Kyle Baugh, PLA, Kimley-Horn
Upon completion of the award-winning community master plan for the City of Greer in South Carolina and the broader region, the city engaged landscape architecture firm Kimley-Horn once more to further advance the design of the historic downtown focus area, Greer Station. The downtown streetscape design was comprised of seven total downtown streets and encompassed 10 city, rail-adjacent, and historic city blocks, including the extensive overhaul of Greer Station's main retail corridor, Trade Street. Kimley-Horn's scope of work included design for the streetscape, landscape, structural, and electrical elements. In addition to the design components, Kimley-Horn led a community engagement strategy that welcomed the downtown businesses into the visioning process, allowing them to help shape a plan for the revitalized project area. Kimley-Horn's visioning process with the city and Greer Station merchants focused on addressing concerns and identifying opportunities that ultimately would provide a more vibrant urban core. The key focus of the visioning process was to enhance the pedestrian experience. The downtown had become overly car centric and was even found to have two traffic signals along Trade Street that did not carry enough traffic to warrant their existence. The conditions only accentuated the focus on the automobile, providing no additional safety to the pedestrians. The commercial downtown district was established in 1873 as a flag station along the Atlanta Charlotte Airline Railroad and was a thriving mill community in the early 20th century but had fallen into disrepair in recent years. The heartbeat of the urban core needed new life. The need to focus on the pedestrian vision for Trade Street became clear early on. A pedestrian-first and active environment would create synergy to the downtown core and act as a catalyst for the city's future growth.
Kyle Baugh, PLA, ASLA, led all facets of the design, from visioning, through construction, and ultimately to the formal ribbon cutting ceremony in July 2020. Kyle and his team collaborated with local civil engineering firm CoTransCo to help ensure the design was carried through holistically and in partnership with the engineering components, given the extensive infrastructure changes throughout the downtown as a part of the overall revitalization. The design included enhanced wayfinding, custom lighting, structural cell and expanded soil volume accommodations, street trees and raised planters, overhead canopy lighting, hardscape and landscape enhancements, and decorative custom intersection treatments. From the development of the construction documents to the completion of the streetscape project, Kimley-Horn, CoTransCo, and Sossamon Construction worked hand-in-hand with the City of Greer to establish a strong working relationship and deliver an incredibly complex streetscape project on time and within budget. The team worked through a number of construction-related obstacles to provide a state-of-the-art downtown that will serve as the heartbeat of Greer Station for the next 100 years.