Davis & Floyd has enjoyed working with the City of Greenwood on several South Carolina Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funded streetscape projects, including Riley, Magnolia, West Court, Oak, and Maxwell Avenues and Main Street. These projects have increased pedestrian traffic and created an aesthetically unified Uptown Greenwood through consistent use of materials in sidewalks, crosswalks, decorative light poles, and urban tolerant landscaping. These improvements have had a very positive impact on stimulating economic development throughout the Uptown.
For East Court Avenue, the latest streetscape project, we have completed the design and permitting phase and started construction. This streetscape also focuses on making the pedestrian experience safer and more enjoyable. East Court Avenue will have new paver accented sidewalks and handicap ramps, which will allow easier access and mobility. Along the south side of the avenue, landscape “bumpout” planters will be added to create a physical buffer between automobile and pedestrian traffic. These planters also will provide additional shade and visual appeal. We selected plant material that matches the surrounding areas of Uptown Greenwood. Additional lighting and a security camera will promote safety for nighttime activities.
These streetscape projects have faced a unique set of challenges due to the use of US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding. The funds were acquired through the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s CDBG program. According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s website, “The program addresses a variety of community and economic development needs in areas of the state that do not receive CDBG funds directly from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).”
Our Davis & Floyd team has been involved in all stages of the grant process for these streetscapes, starting with the original application process, which involves producing a conceptual design and construction budget that serves as the basis for the grant amount. Once awarded, our design team develops construction documents including drawings, details, and specifications. During the development, items in the design need to be identified and quantified as either eligible or ineligible for the grant. The CDBG has strict regulations that govern what these funds can pay for within a project. These same items also need to be tracked during the construction phase and separated out from matching funds to make sure all payments and materials are accounted for and used within the requirements of the CDBG.
These projects and grants have been vital to the development of Uptown Greenwood. Our Davis & Floyd team, while working with the City of Greenwood, has developed a successful strategy for procuring and implementing these grants and projects.