City wants future Uptown buildings to have unique look
July 30, 2018
By: ADAM BENSON
After investing millions to transform Uptown Greenwood into a premier destination, city leaders want its building owners to know one thing: Appearances matter.
“Simply put, we are seeing investment in the Uptown area beyond Oregon Avenue and Maxwell Avenue. So far, none of that investment has been detrimental. We believe we need to expand the Uptown Greenwood overlay to cover most of the special tax district,” City Manager Charlie Barrineau said. “This ensures the public – through the city’s Board of Architectural Review – has input and approval of certain exterior changes.”
Last week, the City/County Joint Planning Commission recommended the change, and the City Council is expected to consider it later this month. If approved, it would add 122 properties from Seaboard to Washington avenues.
“They’re all zoned core commercial. The overlay zone would be a separate set of standards that would pertain to the exterior of the buildings,” city/county planner Josh Skinner said. Buildings including Wells Fargo and First Citizens Bank and Inn on the Square would be included in the overlay zone.
Making sure future commercial growth adheres to the visual standards of Uptown Greenwood is a top priority as outlined in the county’s updated comprehensive plan.
“The expansion of the Uptown Greenwood overlay district would provide consistent standards for construction throughout the entire area that we know as Uptown. The overlay district has enhanced the appearance and quality of construction, while protecting the unique structural characteristics of the buildings that have been around for generations,” Planning Director Phil Lindler said. “By expanding these standards from the original Emerald Triangle area, the rest of Uptown can benefit. The Emerald Triangle has been wildly successful and we feel that this proposal will only enhance the entire area of Uptown.”
Lesley Lane, manager of commercial property holdings for Greenwood Development and a member of the city’s Board of Architectural Review, said the proposed changes are important for Uptown’s continued success.
“Uptown Greenwood is a mixed-use center, and the look and feel of its buildings and their surroundings are vital to the unique and charming visual experience. People want to be here,” she said. “Protecting our visual elements are key to the continued development. Expanding the historic overlay will protect the aesthetic integrity of our entire Uptown tax district.”