approved an agreement with three nonprofit agencies to protect the land, with $900,000 coming from a park endowment fund.
The creation of a conservation easement with the Carolina Foothills Garden Club, Upstate Forever and the Community Foundation of Greenville was necessary to complete the deal, Mayor Knox White said.
Elsewhere on the Camperdown site, the central plaza design has been approved. The plaza would have a main entrance from East Broad Street across a hotel motor court. The plaza features a paved and landscaped center with play areas, seats and a performance stage.
In the early stages of the project in 2015, the city approved the design of the new AC Hotel at the corner of South Main and East Broad.
The hotel is being developed by Greenville-based Auro Hotels, one of four companies recently spun off from JHM Hotels, which owned the Hyatt Regency downtown.
The head of Auro, DJ Rama, said that the hotel would feature a newspaper theme to honor the heritage of The News operations for more than a century.
In late 2015, the parent company of The News, Gannett Co., sold the 4-acre site to Centennial for $13.25 million.
The old building, opened in 1969, was demolished this past summer.