Master Plan Highlights
The outline of a new Northside — a place of vibrancy, dynamism and opportunity — is coming into focus. While the initial master plan for the new Northside contains myriad elements, five transformative projects form the backbone of the plan:
1. Transforming the awkward Asheville Highway/Church Street/Magnolia Street intersection into a striking new gateway (rendering below) into the Northside and the City. The plan would require the closure of Magnolia Street between Pearl Street and Asheville Highway, and would replace it with a greenspace highlighted by public art.
Northside/Church Street Gateway
2. A second striking component of the master plan involves "daylighting" a creek that has been paved over and covered up for decades. The creek, known locally as the “Nasty Branch” but to be renamed Butterfly Creek, would flow roughly from just behind the Healthy Food Hub on Howard Street to about where the current Oakview Apartments sit today. It is not hard to imagine the daylighted creek and adjoining “greenway” on either side (rendering below) becoming not just the central feature of the new Northside, but a significant new environmental asset for the entire City.
Butterfly Creek & Greenway
3. Extending Evins Street across Church Street, creating a new artery into the heart of the Northside that would dead-end at the new Healthy Food Hub on Howard Street. The Evins Street extension would accomplish one of the major goals identified by the charette participants: helping people get across Church Street, thereby creating new and better connections between the Northside, Wofford College and Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.
4. Transforming Pearl Street into the “Main Street” of the Northside by widening it, adding bike lanes, on-street parking, wider sidewalks, street trees and other landscaping, and zoning it for multi-use development, with retail and office space on the bottom floor and residential units on the upper floors of the three- to four-story buildings to come. Pearl Street also could be extended all the way to W.O. Ezell Boulevard with the help of the S.C. Department of Transportation, thus becoming a new primary connection between the Northside and the Westside, creating a more convenient, efficient, and accessible connection to SRMC for tens of thousands of people.
5. Creating a multi-purpose, educational, recreational and community services campus on and adjacent to the current Cleveland Academy of Leadership location. Students at Cleveland Academy voiced their desire for their school, which currently houses kindergarten through 5th grade, to be expanded to include grades 6-8, an idea that Spartanburg School District 7 is considering. In addition to the expansion required by that move, if it were to happen, planners identified the area around Cleveland as the logical destination for the new T.K. Gregg Community Center (which City Council has already committed to building by 2017), a new Early Childhood Education Center (which has $1.5 million in funding committed through the Mary Black Foundation), and new ballfields.
Of course, integrated throughout the plan is new residential development. Citizens have made clear their desire for certain elements in the new homes that will be built on the Northside: traditional architectural styles, front porches, and space for both private and community gardens throughout the community. Below is a rendering of what a future street on the Northside may look like:
Potential new Northside residential construction