New Courthouse Complex Waits For Federal Funds -

New Courthouse Complex Waits For Federal Funds

By Gordon Dill

From the top of a parking garage nearby, the "Gateway to Greenville' is like a walkway to wasteland.  The old Memorial Audiorium site across from the Bi Lo Center is still an empty hole in the ground.

Beyond it, with new growth on the skyline, is a section of city stalled by a federal process that is as complicated as it is slow.

"They only have authorization to acquire property and design," said Greenville Economic Development Director Nancy Whitworth. "They cannot build anything and we don't know how long that may be.  It could be years."

7 On Your Side asked Whitworth about the new Federal Courthouse project, long rumored and planned but still years away from construction.

Discussions about putting the courthouse at the auditorium site froze development there for years.  There were other proposals that followed for the multi-story complex before finally settling a block away from the current county court.

Meanwhile, other development opportunities were stuck.

"Until they were able to do that it kinda kept things open as to what could happen around it," Whitworth said.

The problem is layered in government bureaucracy.  One agency approved the site and approved a design but actual construction can't begin until congress passes a bill for the funds.

Despite already buying the property, Greenville is not at the top of the list for courthouse construction and nobody knows how long it will take to approve funds.


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