SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Officials in Spartanburg unveiled what will be the new design for Morgan Square.
The design was shown during a Spartanburg City Council meeting Monday afternoon.
The design for the square has been in the works for over a year. City officials said a lot of the changes come from public feedback. There are still many steps to go, but the square is one step closer to having a different look.
“West Main will remain closed and Dunbar Street will be closed. The idea will be to brick those over and bring them up to the same level as the rest of Morgan Square,” said Chris George, with the city.
Plans for Morgan Square include a visitor kiosk with public restrooms, outdoor dining areas, a water feature, and space for festivals and performances.
“It’s a great milestone in the project that we want to share with you tonight, but it is a milestone. The design will continue, we have a lot of work to continue to do to work through the details, to make this the right fit,” said Darren Meyer, Principal for MKSK, the design firm.
“We know that not everybody will like every detail but we think we have a workable design for the future,” said Halsey Cook, CEO of Milliken and Company and chairman of the Morgan Square Redevelopment Committee.
Meyer presented the proposed plan which was made with multiple rounds of public input and meetings involving the Morgan Square Redevelopment Committee.
The group unveiled three potential designs for the square in April and since then have had multiple meetings with the community to get down to one design concept.
Drivers would still be able to drive between Magnolia Street and Spring Street through the western part of the square.
West Main Street through Morgan Square has been closed to vehicle traffic since May 2020. It was originally closed to accommodate outdoor seating for restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic.
City council voted to keep it closed while plans were made for the future of the square.
Handicap parking has already been moved adjacent to the square, but a few spots in front of the Starbucks will be taken away.
“I think that’s a total of 5 spaces we will be losing around the square, but we won’t be losing another parking, and we won’t be losing any handicap spaces either,” said George.
Some council members brought up concerns at Monday’s meeting about not having enough greenspace and the water feature being a potential safety concern.
Committee leaders said changes are still on the horizon for the layout.
“We wanted to make this square more inviting, more accessible, more welcoming, easy to get through, easy to move through, easy to understand, safe, legible,” said Meyer.
The goal is for the square to continue to be a place where people can gather.
“The pedestrian area of the square is going to grow substantially from the way folks will be able to see it, anyway, because the road space is going to become pedestrian space,” said George.
Next steps for the project include discussions about costs and funding for the project before work begins.
Designers said they will also continue to work with businesses and other stakeholders to make sure they are part of the process.