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The Golden South - the most livable cities ?

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Vsion Condominiums, Columbia, South Carolina

 

Penthouse1.jpg

 

PUSHING “UPTOWN Living Downtown,” Vsion (pronounced Vision) Condominiums is currently in phase I on the corner of Lady and Marion streets in Columbia, South Carolina.

 

According to Liane Baly of Crescendo Advertising, “Vsion is strategically located to accommodate the walk-to-work and walk-to-play consumer who wants to enjoy a lifestyle of luxury.”

 

Residents will soon be able to enjoy the New Garden District, a nearby 21-block restoration project that will feature a century of landscaping, from 1820 to 1920.

 

Vsion has 14 penthouses, ranging from a one-bedroom, 972-square-foot unit to a three-bedroom, 2,226-square-foot version. Some phase I units have been pre-sold, but the remaining are priced from $369,500 to $757,900. Prices are expected to increase with each phase.

 

Residents of Vsion will enjoy “some of the most elaborate and extensive amenities imaginable,” including a pool, sun terrace, concierge service, guest suite, fitness suite, on-site parking, clubhouse, inside doorman, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

 

The Vsion Condominiums are a short walk from area office buildings, the state Capitol, the campus of the University of South Carolina and numerous cultural destinations and city parks.

 

/see: http://www.charlestoncondoliving.com/index.php?mod=572

== == ==

 

*those were the prices before the "crash and burn" of the Global Financial Crisis

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The Sun belt is in trouble," says JH Kunstler (about 4:30 minutes in)

 

 

"The economy was all about building suburban sprawl... The future will be they will turn into what they were before : an agricultural backwater... Air conditioning will be a problem."

 

IT IS ENCOURAGING to see cities like Greenville and Columbia make efforts to convert to a different living arrangement. A pity that Columbia started so late, since the lack of capital has slowed things down. But I do think that these two cities have a chance to stay viable and grow around their downtown cores.

 

In Columbia there have been a series of plans, and condominium projects to grow the "walkable downtown" area:

 

13yQh1.Em.74.jpg

/source: http://www.thestate.com/2011/06/18/1863962/making-bull-street-authentic-to.html

 

Bull Street is the Duany-Platter-Zyberg (DPZ) Plan

The neighborhood’s architecture pattern is derived from the community traditions of the Carolina Piedmont and Lowcountry towns and neighborhoods of Columbia, along with Charleston and Beaufort, South Carolina. The neighborhood plan incorporates mixed-use, and an array of housing types across a range of price points. Building types include office buildings, live-work units, courtyard apartments, mews houses, apartment houses, town houses, small houses, and large houses.

 

The development’s location within the heart of Columbia presents the opportunity for the creation of small special districts including a hotel, artist village, utilities, and rail transit stop. As future growth occurs, the civic and commercial development may expand and attract additional development to serve the surrounding neighborhoods.

 

Innovision : (see above, and video below)

Bull St.-- : http://www.dpz.com/projects.aspx

Adesso---- : http://www.adesso-columbia.com

Vsion Condo: http://www.charlestoncondoliving.com/index.php?mod=572

Canalside- : http://www.CanalsideColumbia.com

Printer Sq : http://www.LoftsAtPrintersSquare.com

TheGate WB : http://www.thegatesatwb.com

 

A pity that the economy tanked when it did:

 

 

The University of South Carolina is struggling to get its Innovista research, residential and retail development completed nearly five years after announcing the project, designed to create jobs and significant economic impact for the City of Columbia.

 

lofts2.jpg

Inside the Lofts at Printers Square - "Inspired by the view"

While retail growth is coming back very slowly, “restaurants and bars are back to where they were before the economy tanked,” says Fred Delk, executive director of the Columbia Development Corporation. “There are 55 restaurants and bars within three blocks of that building.”

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Greenville had a head-start, and is now winning awards

 

 

The Mayor of Greenville:

"What separates our downtown is: we focus on the pedestrian."

"One of the great things is, as you are walking around, there's a surprise on every corner."

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Columbia Development Corp - a catalyst for improving the city

 

 

Back in 1983, decisions on how to redevelop the used area near the Conagree River into the popular Vista Conagree area have revitalised the downtown area, and inspired a rethink how to build a better city.

== ==

 

rendering.jpg

Lofts at Printer's Square (LAPS)

 

LAPS is located at the corner of Lady and Pulaski Streets in the Vista, which is diagonally across the street from Renaissance Plaza, which was completed about a year and also the new Springhill Suites Hotel being constructed.

 

website : http://www.loftsatprinterssquare.com/ : floorplan

 

lofts2.jpg

/news article: "inspired by the view"

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Columbia rated one of the "worst places to raise a family"

 

Jun 19, 2008 2:25 PM PDT

 

According to Best Life Magazine, Columbia was rated number six on the list which also includes Waco, Texas, at number five, Fayetteville, North Carolina, at number three and Clarksville, Tennessee, at number one. [Full list on msnbc.com]

 

The study took various factors into account, such as property expenses, school systems and number of pediatricians in a city.

 

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce wants the people from Best Life to come to Columbia to see it for themselves rather than rely on the numbers.

 

"My answer to them is to come to Columbia, spend a day walking our streets, talk to our citizens, see what they have to say about the quality of life here and raising families here," Grant Jackson from the Columbia Chamber of Commerce said.

 

/more: http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8527205&nav=0RaPao87

 

Not a problem if your family has grown...

 

== ==

DET roundtrip : 04 jul- 10 jul

CLT / Charlotte (76 mi) : $298

GSP / Greenville (00 mi) : $385

CAE / Columbia (90 mi) : $447

Suggestions : Kevin-SETlimo

xx $137.50 /2 ch>Gr (1.5-1.45) : 4x fixed : 24-48 hrs notice: 8am, 12, 4, 8 // office. hilton, hyatt

xx $137.50 /2 Gr>Co (1.20-1.30) : 6, 10, 2, 6

xx columbia>cht : Co>Ch

 

http://www.setlimo.com/airportshuttle.html

 

http://www.sc.edu/sos/organizations.php?typ=Religious&st=alph

 

http://www.plasticsusa.com/ortho/links2.html

 

http://www.citytowninfo.com/school-profiles/lutheran-theological-southern-seminary

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... On to North Carolina ...

 

Charlotte - Walkable Neighborhoods?

My wife and I are thinking of fleeing the DC area and are considering Charlotte as a new home. Our primary motivation in moving there is the lower cost of living and to be closer to family in the Carolinas. But, we've been spoiled by our current location. We've got lots of great coffee shops, bars, and restaurants all within walking distance, along with some wonderful old historic homes (even one of George Washington's old hangouts). It's a charming area and on the weekends we rarely even use a car. Are there any neighborhoods in the Charlotte area that are safe, fun, and walkable (and I mean really walkable with actual sidewalks and cool places nearby within pedestrian friendly blocks)? We've being doing our research online, but a lot of Charlotte from our vantage point looks pretty suburbanized and sprawling. Thanks.

 

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/charlotte/64761-charlotte-walkable-neighborhoods-washington-magnolia-hair.html#ixzz1PvVMYyJX

 

Suggestions :

+ Uptown (Charlotte's downtown) is the best in terms of walkable areas.

+ Dilworth is also another neighborhood you may be interested in. It's one of Charlotte's first streetcar suburbs.

+ another area is NoDa and perhaps Plaza-Midwood. These areas still are not really anywhere close to the kind of place you're talking about, but it's the closest you're going to get in Charlotte.

== == ==

 

 

Walkable communities in the Triangle: Durham - Raleigh

Hi -- what are some of the best walkable neighborhoods in the Triangle? By "walkable", I mean there is a grocery store, coffee shop, restaurants and such within walking distance.

 

(North Raleigh and Cary seem to be the *least* walkable from my experience, so I've ruled them out).

 

+ Probably the most walkable are Carrboro, Hillsborough, and around Duke University in Durham. Also, the Ephesus Church Rd. area in Chapel Hill is pretty walkable -- good houses, nice neighborhoods, reasonably priced.

 

+ Probably the most walkable part of Durham is Trinity Park, if you are cool with doing all your grocery shopping at Whole Foods and the farmer's market

 

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/raleigh-durham-chapel-hill-cary/599001-walkable-communities-triangle-raleigh-durham-chapel.html#ixzz1Q7BxOp4c

== == ==

 

They are business people, community leaders in Durham, social activists, educators, thought-leaders and families… and to put it simply, they love where they live. Originally part of Brodie Duke’s landholdings, Duke Park began as farmland and was eventually developed in the early 1900s. Duke donated land for a community park and by the 1920s, the residential neighborhood of Duke Park had come into it’s own.

 

Gradually large period revival homes, late Victorian style houses and bungalows sprung up on adjoining streets. In the 1930s, the chairman of the recreation commission began construction of a pool, tennis courts, swings, shelters, stone entrances, and a bathhouse which still remains in the park.

 

Today, the neighborhood still boasts century-old architectural gems that are bursting with character. For a taste of urban life, venture into the nearby “DIY” part of downtown Durham which is a hotpot for culture and energy

 

/more+: http://blog.fmrealty.com/2011/06/13/duke-park-in-durham-urban-historic-and-walkable-series/

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13yQh1.Em.74.jpg

Bull Street is the Duany-Platter-Zyberg (DPZ) Plan

The neighborhood’s architecture pattern is derived from the community traditions of the Carolina Piedmont and Lowcountry towns and neighborhoods of Columbia, along with Charleston and Beaufort, South Carolina. The neighborhood plan incorporates mixed-use, and an array of housing types across a range of price points. Building types include office buildings, live-work units, courtyard apartments, mews houses, apartment houses, town houses, small houses, and large houses.

 

The development’s location within the heart of Columbia presents the opportunity for the creation of small special districts including a hotel, artist village, utilities, and rail transit stop. As future growth occurs, the civic and commercial development may expand and attract additional development to serve the surrounding neighborhoods.

 

Making Bull Street ‘authentic to Columbia’

 

Greenville developer Bob Hughes, who is set to redevelop the sprawling, 165-acre S.C. State Hospital campus on Bull Street in Columbia, is all about “place-making.”

That means building a destination that people feel comfortable in, want to live in, want to work in and want to hang out in. A beautiful place, he said, that is true to the city that surrounds it.

 

Bull Street “has to be authentic to Columbia, and then it will be accepted by Columbia,” he said. “I don’t know what that is yet. But the market knows what it is.”

 

Although he hasn’t nailed down details of what would be built at Bull Street, Upstate developer Bob Hughes is considering:

 

• Senior housing

• Apartments

• Service / retail

• Offices

• Green space

• A walkable urban development

• Preservation of historic buildings

 

In an exclusive interview with The State newspaper this week, the media-shy Hughes talked for the first time about his vision for the property.

 

The interview came two days after the State Budget and Control Board approved the $15 million sale of the property to him from the Department of Mental Health — one of the most significant and anticipated land deals in city history due to the tract’s size, its location in center of the city, its history and its notoriety statewide as a mental hospital.

Now Hughes, president of Hughes Development Corp., has six months to hammer out a development agreement with the city – a zoning plan and the city’s participation in building infrastructure, such as sewer lines, water lines, roads and sidewalks.

 

He can pretty much walk away at any time during that time period. The $1.5 million in earnest money he put down is refundable, intended only to be the first installment in a seven-year schedule to pay off the $15 million.

Hughes, who has been instrumental in the redevelopment of Greenville’s Main Street, was the only developer to make a bid on the property, brokers said. Broker NAI Avant marketed the property across the nation and in 55 counties, “but I was the only one dumb enough to take it on,” he said, laughing.

“I like tough projects,” he said. “My wife and kids say I just always want something harder.”

 

Read more: http://www.thestate.com/2011/06/18/1863962/making-bull-street-authentic-to.html#ixzz1PyG39p3G

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GREENVILLE - Places of Interest

 

My recommendations for less expensive, but delicious sandwiches and salads include:

Paris Café and Restaurant - North Main Street, across from Mast General Store

Saffron's Sidewalk Café - West End Market, lower level

Soby's on the Side - East Court Street, near Court Square

Blue Ridge Brewing Company - North Main Street, near the Hyatt Regency

Smoke on the Water - West End Market, next to Shoeless Joe Jackson Plaza

Bellacino's - South Main Street, across from Westin Poinsett Hotel

Jimmie John's - East McBee Avenue

Wild Wing Café - West Washington Street

Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria - West Washington Street

Sticky Fingers - Main Street at Washington Street

The Bohemian Café - North Main Street at Stone Avenue

 

Must see places include:

Upcountry History Museum - affordable and very high quality place to learn more about the region

Greenville County Museum of Art - always free and enjoyable

BJU Museum & Gallery - on campus, free on Sunday afternoons

Michelin on Main - South Main Street at RiverPlace

 

some more upscale restaurants, a little more pricey, but worth it:

 

O's-Next to the Westin Poinsett Hotel.

Soby's-Across from the Westin.

Rick Erwin's in the West End.

Devareaux's a block off Main behind Soby's.

Sassafrass at Bergamo Plaza

High Cotton at Riverplace.

/source: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=513289&page=68

__________________

==============

Greenville recent developments

========

Terrace at River Place

Rhett Street Brownstones

Bookends (older)

McBee Station

Ridgeland

The Edge on North Main

Kroc Center

Milberry at Pickney

Carriage West

Washington Square (not completed)

============

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Expert: Greenville's Housing Market Better Than Most

 

Economist Says It's The Time To Buy Or Sell .. March 22, 2011

 

(VIDEO included)

 

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -- According to the latest figures from the National Association of Realtors, the median sales prices for a single-family home in the Greenville metro area dropped from $155,000 in 2008 to $141,000 in 2009 and rose back up to $145,000 in 2010.

 

Chief Economist of the National Homebuilders Association, David Crowe, told WYFF News 4's Kim Quintero that consumer confidence is low.

Crowe made a stop in Greenville for a conference at the Carolina First Center on Tuesday.

"All of the conditions are in place for a recovery to occur. The thing we're waiting on is consumer confidence," Crowe said.

Crowe believes Greenville's housing market is recuperating from the recession quicker than the rest of the country.

"High affordability, low mortgage rates, low house prices, so all of the conditions are in place," said Crowe.

Combined with mortgage rates averaging just under 5 and 4percent, Crowe said now's the time to buy and sell.

"I think it's an excellent time. I don't think we're going to continue to see these low mortgage rates, as the economy begins to grow," said Crowe

 

Read more: http://www.wyff4.com/money/27280524/detail.html#ixzz1PznUSXuI

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COMPARISON of Cities

 

City------- : Greenville : Columbia : Durham- : Charlotte :

Population-- : 061,782 : 129,272 : 228,330 : 731,424 :

Metro. /2009: 639,617 : 767,598 : 1.74 mn : 2.39 mn :

Vs.Sealevel: 966f 295m: 314f 96m: 394f 12om: 850f 259m

Clim. /temp: 31.4-88.8:34.0-92.1: 27.5-89.2: 32.1-86.6 :

Geologic--- : Brevard F.: Fall-line- : flat, hills : no water :

University- : BJU,Furm : USC +etc : Duke,NCC : Davids. :

Towers---- : 09 skycr. : ?? skyscr.: ?? skyscr.: ?? skyscr.

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RENTAL Opportunity ?

 

#1223135 Active $209,900 Condo/Townhouse / available for rent at $1395

1223135_1.jpg

Subdivision: Court St Condos / 1000-1199 sq ft / Age: 11-20

1 Bedroom, 1 Full Bath

100 W Court Street Unit 3-o Greenville, SC 29601

== == ==

Elegant living in beautiful downtown Greenville's Main St and historic district. This wonderful condo includes such features as: a brick accent wall in the living room, 17ft ceilings, dining area, loft space/bedroom, spacious foyer, and hardwood floors. The unit enjoys covered parking with secure access. Pristine condo in the middle of downtown, one block from Main Street, easy walk to the Peace Center, Falls Park, restaurants, shopping, and more. Priced right, to sell fast! Won't last long.

The unit is available for rent at $1395

 

/see: http://www.exitupstate.com/listing-detail

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Retrofitting Charlotte NC - making it safer, more walkable

 

This is a step in Civilizing Places

 

 

Voted worst intersection as both the readers and critics choice in Charlotte Creative Loafing Magazine 2009. What if this dysfunctional intersection could instead become a civic destination a place that people would gather instead of flee a place that would adapt over time and serve as a measure of our culture for years to come and honor the original vision of Myers Park planner John Nolen?

 

#2:

== ==

 

Wednesday Sept. 2, 2009 | Charlotte: On the Way to Becoming…?

September 1, 2009

 

1315-East2.jpg

As an individual, if you don’t have a goal, you won’t achieve it. The same is true of cities. Charlotte has followed a series of plans to reach goals that have resulted in what some say is one of the nation’s most “livable cities.” But we’re also a poster child for urban sprawl and the question is “what are we on the way to becoming?” Last night, in a public conversation, leaders and citizens shared ideas on that subject.

MP3 : http://www.wfae.org/wfae/audio/CTextra.m3u

(Guests)

Pat McCrory – Mayor of Charlotte

David Walters – Architect, Urban Designer and Professor at UNC Charlotte

Mary Tribble – President, Tribble Creative Group

Tom Low – Director, Charlotte office of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company

 

"People's ideas about what they thought they wanted will start to change when they see suburban homes losing value... Wait about 5 years time, and you will see a big change." - Tom Low

 

"Homeowners say: 'If you dare put for-rent apartments next to my property, you are history." - Mayor Tom McCrory

 

/see: http://charlotteblogs.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/wednesday-september-2-2009-charlotte-on-the-way-to-becoming/

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WHICH COMMUNITIES might "make it" in The Long Emergency (TLE) ?

 

The posters on The Kunstler Cast chatboard have some ideas about that:

http://kunstlercast.com/forum/index.php?topic=4713.0

 

JHK has said:

 

. Phoenix is utterly toast in a few years. They can't grow any food there without expensive and heroic irrigation. They have water problems. They're slaves to their cars. They're in a place where even the hamburger flippers need air-conditioning to survive. It's quite hopeless there. Portland, on the other hand, has turned itself into one of the finest walkable cities in the USA and the Willamette River Valley is one of the most productive farming micro-regions in the world. Human beings will continue to live and thrive to some extent there.

 

Similarly, I think the Great Lakes region is undervalued these days. It is whole lot of good ag land surrounded by the world's most extensive inland sea -- kind of a Mediterranean of fresh water. I remain pessimistic about Dixieland, which I think will be prone to violence and political disorder. In the longer run I believe it will become what it was before World War II: an agricultural backwater. But, really, everybody in every region of the country will be touched by the problems of the long emergency.

 

/source: http://www.chrismartenson.com/blog/straight-talk-jim-kunstler-coming-cluster/47864

 

I think he may under-rate the attractiveness of some cities in the South

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This was first posted on the Malaysia #1 thread:

 

... as first posted elsewhere, relevant for KL too ...

 

QUOTE from GEI by / littledavesab, Apr 28 2010 / ===

 

Requiem for Detroit? :

http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2010/20100317t1700vSZT.aspx

 

In Requiem for Detroit (Dir. Julien Temple, 2010) we come face to face with a dystopic post-industrial city, in which 40% of the land in the centre is returning to prairie. This polemic documentary spans the course of the 20th century conveying the city's transition from Motor City to beacon for the burgeoning urban agricultural movement.

QUOTE == == ==

 

The Black Heart must be pulled out - A walkable heart lies at the Core of great cities

 

Every great city - London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong - has a walkable core at its heart.</b> In fact, usually the entire city is walkable, and linked by public transport, giving pedestrians access to the full riches of the city, without requiring them to use or park cars.

 

Many failing cities pushed the pedestrian aside, to make room for cars. And the cars now rule, pumping toxic fumes into the air, and slowly but surely spoiling the view with greying smog, while clogging the lungs of its citizens with pollution.

 

It is time, before the cities have died, to pull out that black heart, and replace it with a new one. Pedestrians need to be respected and catered for, if a great city is to be rebuilt. They need to be able to get around, to have access, without being threatened by cars, and without multiple barriers being imposed to their motion. Living arrangements, which do not necessitate car transport need to be provided. And a true rebirth, would provide rich attractions at the street level: shopping, views, restaurants, cafes, parks, and the fabuluous fabrick of street life, which makes great cities great.

 

The road to a rennaissance will not be traveled in a car, it will be traversed by foot.

/see: http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=2923

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/see also (Best & Worst of KL): http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=9768

 

I may have a chance to meet some Mensans in Greenville.

And if we do, we may put the same question to them as we did in KL:

 

QUOTE

My partner was a founder member of Mensa in Hong Kong. (I joined in the UK years before I met her.) She has a potential interest in living in Malaysia, and so she suggested that we meet some local Mensans during our stay in KL. We got together last night with a group of about 10 in a restaurant called Madame Kwan's in the KLCC shopping mall. We were joined by some new friends, a couple who recently retired to KL from Washington, where they worked for the IMF.

 

It was a friendly group, and we had a nice round-table discussion about living in Malaysia, where each person said one or two positive and negative things about the country. I thought GEI readers might be interested in the highlights.

 

POSITIVES

=========

+ Living costs are far cheaper than the US, UK or HK. (Property costs maybe 1/3 of what it costs in HK, and food is cheaper too.)

 

+ People are friendly and generally accept foreigners in their country

 

+ The food is good, a nice mixture of Asian cuisine, "where Chinese meets Indian, adding the best of Malay cooking."

 

+ The country is blessed with natural resources: oil, gas, water, and the climate is warm through the year.

 

+ Malaysia is sitting in a nice place geologically, with no earthquakes, and is protected from Tsunamis by Sumatra

 

+ It is will situated for travel in an interesting area, and flights are cheap

 

+ There is a way, Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H), for foreigners to gain the right of abode in Malaysia for at least 10 years, and it is renewable.

 

+ Medical care is of reasonable quality, and cheaper than most other countries

 

NEGATIVES

=========

+ If you want to work in Malaysia, you need to line up your (high pay Expat) job before you arrive

 

+ You will never be a full citizen, and local people (Bumiputras) will go on enjoying some special privileges. If you want to participate in political debate, you may be frustrated, or find your comments unwelcome

 

+ There are some "safety issues"

 

+ The traffic in KL is horrible, and drivers are dangerous. It is almost impossible to live in the city without a car

 

+ Pollution is getting worse, as the traffic grows

 

+ As a foreigner, you can buy property, but only the more expensive places, over RM500,000

 

I will invite those who attended the dinner to read thsi thread, and if they want to join GEI and add some further comments, they are most welcome to do so. I would like that very much.

UNQUOTE

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WALKABLE GREENVILLE

 

Within the city limits, downtown Greenville and the Augusta Rd and North Main areas are probably the most walkable areas...

 

Outside of Greenville... there are small smaller walkable areas if you look for them. From what I've been able to gather (from driving through some of these towns or from word of mouth), towns like Clemson, Anderson, Greer, and Travelers Rest are fairly walkable- and maybe downtown Simpsonville?

 

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/greenville-spartanburg-area/1195227-what-best-walkable-area-live-anyone.html#ixzz1QnXzzuL0

== == ==

 

If you want to be near the mountains, you will definitely need to look at Upstate towns. The City of Greenville fits every aspect of your criteria, although it may seem a bit too large for you if you are strictly interested in small towns. Greenville was recently named the "Best City for Walking in South Carolina." It has one of the most refreshingly charming "small town feelings" you could ever find in a bustling business and economic center its size. Downtown is home to over 80 great restaurants, plus many fantastic small boutique shops, small theatres, galleries, and much more. The park system flowing through the heart of downtown and beyond along the river is absolutely beautiful and easily navigable on foot or bicycle. Here are a couple of additional good links to find more information about Greenville and a large gallery of photos from downtown.

 

Other cities and towns in the Upstate to consider include:

+ Anderson

+ Clemson

+ Seneca

+ Walhalla

+ Landrum

+ Spartanburg

+ Greer (possibly)

 

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/south-carolina/298283-what-perfect-south-carolina-town-columbia.html#ixzz1QnaSV3ka

== == ==

 

Elsewhere in South Carolina, you may want to visit Greenville, in the "upstate" region of the state close to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Greenville has a beautiful Main Street lined with outdoor seating restaurants as well as an attractive downtown park with a waterfall and trail system. Nearby attractions include the state parks in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the BMW factory tour, and the university town of Clemson (which has a fareless and efficient bus system).

 

/see: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28961-i24-k4530462-Walkable_towns-South_Carolina.html

== == ==

 

City Overview

As of 2010, Greenville's population is 59,398 people. Since 2000, it has had a population growth of 6.12 percent.

 

The median home cost in Greenville is $153,250. Home appreciation the last year has been -4.14 percent.

 

Compared to the rest of the country, Greenville's cost of living is 8.60% Lower than the U.S. average.

 

Greenville public schools spend $4,124 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $5,678. There are about 12.3 students per teacher in Greenville.

 

The unemployment rate in Greenville is 16.10 percent(U.S. avg. is 10.20%). Recent job growth is Negative. Greenville jobs have Decreased by 4.11 percent.

 

/source: http://www.bestplaces.net/city/south_carolina/greenville

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New Urbanism projects in Greenville SC

 

Homes and Lots for Sale at Acadia in Greenville, SC

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxBgky6rl8s

Come Discover Life in Balance.

 

Acadia is a new home community in Greenville, South Carolina, where southern hospitality is sincerely meant. Since 2005, Acadian families share an appreciation of neighborhood, and enjoy a community of interests.

 

Acadia balances its beautiful wooded surroundings with quality homes and elegant designs in five neighborhoods on 340 acres. A respect for land and neighbor guides Acadia’s vision, thoughtfully developing one of the finest neighborhoods of new homes in Greenville, South Carolina. You will appreciate how we save trees, protect wildlife (like deer, ducks and wild turkey), landscape with native plants, and preserve over a third of our land for greenspaces, parks and trails. Acadia enjoys an abundance of natural resources – miles of frontage on the Saluda River (part of the National Federal Heritage Corridor for the South), woodlands, creeks and ponds to enhance your outdoor experience. Leave your car in the garage, and walk, jog, bike, and kayak around Acadia.

 

Today, every amenity you could hope for is already in place at Acadia, from pools to soccer field & tennis courts, Pavilion, RiverHouse, PaddleHouse and much more. Acadia’s master plan includes a small village of shops and offices for a real live-work lifestyle. Perhaps the best amenity Acadia has to offer is time - more time to spend with your family & friends. Only ten minutes from downtown Greenville, Acadia is close to hospitals, airports and shopping. Less time spent commuting makes for a more balanced life in Acadia.

 

/more: http://www.acadiasc.com/home/'>http://www.acadiasc.com/home/

 

/master plan: http://www.acadiasc.com/home/

 

/NU course: http://www.cnu.org/accreditation

/clemson prof: http://www.clemson.edu/caah/pla/real-estate-development/faculty-staff/pdf/Benedict_Robert.pdf

 

== == ==

 

Verdae is another - but they are just selling lots now

 

watch.jpg : Masterplan map

 

Hollingsworth Park, Verdae

Sharing syergy and proximity to Greenville’s downtown, Verdae is transforming 1,100 prime city acres into a dynamic new urban community. A smart, flexible plan comprises diverse housing and varying price points, thriving commercial districts and an array of recreational amenities. Fostering a walkable environment–with jobs easily proximate to home–Verdae’s vision ranges from corporate headquarters and niche offices to a village square filled by specialty retailers, local restaurants and professional services, all interconnected by pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, a lush central park and abundant greenspace.

 

/see: http://http://verdae.com/

 

They are way behind plan, it seems

 

WYFF has reported that Greenville will be getting a high-speed bullet bus in 4-5 years. The first planned route would take riders along Laurens Road on an old rail line that runs between the Verdae project and downtown Greenville. Total cost will be $4 million dollars and the federal government has already chipped in $1 million of that. The city and county are planning on putting money aside to get this project developed.

More information on this can be found here: http://www.wyff4.com/news/11242734/detail.html

 

/source: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/archive/index.php/t-451523.html

 

Verdae Development, Inc. – VERDAE:

 

 Verdae [official brand name], unveiled on May 3rd, 2005, is an 1,100-acre master planned, mixed-use development near the intersection of I-85 and I-385 in Greenville, South Carolina.

 Verdae’s eventual value could be $1.5 billion according to William G. Monroe, project master planner. Approximately 3.5 million square feet of commercial space, homes for 10,000 residents, and places to work for 15,000 employees could eventually take shape according to news reports.

 The Board of Hollingsworth Funds, Inc. [the not-for-profit organization established by deceased textile magnate, John D. Hollingsworth] created Verdae Development, Inc. – a subsidiary of Hollingsworth Funds. Verdae Development, Inc., was organized and financially structured to implement the Master Plan in the role of developer.

 Verdae will be developed in phases over a 20-30 year period. It will encompass residential components [single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, apartments, retirement center, and the Hollingsworth Legacy Park incorporating an amphitheater] and commercial components [hotels, retail, a variety of office and professional spaces, and “The Town Center at Verdae”]. Phase 1 will emphasize the retirement community, residential housing, and the Hollingsworth Legacy Park. Initial site work is underway.

 The project is designed to be an unprecedented mixed-use development in Greenville that will “meet the needs of the growing labor force that will be entering the marketplace as a result of CU-ICAR and the Millenium Campus.”

 

Rosen Associates Development, Inc. – THE MILLENNIUM CAMPUS:

 

 The Millennium Campus, developed by Rosen Associates Development, Inc. and formally announced in 2004, is located on 500+ acres along I-85 in Greenville, South Carolina, adjacent to CU-ICAR.

 Millennium Campus’s first major project is the headquarters for Hubbell Lighting, Inc. which is expected to house 350 employees in a $36 million, 175,000 square foot multi-story facility currently under construction. Greenville and The Millennium Campus were selected by Hubbell after an intense recruiting effort that involved cities in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Completion of Hubbell’s headquarters facility is expected in 4th Quarter 2006.

 The Millennium Campus is described as a pedestrian-friendly, international environment. It is targeting research, technology-driven, knowledge-based industries across the globe that are seeking a new strategic presence.

 It is anticipated that the project is capable of creating thousands of jobs and could result in millions of square feet constructed over a 20-30 year period

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Here's an attractive multi-family apartment development

...near the Clemson I-Car facility*

 

920_2br_www_verandasthepoint_com_greenville_10947437.jpg..587_1br_1_bedroom_1_bath_studio_available_march_6th_verandas_the_point_woodruff_rd_map_11757507.jpg

 

Verandas at The Point offers individually priced apartment homes based on your needs and current availability. This allows you the freedom to customize your lease term- choose from a one to thirteen month lease- to best accommodate your budget and life.

 

Spacious one, two and three bedroom apartment homes featuring IN UNIT washer & dryers, elegant chef caliber kitchens, walk-in closets and private balconies or cozy sunrooms.

 

/see: http://www.verandasthepoint.com/PHOTOS.asp

 

Flournoy Development Company, LLC engages in the development, construction, and management of multifamily apartments in the Southeastern United States. The company was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Columbus, Georgia.

900 Brookstone Centre Parkway

Columbus, GA 31904

http://www.flournoyconstruction.com/flournoy-development

== ===

 

Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR)

Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), in Greenville, S.C., is a new model for economic development in South Carolina, matching Clemson’s strengths in automotive engineering with the state’s strong automotive economic cluster. Located in the heart of the Interstate 85 corridor, midway between Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, GA, CU-ICAR is ideally situated in the Southeastern automotive and motorsports economy.

 

CU-ICAR is a 250-acre “technopolis” where BMW, Michelin, Timken, SUN and other corporate partners, now including the Richard Petty Driving Experience, are joining with Clemson to focus on automotive research and other transportation issues. BMW and Timken have research facilities on the CU-ICAR campus, and others are anticipated.

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FROM FRUSTRATION - comes change... Here's an email that I am planning to send

 

TerminalBus.jpg

 

RE: Commuting adventures near America's "Best Main Street"

 

Dear Sir,

 

It was my pleasure to visit your fine city about two weeks ago.

 

I had done plenty of research via the web, and in nearly all respects Greenville exceeded my expectations. However, there was one thing that I found disappointing - ney, very disappointing, because the problem can be so easily fixed.

 

My partner and I live in Hong Kong, where she was born. We do not own a car, and we like to travel without renting a vehicle. One of the reasons we visited Greenville was because we heard that it was a model for walkable cities in the USA. Indeed, that is mostly true. But we had some problems when we decided to take a bus one afternoon.

 

We arrived at the Main Bus station off McBee St. with a wallet containing several $20 bills. We easily found the bus that we wanted, and when I tried to board, I showed a $20 bill and the driver shrugged and said, "Sorry, I cannot make change." So I went to the window of the dispatchers room, and tried to buy two tickets. I got the same response, "Sorry, we cannot make change."

 

So I explained, "I am not here seeking change, I want to buy two tickets for the bus."

 

"We do not sell bus tickets here," he said, leaving me amazed that the bus station cannot sell tickets to eager customers. "So where do I buy a bus ticket?" I asked, looking around. "Oh, you will have to buy from the bus driver." When I explained that she had no change, he was totally disinterested.

 

Fortunately, my partner had a solution. She took my $20 bill and walked slowly through the bus, begging people to make change for her. Finally, she found someone who could make change, and got the smaller money we needed, $3 for two bus tickets. The good news for us was that we had time to play out this little drama. If we had arrived later just before the departure, I would have been left standing in the fumes with a $20 bill in my hand, left with a one hour wait for the next bus. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.

 

proterra.jpg

 

One of the people on the bus had observed our plight, and when I told her told her the bigger story about being refused change at the dispatch window, she was sympathetic. My frustration bubbled over a bit, and I said, "I may send a letter to the president of the bus company." She said, that might be a good idea. In fact, she thought I should copy the mayor too.

 

I turns out that she is a local lawyer, and she works in an office run by her father, a prominent local man, who had run for governor a few years earlier. She said, "The mayor here is a good man. He gets things done, and he may want to hear your story." So my moment of frustration has led to this letter.

 

What is particularly annoying, is that this problem is so easily fixed. I can envision three simple solutions, with the third of these being the most elegant:

 

1) A machine that dispenses change : put in a $10 or $20 bill, and get some singles in return. I ask myself, what does the bus company do with all the single dollar bills they collect? Perhaps they can recycle them back to customers through a change machine

 

2) A machine that sells $10 or $20 tickets for multiple trips. There could be tear-off tabs for each journey, or something more sophisticated and electronic. But this is really just 20th century technology, which can be easily found by the bus company

 

3) A 21st century solution would be an "Octopus Card" (which is something they use in Hong Kong), or the "Oyster Card" that is used in London England, a place that I formerly lived. This is a card with a chip that stores money. You can recharge it at any main station by putting cash into a machine. When you enter a bus, you place the card over a reader, and it subtracts the fare. All very neat and efficient, not requiring much time, and freeing the bus driver from the need to carry change. In fact, in Hong Kong, these cards are used more widely, and the MTR Corporation which owns the Octopus Card company makes some additional revenues when people use the card to buy things like candy bars at convenience stores.

 

I think progress in this area is inevitable. I have read that Greenville is beginning to manufacture electric-powered buses with a company called Proterra. Surely, you will want to run them in your own streets using 21st century ticketing technology.

 

I am still in Hong Kong, although I am considering a move to the USA, even Greenville. By while I am here, I can help. If you think that the Octopus Card may be a solution for Greenville's great bus change challenge, please let me know. I will be happy to contact the MTR Corp on you behalf and find out whether they might be willing to resell or license their Oyster Card technology.

 

Yours Truly, XXX

== == ==

 

More Awards for Main Street Greenville

 

The American Planning Association has named Greenville's Main Street as one of the top ten "great streets" in the country, based on their social function, design, cultural events and green strategies. With landscaping design that started in 1978 and more recent additions like the Fluor Field baseball stadium, a variety of events and a focus on a pedestrian friendly corridor, Greenville competes with other standouts like Skagway, AK, Bath, ME, and Traverse City, MI.

 

/see: http://www.blog.greenvilleschomesales.com/2009/10/more-awards-for-main-street-greenville.html

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If we had arrived later just before the departure, I would have been left standing in the fumes with a $20 bill in my hand, left with a one hour wait for the next bus. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.

 

proterra.jpg

The above image came from an interesting article...

 

Proterra Completes First All-Electric Bus Manufactured in Greenville

 

GOLDEN, Colo. – Proterra Inc., the leading maker of zero-emission commercial transit solutions, today announced the completion of its first bus assembled entirely at its Phase 1 manufacturing facility in Greenville, S.C. The Phase 1 facility at 25 Whitlee Court is manufacturing Proterra's EcoRide BE35™ buses and FastFill™ charging stations. Additionally, Proterra is working aggressively with local support to break ground on its larger state-of-the-art Phase 2 plant located on Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research campus in the spring of 2011. In honor of the first Greenville manufactured bus, an event will be hosted at 10:30 a.m. at 25 Whitlee Court where they'll be offering the opportunity to experience the bus first hand, tour the Phase I facility, and hear the latest news on Proterra's progress in Greenville.

 

The EcoRide BE35™ is the world's first battery electric bus that can charge in under ten minutes. It has 500 percent better fuel efficiency than a diesel bus with between 17 and 29 miles per gallon (diesel equivalent) and can operate all day as a replacement for conventional liquid-fueled vehicles.

 

"All of Greenville congratulates Proterra on achieving this milestone," said Knox White, Mayor of Greenville, S.C. "We look forward to working with Proterra on the completion of additional buses from this facility and helping the company open the doors of its Phase 2 facilities in 2012."

 

"With the support of the Greenville community, Proterra is excited to see the first EcoRide BE35™ bus rolling off our new assembly line," said Jeff Granato, CEO of Proterra. "The Phase 1 and Phase 2 Greenville facilities will help us keep up with the international demand for Proterra's all-electric, zero emission bus and 10-minute FastFill™ charging stations."

 

The first bus will be sent to the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center for safety testing required by the FTA. The Proterra EcoRide BE35™ will be the first all-electric bus that the center will be testing and once completed, allows Proterra to mass produce and sell the bus on a commercial scale.

. . .

 

About Proterra's EcoRide BE35™

 

Proterra's EcoRide BE35™ buses are unlike any conventional or hybrid-electric passenger bus available on the market today. The bus significantly reduces air and noise pollution for riders and local communities, while dramatically reducing vehicle operation costs for transit agencies. The EcoRide BE35™ contains all electric components, including an electric drive motor supplied by UQM that allows greater acceleration than that of a conventional bus, combined with leading technology solutions that allow for a quiet and smooth uninterrupted ride. With up to three hours of operation and the ability to recharge in less than 10 minutes on route, Proterra's buses can easily be incorporated into any transit agencies' existing routes without impacting their schedules or routes while delivering a quieter, more comfortable experience to riders. Additionally, without the maintenance or fuel costs associated with conventional buses, the EcoRide BE35™ achieves a 500 percent improvement in fuel economy, and greater than $400,000 savings in total lifetime operating expenses.

 

About Proterra Inc.

 

Proterra is answering the international call for efficient, cost-effective and environmentally responsible heavy-duty vehicle solutions. Headquartered in Golden, Colorado with research and development and manufacturing in Greenville, South Carolina, Proterra is a leading designer and manufacturer of heavy-duty electric drive systems, energy storage systems, vehicle control systems, transit buses and fast charging stations. Proterra's systems are scalable to all forms of commercial buses and Class 6-8 trucks. Proterra's initial products, a 35' battery-electric transit bus and on-route fast charging station, have been designed from the ground up to enable a world's first ever solution for transit agencies to replace conventional diesel buses on a one-for-one basis with all-electric buses operating 24/7. This is accomplished by combining Proterra's light-weight composite body, highly efficient ProDrive™, advanced TerraVolt™ energy storage system and on-route rooftop FastFill™ charging station to charge the bus in 5-10 minutes. The vehicle achieves between 18 and 29 miles per gallon diesel fuel equivalent fully loaded with 68 passengers – 500 percent better than a comparable diesel bus. For more information on Proterra and its technology please visit: http://www.proterra.com

 

/source: http://www.gcbusinessjournal.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=823:proterra-completes-first-all-electric-bus-manufactured-in-greenville&catid=61:automotive&Itemid=89

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Rebranding exercise....

 

Global Carolina Profile: “The New Energy Capital” (Charlotte NC)

 

03 May 2010

 

CHARLOTTE, NC – Whatever solutions are ultimately found to the challenge of developing a new energy policy, one thing is certain: those companies that take the lead in alternative energy technology today will position themselves as major players in the global economy tomorrow.

 

That was the consensus among the industry leaders who shared the stage at the “Energy, Inc.” conference in Charlotte on April 23, 2010. And while the speakers addressed national energy policy as well as international competition and trade, the event centered on energy sector growth in the Carolinas and, specifically, the Charlotte Region.

 

Having recently re-branded itself “The New Energy Capital,” the longtime banking center is quickly re-inventing itself as an international hub for energy research and production, according to executive vice president of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, Kenny McDonald: “We want things to be imagined here, designed here, manufactured here, maintained here, and distributed from here.”

 

/more on this exercise: http://www.gcbusinessjournal.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=357:global-carolina-profile-the-new-energy-capital&catid=104:global-carolina-profiles&Itemid=139

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Transit Cards - info from a posting on DrBubb's diary

There are a few examples of the "Oyster" concept already in use in the US. Some of these, like New York's SmartLink are still flawed as they only work on some parts of the transport network. But others like the "Chicago Card" and San Francisco's "Clipper" are similar to the Oyster in that they can be used across an integrated public transport system. The Clipper card in the San Francisco bay area had an inauspicious start, but now works on BART (the tube), Muni (trams and buses), Caltrain (trains), VTA (trams in Silicon Valley) and various bus lines into the suburbs and neighboroughing counties.

Thanks for that, Emel

 

It is good to know most transit systems have moved to a more rational system

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SMART CARDS are coming !

FROM FRUSTRATION - comes change... Here's an email that I am planning to send

(see above)

My frustration bubbled over a bit, and I said, "I may send a letter to the president of the bus company." She said, that might be a good idea. In fact, she thought I should copy the mayor too.

I have had a very nice response to my email, from Mayor Knox White, which says in part:

 

"We work hard to create the special, walkable urban environment downtown--

and it's only getting better and better. Thank you for enjoying it.

The city assumed operations of the regional bus system a few years ago

and immediately put in place an array of improvements (to a small

system!)....new buses, renovated terminal (in progress), etc etc. You

will be glad to know that the credit card and change machines are on

the way!! The current system is ridiculous."

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Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts - Asheville NC

 

...was founded by a group of senior practitioners in the field of Chinese Medicine who have devoted themselves to the revival of classical teachings. Inspired by their studies with Jeffrey Yuen, 88th generation Daoist priest, they wish to help continue his work in restoring the ancient traditions by sharing their clinical experience and passion for Chinese Medicine.

 

The College is dedicated to advancing knowledge in the field of Chinese Medicine with an emphasis on the medical teachings and techniques which are rooted in the Classics. Highlighted in this undertaking is the study of all the meridian systems, survey of the history of ideas and their influence in the development of styles of practice, and study of the medical classics. Students are encouraged to cultivate through the daily practice of Qi Gong/ Tai Chi/ Meditation. This aspect of Daoism is a fundamental component of the evolution of a strong clinician and health care provider; it is essential that practitioners live the philosophy they teach.

 

CAMPUS FACILITIES

 

382montfordavenue_000.jpg

 

Our campus is located in the Montford Historic District of Asheville. The campus facilities include five classrooms with wireless internet, a student lounge with three computer terminals, a student kitchen, and administrative and faculty offices, and the library.

 

/see: http://www.daoisttraditions.com/

 

/Schools of TCM: http://www.tcmstudent.com/schools/Schools%20State.html#N

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ASHEVILLE NC - Condos & Planned communities

===========

 

Asheville_NC_Grove_arcade.jpg

Asheville : The "Paris of the South"?

 

http://www.my151.com/index.html

The Residences At 151 – Luxury Private Residence Club Atop Hotel Indigo in Downtown Asheville

Perched high atop the city's newest luxury hotel, Hotel Indigo, you will find luxurious condominiums, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive views of the downtown Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Own your dream second home in downtown Asheville at a price you never dreamed possible. www.my151.com 888.517.0151

 

http://www.greybeardrealty.com/

Greybeard Realty

GreyBeard Realty is a full-service real estate company with a focus on real estate sales and property management in Black Mountain, Montreat, and Asheville, NC. We have in-depth knowledge of the area's land developments, availability, restrictions, and more. Give us a call or search for properties on our website. 828-669-1072, 888-228-8008

 

http://carolinaland.com/

Carolina Land.com

One-to-twelve acre mountain home sites with marvelous views, priced from $29,900 - $99,900, also new, custom-built, easy-to-finish log cabins from $89,900 (cabins include 1 to 2 ac). Home sites feature streams, creeks and privacy. Located in the WNC mountains just east of Asheville, and close to Lake Lure, Lake James, Hendersonville, Chimney Rock, Black Mountain, Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, & Hickory. Enjoy hiking, trout fishing, swimming, canoeing, tubing, white water rafting, snow and water skiing, & four, distinct, mild seasons.

Call for an appointment - 828.429.4004

 

http://www.ascotclub.net./

The Ascot Club at Highland Forest:

The highest gated community east of the Rockies with elevations up to 5700 feet. Just minutes away from shopping, eateries, Main Street, and excellent medical facilities. Come see our 12,000 sf clubhouse complete with a restaurant and bar, fitness center, and pool. Mountain real estate for sale includes homesites, cottages, and villas for sale. The Ascot Club at Highland Forest in Waynesville, NC. 866 905 9880

 

http://www.seasonsatbiltmorelakeapts.com/

Seasons at Biltmore Lake

Seasons at Biltmore Lake is a premier condominium community just fifteen minutes from downtown Asheville. Affordable pricing and unbelievable buyer incentives make Seasons at Biltmore Lake a great investment. The gorgeous surroundings and contemporary interiors make it a great place to call home. Why rent when you can own? 828.670.9009

 

http://www.gatewaymountain.com/

Gateway Mountain

Comprised of 3,000 acres, a noted conservation area and wildlife sanctuary, Gateway Mountain provides the perfect uncomplicated, rustic mountain environment ideal for a primary residence, vacation home or place of retirement. Home sites have been carefully sculpted to maintain privacy and to showcase nature’s own natural splendor with bold views of the surrounding mountains, creeks, and waterfalls. This well established gated community harbors two small lakes, magnificent waterfalls, parks, a trout pond and numerous century-old logging trails, providing the perfect environment for endless afternoons of hiking and exploration. Located just 25 miles east of Asheville, NC, its location makes all of Western North Carolina's abundance of attractions and outdoor activities easily accessible. Call us at 800-521-6788 to schedule a visit or view our website at: www.gatewaymountain.com

 

http://www.bricktonvillage.com/

Brickton Village & Heights

Another affordable community from the developer of The Grove at Appeldoorn condominiums. Located in Fletcher, the new development will feature quality construction with natural, low maintenance amenities. The first phase of the community, Brickton Village, will include 168 affordable 1, 2, and 3 bedroom condominiums with pre-construction pricing from $94,900. Call (828) 654-9394 for more details.

 

http://www.creston-nc.com/

Creston Community, a Gated Community

Encircled by pristine hardwood forests that are home to a rich diversity of native flora and fauna, Creston's environmentally sensitive community features private secluded Western NC mountain homesites, mountain views, waterfalls, hiking trails, protective covenants and conservation easements. Urban amenities in Asheville, NC and Black Mountain, NC are within a short drive. 1-800-778-1190

 

http://www.biltmorepark.com/living

Biltmore Park Town Square

Enjoy the modern vibrance of Asheville's first mixed-use community which will transform the landscape of South Asheville. Register on-line at www.liveatbiltmorepark.com to learn more about our condominiums and townhomes opening for sales 9.21.08. At Biltmore Park Town Square, life is right outside your door. 877.330.0009

 

/more-: http://www.asheville.com/realestate/community.html

 

/guide: http://www.ashevilleguidebook.com/wnc/wnc-cities/dillsboro.htm

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