Downtown Construction Underway

Growing up in Greenville, one wouldn’t typically consider that they were raised in a big city, but after expansion and revitalization in recent years, many people’s perception has changed. The many projects include the renovation of Falls Park with the Liberty Bridge, the new additions to the Peace Center, and the complete reconstruction of the Bank of America Building, known as the One Building.

One of the main projects attempting to renew downtown is the construction on the area formally know as the Piazza Bergamo, which is situated at the intersection of Coffee and Main Streets. Plans for this area have been forming for many months, and construction is already underway. City planners and officials have put much thought and effort into this project, and we will be able to see their efforts soon.

The project is being headed by a company based out of Denver called Civitas, which specializes in urban landscaping and architecture. There are many components and structures that are being adding to this location in the heart of downtown.The major component is a large “shade structure” (The Greenville Online Journal) that will cover most of the area.This will be largest structure added to the Piazza measuring about 25 feet tall and 125 feet long. Much research has been done in order to maximize the shade for the area and to provide interesting shadows through woven metal fabric pieces. The shadows and metal pieces will also provide an artistic touch to the center.

Another large piece of the construction is a metal “sofa.” The sofa will be 8 feet wide and 100 feet long. There people can lounge, eat lunch, or socialize throughout the day. It will also include a water feature and different levels of seating. The square will also be home to many new plants and seating areas for the new restaurants planned for the area. There is also a “lighted ceiling” (The Greenville Online Journal) element that will provide interesting light effects for the night life atmosphere that the square is trying to create.

This new area is going to provide immense opportunity for new restaurants, retail outlets, and other urban venues that will help boost the economy for the city. Many new businesses have already found their homes in the piazza including a new Tupelo Honey Cafe and an Anthropologie store. There are also plans for a Brooks Brothers store and many restaurants. Certus Bank will also open a location in the square, and the Clemson MBA program will expand to the area as well.

Despite all of the improvements this construction will bring, there are many consequences that the area is facing while it is being built. Though the Anthropologie store and many new restaurants seem to be prospering through the confusion of the construction, other venues have greatly suffered. One restaurant, Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe, was forced to close late this summer. Located directly behind the construction, the business was completely covered and almost inaccessible. Because of the lack of business there was no way they could afford to keep it running throughout the time the construction is planned to obstruct their business.

Part of the project was predicted to be complete in the summer of 2013, but construction is still continuing at full force. When it is finished the heart of downtown Greenville will have an exciting to area with countless opportunities. The Greenville Online Journal states that it will provide, “a spectacular, new public space, surrounded by legions of office workers, graduate students and destination shopping and dining expected to draw scores of people form a wide area.” Greenville’s economy will be improved, and the city will hopefully attract new residents and jobs. With this and many other future projects the city of Greenville will continue to grow and be an exciting place in the state of South Carolina.