Greenville City Council gives final approval to controversial “Woven” project in tight vote

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 10:55 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - In another tight vote and a meeting longer than 3 hours, Greenville City Council gave final approval on a controversial housing project for West Greenville.

We’ve been following the “Woven” project since August. That’s when the mixed-use project first reached the city council. At the start it was 254 units and after months of modifications it was knocked down to 214 units.

Before he vote, around 23 people spoke either in favor or against the project at Monday night’s meeting. Despite West Greenville residents’ persistent opposition, it wasn’t enough to sway one more council member to vote their way.

Although both sides of the argument prioritized the 43 affordable units the project will offer. Residents and three council members expressed the same concern over the size and scale of Woven that they have since the start. They were concerned it would ruin the quaint character of West Greenville and contribute to gentrification.

Councilman Ken Gibson a motion to remove the story facing Pendleton Street down from 5 stories to four. While also making it three stories on the side facing the neighborhood, and the entire building on Traction Street three stories instead of four. He felt it would have helped better the transition from the Village of West Greenville’s two-story buildings. Gibson’s recommendation would have cut the project down to 179 units. Gibson’s amendment was not approved.

Mayor Knox White passionately insisted that the only way affordable housing could be achieved was with density.

“Every time we talk about affordable housing it’s always ‘oh not in my backyard, not here, it’s too big. No no, it’s too big,’ yes, it’s always a little bit too big that’s the only way you can do it. People in Charlotte would understand this argument, people in Atlanta would understand this argument, people in New York City and Brooklyn. It’s the same argument, same argument. With affordable housing it goes back to but how passionately do you feel about this. People have to have a place to live” said Mayor White during the meeting.

So, once again in a 4-3 vote–only Gibson, Flemming and Dowe voting against the project—it passed. The developer said construction will start sometime this year.

A requirement council added for the developer is to get West Greenville community’s input on the design of the park that will be at the rear of the apartment. And also ensure that the below-market rate retail spaces actually go to business owners who qualify and need it.

For West Greenville residents, this was a vote of people versus development. They said even though they had hoped for a different outcome--this is the result they expected.

Final project details: The project will be on Traction Street, Pendleton Street, and Smith Street. 214 apartment units total, 43 of those affordable units. 30,000 square feet of commercial space (retail, restaurant, artist studios), and approximately 420 space parking garage.

To see renderings and read more about the project, click here.

Previous Coverage:

“Woven” West Greenville project moves forward in tight city council vote

What’s next for “Woven,” many still not on board with West Greenville proposal

West Greenville apartment development on pause, residents continue fight against it

Debate over “Woven” project continues, developers show residents new changes

West Greenville residents continue pushback against “Woven,” council vote moves project a step back

Despite development alterations, Greenville city planning still has concerns with “Woven”

City planning commission approves “Woven” project, residents still worry about the size

Greenville City Council takes no action on “Woven,” will come back in January