Stephen Turner
Feb 19, 2018

Where Is The Next Big Thing In Knowledge Park?


With the opening the The Anderson apartments on Main Street and the first tenant (Atlas Copco) now occupying space in the Lowenstein Building, it's time to begin looking to the next major real estate projects in Knowledge Park. There may be a few projects that can move quickly, say within 1-2 years (next phases of the University Center development?) Other major development/redevelopment sites (Good Motors, The Herald) might require years of planning and preparation before development can begin.


All of these projects will need to demonstrate strong market support before they can move forward. Knowledge Park has had some initial success in attracting office uses (Fountain Park Place, Lowenstein Building), apartments (139 Main, The Anderson) and breweries (3 new breweries expected in 2018!). Other market segments like retail, restaurants, and owner-occupied residential units have not yet found strong traction. Developers have inquired about possible new uses in the Knowledge Park area including senior housing.


What market segments will drive the next real estate projects in Knowledge Park? To the extent that the demand in these market segments may be unproven, we need to find ways to assess the demand and communicate the opportunities to developers. To that end, the Economic and Urban Development Department is preparing to commission a custom market analysis for Knowledge Park. This analysis will help the community and developers to better understand this rapidly emerging market and to plan for successful new real estate investments. My guess is that we need continued housing and employment growth before the we're going to see significant new retail/restaurant growth. Where's the tipping point? Are we getting close? What are your thoughts as to the market segments that will drive the next wave of growth in Knowledge Park?

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.