Mar
08

Easley Gets to Work on Town Center Redevelopment Project

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Easley gets to work on Town Center redevelopment project

March 8, 2008

By Julie Howle
STAFF WRITER
jhowle@greenvillenews.com

EASLEY — Rain couldn’t dampen the spirits at a groundbreaking Friday for the Easley Town Center, a project set to redevelop the former Saco Lowell site, which has sat vacant for years.

“I think it’s probably one of the biggest days as far as economic development that this area’s had in a long time,” Easley Mayor Larry Bagwell said.

He was one of many community leaders who gathered to celebrate the rebirth of the plant, once a home for manufacturing textile equipment that is now planned to be a new retail center.

Officials broke ground, gold shovels in hand, and the crowd then watched as a section of the old plant was ripped down, bricks tumbling to the ground.

“We’re very, very happy to see this day get here,” Bagwell said. “I think it’s going to be tremendous as far as opening up other economic values out through here.”

The groundbreaking kicked off construction, which is expected to be finished in March 2009, said David Scarnati, director of development for Cedarwood Development Inc.

Wal-Mart is going to be a major anchor for the center, Scarnati said, but he said they aren’t naming any of the other stores yet.

He said there would be at least 20 to 25 stores and an expected 500,000 square feet of retail space.

“This truly is a large-scale development,” Scarnati said. “I think it’s going to have a great, positive impact. It’s going to create a new corridor into Pickens County.”

State Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens, said the project will bring road improvements and said the taxes paid by the center’s tenants will help improve the landscape as a gateway into Pickens County.

Easley Town Center will also create 900 jobs in addition to the local construction labor that will be used.

Scarnati said there are more than 120 acres on the site and about 80 acres will be developed in the first phase. Two additional phases are expected later.

When the project is complete it will mean an about $82 million investment, he said.

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