Greenville Retail Market Overview



Greenville’s retail market is expected to continue on the upswing as its stabilized housing market attracts residents, thus enticing developers to move forward with plans to build new retail centers. “Housing will continue to be priced realistically because the city has not seen the rampant speculation many other markets have experienced,” says Brian Reed, a research manager at Greenville-based Grubb & Ellis The Furman Co. “Also, the growing Greenville MSA, which recently eclipsed 1 million, will pique the interests of national and high-end retailers.” Last year, the city experienced more than $1 billion in retail sales. “Greenville is not one of the markets where you are going to see extreme highs and lows,” says Paul Aiesi, chief investment officer of Greenville-based TIC Properties. “It’s a stick market. A lot of [national] markets have seen 5 or 6 percent growth. We’ve seen 2 or 3 percent.”

New to downtown Greenville, McBee Station is a 14-acre urban mixed-use development featuring 80,000 square feet of retail and residences. The project, which opened in the second quarter of last year, created an opportunity to lease high-end space on Main Street in Greenville’s central business district and reintroduced national retailers to the downtown area. McBee Station’s tenants include Publix, Staples, Urban Nirvana Spa & Salon and Great Clips.

Also in the downtown area, TIC Properties is planning a mixed-use development on 2 acres at the intersection of Main and Washington streets. “This project is on the last major site on Main Street in downtown Greenville,” says Aiesi. “It’s known as the ‘Main on Main.’ We have successfully assembled a property that is the best location in the city to build a first class mixed-use project.” Currently in the preliminary planning phase, the project is projected to deliver in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Royal Palm Beach-based Menin Development acquired the Greenville Mall on Woodruff Rd., which had fallen out of favor due to consumer disinterest. A mixed-use lifestyle center, Magnolia Park Town Center, has been proposed in its place, which will include elements of retail, office and high-density residential development. The property’s tenants include Costco, Sports Authority, Old Navy and a Regal Cinemas theatre.

In nearby Spartanburg, The Avenue Easton Market Center is being developed by Centennial American Properties near Hillcrest Mall. Construction is expected to start this year on 500,000 square feet of retail space, in addition to 308 apartments and 140 single-family homes. The project is expected to open in the second half of 2009.

West of Greenville, a joint venture by Easley Commons Retail Associates and Commercial Development Associates will build Easley Town Center, a 125-acre development in the northeast quadrant intersection of Calhoun Memorial Highway and Prince Perry Road in Easley. The project will feature more than 500,000 square feet of retail, inclusive of two unnamed anchors measuring 200,000 and 70,000 square feet, respectively. Two additional phases are being planned for future development. The project is located on the former site of the Saco Lowell Plant, and involves a public-private partnership that will bring approximately $14 million in improvements to the infrastructure of corridors surrounding the project. Construction is slated to begin in early March and deliver in the second quarter of 2009.

Along Clemson Blvd. in Anderson, Realtylink is planning Midtowne Park, a 175,000-square-foot center that began construction in February and is expected to complete in the fall. Signed tenants include a 90,000-square-foot Kohl’s, Staples and a 50,000-square-foot sporting goods store.

Greenville also welcomed Costco to the area, with two new 150,000-square-foot stores on Woodruff Rd. in Greenville and the Westgate area of Spartanburg. Bi-Lo completed several renovations and opened two Super Bi-Lo concept grocery stores.

According to Reed, retailers will be closely monitoring national trends and consumer spending to determine the validity of long-term commitments in Greenville County, which is the most populous county in the state. Investor appetites are strong across the board, and many developers are betting on the city’s amiable retail climate to support future projects.

— Jia Gayles

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