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Developers plan to begin multi-billion-dollar Greenville project this summer

Krys Merryman //May 23, 2023//

Developers plan to begin multi-billion-dollar Greenville project this summer

Krys Merryman //May 23, 2023//

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A rendering shows the part of the project where developers plan to create a distillery. (Rendering/Provided by Dean Warhaft)The first phase of a long awaited $2 billion-$3.5 billion Greenville County development is expected to be underway this summer.

The Union Bleachery project, at 3335 Old Buncombe Road, will consist of luxury apartments, townhouses, affordable housing, restaurant and retail space, and commercial space, which equates to upward of 20 million square feet, according to project developer Dean Warhaft.

As one of the largest civil projects the county has dealt with, said Warhaft, the site sits on more than 250 acres and is currently going through the civil permitting process for the first phase of the project. He anticipates the issuance of land disturbance permits within the next two-to-three weeks.

The first phase of the development will include four acres of commercial space along South Carolina Highway 253 and the Swamp Rabbit Trail, said Warhaft. Tied to this phase will also be two residential communities — approximately 600 housing units — another commercial parcel that will include food and beverage opportunities, an entertainment parcel that will be activated along the trail, and another parcel that houses a historical structure that will be adaptively reused to become a distillery, he said.

As it stands today, the remnants of the 1901 Union Bleachery stand on a cleaned up Superfund site. (Photo/Provided by Dean Warhaft)This first phase will cost north of $150 million, he added.

Tapping into the robust growth of the life science industry, Warhaft sought out a partnership with SCBIO and the South Carolina Research Authority to attract wet labs and corporate offices to the site.

“Jobs in the commercial sector we think are an important holistic aspect to continue to grow the Sans Souci/Berea area,” Warhaft said.

Avison Young is the project’s real estate partner, McMillan Pazdan Smith is collaborating on the development as the architect on record, and 13th Floor Investments is the joint venture partner.

Environmental engineers with Kimley-Horn helped delist 150 acres of the site from the Environmental Protection Agency Superfund List and enter the 1903 site into the state’s brownfields program.

“As we are going through the process of redevelopment, there is a lot of different protocols we will be subject to both from the standpoint of what we already have been doing with EPA and DHEC and moving forward,” said Warhaft. “It has been a challenge, which is to be expected.”

Warhaft said after all is said and done, they anticipate moving dirt to get the project rolling this summer.

“The county admin and staff have continued to be extremely supportive in working through the complexities of a large-scale project like this and we wouldn’t be where we are at without them and their assistance,” said Warhaft.