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Readers see need for more construction

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Staff Report
Published Feb. 25, 2016

More than half of respondents to a GSA Business Report reader survey say there needs to be more construction happening in the Upstate. More than a quarter of readers listed commercial development as the type of project the Upstate needs most. Speculative real estate, retail and multifamily residential projects were the least desired types of projects.

With projects such as Camperdown in downtown Greenville and Grandmarc at Clemson underway, construction is off to a good start in 2016.

We recently surveyed readers of the GSA Daily email for their views on the state of construction in the Upstate. Some 55.88% of readers believe we need more construction in the region, while 32.35% find the level of construction to be just right and 11.76% think there is too much of it going on.

We presented readers a list of seven types of development — commercial, industrial, mixed use, multifamily residential, retail, single-family residential and speculative real estate — and asked whether the Upstate needed more or less of each type. Single-family residential development was the most popular choice by weighted average, slightly edging out industrial projects, trailed by commercial. The least popular kind of development was multifamily residential, followed by retail and spec projects. See the below chart for a breakdown of the numbers.

Single-family residential was the type of development readers said was most needed by weighted average, slightly edging out industrial projects, trailed by commercial. (Image by GSA Business Report staff)

SOURCE: GSA Business Report staff

We then presented readers with the same list of development types and asked them to select the one they’d most like to see more of, with the option to write in a response. Here’s how readers responded.

  • Commercial 28.13%.
  • Industrial 25.00%.
  • Write-in responses 18.75%.
  • Single-family residential 15.63%.
  • Mixed use 6.25%.
  • Multifamily residential 3.13%.
  • Retail 3.13%.
  • Speculative real estate development 0.00%.

Two of the write-ins called for no more construction. One said we need more downtown parking, while another asked for a dog park. One called for grocery stores, and another reader wrote, “Affordable housing and spec office development.”

A handful of comments left by readers expressed that new developments were detracting from Greenville’s appeal. “Apartments currently under construction in downtown Greenville are going to result in horrible traffic problems,” one reader wrote. “Sadly, we are converting our jewel into a rotten egg.”

Another reader said the opposite: “We will see that the demand for downtown living will be strong, and adding residential rental apartments will be the smartest move (Greenville) made since the bridge. A walkable lifestyle will add to our diverse population and drive demand for all services. Thank you for having the foresight for bringing several apartments and hotels downtown.”

A couple comments called for more single-family housing. One reader said the Upstate needs “more construction for low-end single-family residences, such as starter homes for $110,000 or less.”

Still another reader stressed the importance of building infrastructure, saying “Greenville’s growth will depend on its roads.”

Here are more comments left by our readers. Comments have been edited only for style and typos.

The market determines the amount of new construction. Spec building is limited by the market as well.

Too many expensive downtown apartments. There is demand for more affordable apartments away from downtown.

Too much building. The quaintness of Greenville is being lost!

We need more affordable single-family housing.

People I talk to continually complain about the difficulty finding parking in downtown Greenville.

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