Officials with Verdae Development announced Tuesday a plan to redevelop more than 100 acres stretching between Laurens and Woodruff Road–radically changing the look and feel of one of Greenville’s oldest commercial corridors. This property is also included in the Verdae master plan. This mixed-use project is one of the city’s largest commercial enhancement projects in terms of acreage in years and will feature improved streetscape design, connectivity/walkability to a proposed trail connecting to downtown and provide more access between Hollingsworth Park and the surrounding shopping centers.
“Since the beginning, the vision of Verdae Development has been to create a unique and dynamic community for residents and visitors,” said Rick Sumerel, President & COO of Verdae Development. “This project follows that vision as it transforms—what has been seen as abandoned retail—into an example of what Greenville can look like.”
Speaking before a group of Greenville business and community leaders Tuesday, Sumerel highlighted some key features of the development. They include:
Project is estimated to bring $100 million in capital investment
30-acres of redeveloped future retail space
70-acres of future residential and public green space
Green space includes a new public park and a 1-mile section of a new trail system that will eventually connect Cleveland Park to CU-ICAR.
“Upstate Forever is partnering with Verdae on the trail portion of the project,” said Brad Wyche, the conservation group’s executive director.
Verdae and Upstate Forever—along with other County and City of Greenville entities—have been working for several months to create a plan for the new trail system.
“Upstate Forever promotes sustainable and smart growth for our region,” Wyche said. “As we’ve seen already with the Swamp Rabbit, trails and economic development go hand-in-hand. This will be another great example of that, and we applaud Verdae for stepping up to make it happen.”
As part of the development, two former retail buildings – a Sam’s Club and a Best Buy – will be demolished, Sumerel said. Bill Monroe of WGM is architect for the project. Monroe is also the master architect for the Verdae master plan. “Redevelopment along the Laurens Road corridor is exciting news,” said Knox White, mayor of Greenville. “The city has targeted the road for a rebirth for several years. It was once a strong retail corridor and this plan will revitalize the area and eventually connect the residential areas to more shopping and recreation activities. This is another piece of the larger Verdae Master Plan, and a critical one for Greenville. I congratulate Verdae Development and Hollingsworth Funds for their vision and continued partnership with the City.” The redevelopment plan, led by Verdae Development, will feature a major shift in the commercial design for Laurens Road as the project will have frontage directly on the road as opposed to recessed away from the road behind vast parking lots.
The new project is in the heart of Greenville’s famed “Motor Mile” of prominent cardealerships.
“This is great news for Laurens Road and the surrounding area,” said Jake Odum, President of Big O Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.
“This will restore the former glory and enhance existing properties along the Motor Mile.”
In 2005, the master plan was announced for Verdae, an 1,100-acre tract of prime real estate located in the city of Greenville. With planning and construction underway for the classically-styled community, Verdae will include a diverse collection of quality residential with various price points, a host of corporate and professional office buildings and suites, a retirement community, and a town center for retail, entertainment and more. A system of trails, parks, and other green spaces provide the necessary connectivity to promote a unique live-work-play experience for everyone.