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City of Greenville leaders approve next step in $50 million development

An apartment complex and boutique hotel could be headed to uptown Greenville
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 8:20 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The corner of Dickinson Avenue and Ficklen Street in Greenville could soon be the site of a new 150-unit apartment complex.

“This project is intended to create market-rate housing units, rental units, that are intended more for the professionals - those that are working at Vidant, at ECU,” Deputy City Manager Michael Cowin explained.

The corner is currently the location of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Kali O’Shields works at Smashed Waffles, just across the street. She’s afraid of the congestion a new complex could bring.

“There’s also already three right down the road, and I feel like there’s gonna be a lot of traffic, especially on this road if there’s another apartment complex,” O’Shields said.

City leaders unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, approved the letters of intent Monday night for two individual developers, Taft Family Ventures and Stark Holdings, involving that corner. One plans to build an apartment complex, the other a boutique hotel, totaling $50 million. In return, the city would make improvements to the area.

“New ADA ramps, sidewalks on both sides of the streets, canopy trees, trash cans, various different pedestrian lighting,” Cowin said of the planned improvements.

If approved, the Museum of Natural Sciences and a Time for Science would move into the Cupola building on 8th Street.

“The move to the new space would allow us to have opportunities to better serve the community. Right now, we have a lot of very large school groups coming to visit us. While we adore the building we’re in, we only have two bathrooms, which is hard when you have 100 kids,” Museum of Natural Science Director Emily Jarvis said.

Along with moving, the city and one of those developers would contribute money toward improving that historic space.

“Taft would provide improvements to the Cupola building for the benefit of the museum of approximately $485,000, and then the city would match that commitment with another $245,000 to be used by the museum,” Cowin explained.

He feels it’s a win for all parties. “It’s an investment in our community and a vibrancy of our uptown district.”

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