We recently introduced the idea of how Greenville’s downtown compares to the downtowns of other cities in a Friday Flash called Greenville Vs. The World. Our fantastic boss, John, recently put his theories to the test while visiting South Florida for a few days last week. Here are some of his downtown renovation observations.
- Greenville isn’t Miami nor is it Fort Lauderdale. They are working on a scale that is beyond our ability. I saw condos on South Beach that literally could fit every condo in Greenville in them and have room to spare. The Reedy isn’t the Atlantic. That being said there are some ideas we can steal.
- I noticed some bike lanes downtown were painted a solid shade of dark green. That was a cool idea. It reinforces the idea that the lanes promote not using cars as well as clearly shows it is a bike lane and not space to open car doors. Learn more
- Also took note that many of the parking garages had green elements such as palm trees (poinsett plants for Greenville?) as well as paintings and renderings that make them look like art galleries. I must confess I thought one was at first. This appears to be a new trend according to the Washington Post. Of course, the Post refers to them as “designer parking garages.”
- One very cool thing was the reuse of the famous art deco hotels along Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive. These hotels, which can’t compete with the modern 1,000 unit monsters located a block way, have new life as boutique hotels, restaurants and apartments. They have managed to keep their original charm, but somehow fit into the modern While Greenville doesn’t have anything quite like this to replicate, it is something to remember the next time we may want to raze some streets.
- I also spent some time in Hollywood, Florida, which may be a cautionary tale of what Greenville did right. It appears that city decided to cut the number of lanes on its Main Street and plant trees in the mid-1970s. Just like Greenville did. However, Hollywood planted the trees in the middle of the street and never widened the sidewalks. While it looks like nice, there is nowhere to walk because the sidewalks all feature outdoor dining. Cuts down on the pedestrian friendliness by a lot. A side note, though, is that I think every Western European country, Central America and South American country is represented by a restaurant on Main Street, Hollywood.
That is about it for this week’s Friday Flash. Remember, you can talk more about Greenville’s revitalization at the Costco on Woodruff from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday where he will be signing copies of Reimagining Greenville.