Plans for downtown Greenville conference center begin with funding from SC


With $ 19 million in state funding now committed to the South Carolina budget, public consultation sessions for a new downtown conference center will likely begin within next month, the spokesperson said. of town, Beth Brotherton.

“The county and city have embraced this project, so it was good to be confirmed by the state,” Mayor Knox White said in a text message.

The South Carolina Art & Cultural Center will span seven acres near the banks of the Reedy River. The plans include a mix of event spaces as well as art collections from two leading museums, the Greenville County Art Museum and the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery.

Related:As COVID-19 cuts profits for downtown Greenville hotels, conference center emergency grows

Greenville developers Bo Aughtry and Phil Hughes, who helped create RiverPlace, are leading the project and donated the land in 2019.

A team led by LMN Architects is developing a master plan for the installation and the adjacent mixed-use development project between River and Academy streets, according to the city’s website.

The $ 19 million was the second part of state funding needed for the conference center. The state legislature previously allocated $ 7 million to the project in 2019, as part of a deal involving the city, county and state where each has pledged to contribute $ 26 million.

The conference center costs more than $ 100 million, including the private land offered by Hughes and Aughtry, valued at $ 25 million.

The project’s steering committee continues to meet and the city is reviewing cost estimates and asking questions, Brotherton said. Public comment sessions will assess the site plans and the impact of the development on the downtown area.

“The City will participate and listen. Still really in the feasibility phase,” she said in a text.

More information:Developers promise top-notch riverside property for $ 100m conference center in downtown Greenville

An artistic representation of the view of the proposed downtown convention center across the Reedy River.

The money for the installation has been pooled into a $ 94 million allowance this year with other projects.

On June 25, Governor Henry McMaster initially vetoed 15 provisions of the budget, citing a lack of transparency and “sufficient context”.

But the South Carolina legislature voted to overturn 10 of 15 vetoes worth $ 152.5 million, allowing funding for the conference center to survive.

McMaster has been very supportive of the arts and culture center from the start, Aughtry said in a written statement. The developers of the conference center agree with the governor’s premise regarding vetoes, he said.

“But, we greatly appreciate the members of the legislature, especially within the northern state delegation, who supported the successful waiver,” Aughtry said. “Now, with city and county support, downtown Greenville will have an extraordinary meeting and event venue, complemented by two world-class art collections.

Related:Lawmakers overturn Majority of Governor Henry McMaster’s vetoes, funded upstate projects

Macon Atkinson is the town watch reporter for The Greenville News. It is fueled by long runs and strong coffee. Follow her on Twitter @maconatkinson.


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