On Dec. 16, Clemson City Council unanimously voted to move ahead with Spectrum Realty Companies as the partner for the UptownNEXT project.
“Two people have asked us on a date, and we’re going on a date with one of them,” said council member Bob Brookover, expressing the level of commitment to the council’s decision on the 16th.
The city received two proposals: one from Spectrum Realty of McLean, Virginia, and one from Pavilion Development Company of Charlotte, North Carolina, who developed the recently opened Shepherd Hotel.
The Spectrum proposal was quite conservative, with a large amount of student housing. However, the proposal made clear that this is what could be done without any public money and that more of the city’s desires could be incorporated with public funding.
Even without public money, many of the features included in the example, such as plazas and park expansions, new retail and office space, a lakefront hotel and improved sidewalks, were included in the proposal.
The Pavilion proposal featured buses, a transit hub, a ferry to the dikes, additional lakefront retail and non-student housing.
Council members appreciated Spectrum’s clear financials and more realistic proposal; however, they also expressed a desire to spend public money to incorporate more of the city’s vision into the design.
Hesitation was also expressed about Pavilion’s bold proposal, especially exactly how much public money would be required. Concerns were also expressed about the company’s ability to handle a project of this scale, particularly considering the hiccups encountered during the Shepherd Hotel project.
Overall, both proposals presented a vision for a more urban uptown area, creating a taller, denser destination area for the city along the lakefront in one of the city’s most vibrant areas.
The city hopes to have come to reach an agreement with Spectrum by the end of January.