From left: Rick Sumerel, president and CEO of Verdae Development; Bryson Thomason, president of Q10 Professional Mortgage Co.; and Marc Yavinsky, Menin’s executive vice president, speak at GSA Business’ Power Breakfast Thursday. (Photo/S. Kevin Greene)
By Liz Segrist
Published April 11, 2013
Long-awaited developments are coming to fruition in Greenville, and some developers are adding onto original plans with new hotels and mixed-use developments.
Verdae also is working to develop a three-story, mixed-use development with offices on the second and third floors, retail on the first floor and a rooftop deck, said Verdae Development Inc. President and COO Rick Sumerel.
More than 700 residential units are planned currently for downtown Greenville. Additionally, a local developer plans to build an Embassy Suites in downtown Greenville, said Bryson Thomason, president of Q10 Professional Mortgage Co.
“Greenville is no longer a secret. It’s hard to get them to Greenville, but once you get them here, it’s hard to get them to leave.”
— Bryson Thomason, president of Q10 Professional Mortgage Co., said of bringing capital to the Greenville market.
Menin is talking with three groups about potentially building a hotel at Magnolia Park, and it is attracting tenants from around the country to develop the site into a retail hub.
“It was not until recently that we got the traction we needed to develop,” said Marc Yavinsky, Menin’s executive vice president. “We’re excited to see the property mostly flat with no buildings on it because that means we’re really getting going.”
In Magnolia Park, Toys R Us and Babies R Us are both under construction, slated for a May opening. Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, Dave and Buster’s, Cabela’s and Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill all plan to be tenants as well, Yavinsky said.
“People from Greenville will currently travel to other cities to go to certain stores. I think it will be vice versa now,” Yavinsky said. “People will come here for stores and start filling up the hotels.”
The Magnolia Park locations of Costco, Rooms to Go, Bed Bath and Beyond and Old Navy, which have been there for several years, are all No. 1 sales sites in South Carolina for those retailers, Yavinsky said.
Cheddar’s Magnolia Park site, which is the only one in South Carolina, is No. 4 in sales out of its 122 locations nationwide, he said, and the Regal movie theater, which opened in 1997, has the highest grossest sales of all of the theater’s locations in the Carolinas.
As for the traffic congestion along Woodruff Road near Interstate 85, Yavinsky said there will be less retail on the site than when the Greenville Mall existed, and that the developments are designed for people to spend time in Magnolia Park, rather than for a quick stop.
The Verdae developments were originally announced in the 1980s as a boon to the area. Despite the hopes for immediate development, John D. Hollingsworth Jr., a landowner who amassed his fortune selling textile machinery, wasn’t looking to sell — and a very slow development process ensued, Sumerel said.
Construction began on the housing component in 2006 with plans for the retail components to follow suit, but the recession slowed some progress.
“We’re recession resilient, not recession proof,” Sumerel said.
The massive Verdae campus is now seeing continued development. One of the commercial components, Legacy Square, now houses Verdae Development Inc., N&H Enterprises, Holliday Dental and Verdae YMCA, which opened late last year.
Numerous housing and multifamily developments are included in the master plan, such as the Tapestry, a high-end, 240-unit apartment complex being built by Birmingham, Ala.-based Arlington Properties. It is set to open this spring.
Institutions are most willing to provide capital for multifamily developments, said Thomason of Q10 Professional Mortgage, which arranges debt capital and financing for commercial real estate development, specifically the office, retail, multifamily and industrial sectors.
“We’re charged with bringing capital to the market,” Thomason said. “Greenville is no longer a secret. It’s hard to get them to Greenville, but once you get them here, it’s hard to get them to leave.”