Stephen Turner
Mar 15, 2018

In the pipeline: University Center and Fountain Park



The Development Action Team met on March 13 at the offices of Cimplx in Fountain Park Place. Two speakers shared information about existing real estate projects in Knowledge Park. Skip Tuttle shared current and future development plans for the University Center site. In addition to the Lowenstein Building (office space), the Sports Center and a Cambria hotel, the team learned about plans for a second hotel, retail and restaurant uses, student housing, apartments, active adult condominiums or apartments, and additional office space. Streets, sidewalks, utilities and other public infrastructure on the site are currently under construction and will be completed by this summer. The image below shows the current construction.



It is expected that the University Center site will be fully built out within 5 years. There is little that the Action Team can do, or needs to do, at this time to push this project ahead.


Matt Dosch shared plans for new development surrounding Fountain Park. The next project is expected to be a new office building facing Main Street, perhaps slightly larger than Fountain Park Place (48,000 square feet). Pre-leasing for this new building (to include one or more ground floor restaurants) could begin in 2018, with actual construction dependent on reaching certain pre-leasing targets. A hotel is still planned for Fountain Park. It is the desire that the Fountain Park hotel will be the premier lodging in Rock Hill. The expectation is that it will take several years for the market to mature and reach a point where a hotel of this caliber is feasible. Patience everyone! Additional office space, retail and restaurants are planned along Elizabeth Lane (see image below). The capstone to the Fountain Park project will be a new performing arts center on Black Street. Hey, Placemaking and Tourism Action Teams: we're expecting to hear some recommendations from you regarding the performing arts center!


A number of members of the Development Action Team commented that they were surprised by the scope of these projects.


New Posts
  • Rock Hill Econ Dev
    Jun 19

    Checkout to see what's coming! Try the interactive 3D map that showcases several development sites in the Knowledge Park area. Click on the blinking plus signs to see concept art and renderings of future development plans for that site.
  • Stephen Turner
    May 21, 2018

    The Development Action Team has now reviewed eight of ten development opportunities in Knowledge Park (see earlier post showing map of development opportunities). Following the review and discussion of each development opportunity, the team completes a survey designed to prioritize each project based on factors like: 1) How important is the particular development project to the overall success of Knowledge Park? 2) Are the necessary ingredients in place for the project to be successful (i.e. are there environmental issues? Is the property in the ownership/control of a motivated owner/developer? Is there a clear plan? etc.) 3) Can significant development progress be achieved within the next 5 years? (Remember, this is an ACTION plan!) 4) Is it likely that this project will happen without assistance from the City or RHEDC? (If so, that's great. However, we want to focus the community's attention on high value projects that need some extra support to become successful.) This survey process has resulted in the following rankings thus far: 1. Towncenter sites (City-owned land at the corners of Main/Dave Lyle and White/Dave Lyle) 2. (Tie) Good Motors site and The Herald site 4. Fountain Park area 5. University Center 6. West Main-West Black corridors 7. Oakland Avenue 8. Saluda/Johnston Streets These rankings may not reflect the final recommendations of the Development Action Team. They do provide a snapshot of the projects that the Team found compelling. It's interesting that a number the highly ranked opportunities have not previously been included in conversations about important economic development priorities in Rock Hill. Change is coming!
  • Rock Hill Econ Dev
    Apr 12, 2018

    The Development Action Team is reviewing development opportunities within 10 different sites in the Knowledge Park area.  The goal is to position the Knowledge Park area for continued development/redevelopment by focusing planning and attention in areas that may be difficult for private developers to attack without some assistance.  A map of these targeted areas is below. The Development Action Team will prioritize these development areas by looking at factors like: The potential for new investment and the importance of that new investment to the success of Knowledge Park (are the opportunities obvious and clearly supportive of current Knowledge Park projects and investments?) How quickly new investment could be realized within the area (sooner is better) Whether private developers would be likely to make future investments in the area without support from the City or RHEDC (we place a higher priority on areas where conditions are not ripe for developers to invest immediately) Some areas, like University Center and Fountain Park, have clear development plans, committed developers, initial successes and strong momentum for future growth.  Other areas, like The Herald site, the West Main/West Black corridors, and the Saluda/Johnston area, are not well understood, do not have development plans and have no interest at present from developers.  How do we strike an appropriate balance between supporting the success of current projects and beginning the challenge of spreading that success to nearby sites?  Stay tuned: the Development Action Team clearly has some hard decisions to make.