“It’s time to modernize City Hall.”
That’s what Greenville Mayor Knox White said in response to the current City Hall — which has been home to the city’s offices for the past five decades — being sold for redevelopment, according to a news release.
The Greenville City Council granted City Manager John McDonough approval to move forward with the purchase sale agreement of City Hall, 206 S. Main St., with M. Peters Group for $12.5 million, the release said.
Council also authorized McDonough to move forward with the purchase of two floors at 55 Camperdown Way. When finalized, the deal would move Greenville City Council Chambers and multiple city departments to the building on the edge of the Reedy River in Falls Park.
The exterior of the building at 206 S. Main would be elevated and significant interior renovations to be completed. There is a catch with the deal: The city reserves the right to retain ownership of the first five floors of the building, in the event a deal cannot be finalized for 55 Camperdown Way, according to the release.
“The city of Greenville has made a multi-year commitment to upgrade facilities, so we can provide better service to our citizens,” said White in the release. “We have rebuilt fire stations at Augusta Road and Verdae Boulevard, constructed a state-of-the-art Public Works facility on Fairforest Way and are remodeling a building at the corner of Halton and Mall Connect Road to serve as a new police station, municipal court, fire administration and one-stop service center for business licenses and building permits.”
NAI Earle Furman and the city issued requests for proposals for 206 S. Main in July 2022 and received four responses. NAI Earle Furman reviewed the top-ranked submissions and recommended the proposal submitted by M. Peters Group. The cost to retain the first five floors of the current city hall building and perform extensive renovation would cost just under $16 million; by comparison, purchase and renovation at 55 Camperdown would cost $14.3 million. Projected revenue generated by staying at 206 South Main is more than $100,000 per year over 20 years, compared with $168,000 per year at Camperdown.
McDonough told council members other advantages of a move to 55 Camperdown Way are a shorter construction period — one year there versus three years to stay on Main; having city employees on two floors rather than split among five for more efficient communication and collaboration; room for growth; and an open floor plan.
In both buildings, city council chambers would be moved to the first floor to allow citizens easier access to public meetings and a larger waiting area. City departments remaining in a downtown location would be the mayor’s and city manager’s offices, city attorney, economic development, communications and engagement, parks, and recreation and tourism. All other city departments would move to Halton Road in 2024.