Haywood Road Development Put on Hold


Haywood Road development put on hold

Principle blames retail slowdown for decision to delay mixed-use project

Friday, March 7, 2008

By Rudolph Bell

A Charlotte developer says its planned 25-acre, mixed-use development off of Haywood Road is in a “holding pattern” because of a slowdown in the retail sector.

“As we all know, the market has been a little soft with everything going on,” said Ken Chapman, a partner in Merrifield Partners. “The retailers have pulled back a little. We want to do something nice there, and we don’t want to rush it. So we’re going to let it sit there a while and let everything come back to us.”

The 25 acres near Haywood Mall used to be part of the Fluor Corp. campus. The site runs along Old Airport Road between Woods Crossing Road and Timmons Drive.

Merrifield’s plans — approved by Greenville City Council in August — called for 211,000 square feet of retail space, 18,000 square feet of restaurant space and 26,000 square feet of office space. Also planned were a 110-room hotel and 300 residential units.

“We need the right tenants in there,” Chapman said. “Since the right ones aren’t expanding right now, we’ll just wait.”

Chapman said he may revise the plans to include more office space and less residential space if a company he’s talking with decides to locate at the site. He didn’t identify the company.

Chapman said his plans for the development, dubbed Crescent Place, so far have not been affected by tight credit markets stemming from the subprime mortgage crisis, though other developments he’s involved with have been.

“Lenders are requiring more guarantees. They’re requiring more pre-leasing,” Chapman said. “So yeah, that’s definitely a factor all across the country.”

But at Crescent Place, he said, “I think if the retailers were expanding and wanted to come today still, then we could find a way to finance it. It wouldn’t have been as easy as it would have been a year ago, but we’d still find a way.”

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