GREENVILLE — After recent approval of the Marvel Drive relocation, Spectrum Health United Hospital has come forward with tentative plans for the soon-to-be former roadway.
During the June 8 Greenville Planning Commission meeting, United and Kelsey Hospital Controller Ryan Johnson brought forward a site plan showcasing what the hospital intends to pursue.
According to Johnson, the hospital is first pursuing a short-term plan, which could be anywhere from “five to seven years,” in which the current Marvel Drive from Oak Street to Judd Street would be redesigned from a city street into a parking lot featuring 46 linear parking spaces for employees.
Planning commissioners brought forth a few concerns, including adding an additional pedestrian accessway from the parking area to the hospital, as well as a proper indication as to what current trees will remain on site.
“A lot of mature trees will remain on both sides of the street,” Johnson said. “Where the (new) road is going to go, it’s probably going to take some of the trees out, but definitely, our intention is to leave a lot of trees there, everything there that can be maintained.”
Making the necessary alterations to the plan, Johnson will return for a public hearing June 22, at which time the Planning Commission could approve the plan.
Johnson also brought forth a long-term plan, which he described as being an option in “seven to 10-year,” in which the roadway and surrounding area is completely redeveloped to accommodate more parking.
“In that scenario, old Marvel Drive is gone, and we start to build up new anticipated parking,” Johnson said. “There would be a new exit (from the parking area) onto the new Marvel Drive.”
The long-term plan was not part of the consideration for the planning commission members, as Johnson said the hospital did not want to be locked into those plans at this time.
According to Greenville City Manager George Bosanic, the hospital will likely eventually be pursuing the creation of a “hospital zone,” which could change the dynamic of requests to the city.
“Coming up with a plan that would support a request for a hospital zone, that would take rezoning,” he said. “Then, you engage the neighborhood and receive comment from the public. It has to be a plan that you can all get behind and say ‘yes.’”
Planning Commission Chairman David Ralph said he approved of the plan, citing complaints from residents who have shared concerns about potential hospital parking expansion north of Oak Street.
“Neighbors are now starting to wonder, where does this end? How does this end? Is there a plan?” he said. “We’re looking forward to having a plan that we can share with them.”