The city of Greenville’s Design Review Board has approved dramatic transformation plans for downtown’s North of Broad District.
Hughes Commercial Properties’ plans for 300 E. McBee Avenue include adding first-floor retail, new lighting and glass, expanded sidewalks, and a ride-share drop-off area, in which will change the historic building’s landscape just one block from downtown Greenville’s Main Street, according to the news release.
The design by the Charlotte office of Gensler, a global design and architecture firm headquartered in San Francisco with the largest architecture firm in the world by revenue and number of architects, re-imagines the building on the corner of East McBee Avenue and Spring Street as an active hub of stores, restaurants, and offices anchoring the emerging North of Broad District, the release said.
“I’m excited and proud to bring this project to fruition,” said Hughes Commercial founder and CEO Jackson Hughes, whose father and uncle worked from an office across the street at 303 E. McBee Ave. “I’ve always loved this building and its potential as a centerpiece for the North of Broad District.”
Currently, the covered entrance of the north-facing building is often cast in shadow. The new design brightens the front by replacing ground-level tinted glass with clear glass, adding lighting and color, and making it more pedestrian-friendly with wider sidewalks, new planters, and lush landscaping, the release said.
“We see 300 E. McBee as creating a new center of gravity connecting residential and retail along McBee Avenue with Greenville’s extraordinary Main Street,” said Harrison Hughes, executive vice president of Hughes Commercial. “We think it’s going to be the greatest ‘new old building’ in the city.”
Prisma Health is the primary tenant of the building constructed in 1983 for American Federal Bank. Designed at a time when there was little activity downtown after 5 p.m. on weekdays, the 165,000-square-foot, six-story building includes an interior atrium affording daylight into all the offices, generous ceiling heights and an abundance of parking.
“The all-concrete construction would be prohibitively expensive today but means the building has incredible bones and feels solid and substantial,” said Price Cameron, Hughes Commercial’s president and chief operating officer.
The DRB previously approved changes to the rear of the building to remove the original bank drive-throughs and create a new stairway and entrance with fresh landscaping that ties into the greenspace under the Church Street bridge.
Construction on that portion of the project is expected to begin early next year, with work on the front of the building commencing in Q2 of next year.