Podcast: What does the Montgomery Building's redevelopment mean for downtown Spartanburg?
Putting the rebirth of an icon into context with Council member Erica Brown
It is perhaps Spartanburg's most iconic structure, a symbol of our history as a textile powerhouse, and a long-vacant, sometimes painful reminder of downtown's 20th century heyday. In many ways, and for many locals, the Montgomery Building has become a barometer for downtown progress. Bring back this beauty, the reasoning goes, and we'll know there really is something to this whole "downtown revitalization" thing.
Yeah...there's something to it.
At Monday's meeting, Spartanburg City Council approved first reading of a development agreement with developer James Bakker, a crucial procedural step that will allow Bakker to move forward with his plans to renovate the building to include 9,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the ground floor, 9,000 square feet of office space on the second floor, and 72 residential units on floors three through 10.
The agreement includes several development incentives, including free parking in the St. John Street Garage adjacent to the Montgomery Building (140 spaces for 10 years), $750,000 in public monies to be used to develop a pedestrian plaza that will connect the Montgomery Building and the parking garage, development rights on a small adjacent city-owned parcel, and property tax abatement.
Today on the podcast, we're talking with City Council member Erica Brown, whose district includes the Montgomery Building, about its redevelopment, and about what it means for downtown Spartanburg's future.
Want to listen to our podcast on your iOS device? Follow this link to subscribe through iTunes. Got Stitcher? Follow this link to listen. Podcast music provided by Spartanburg singer-songwriter, David Ezell.