Plans rekindled for Cliffs village at Mountain Park

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A local builder and his partners plan to finish a village with housing, offices and shops that was first announced a decade ago as part of The Cliffs at Mountain Park development along Highway 11 in northern Greenville County.

Steve Hamblen, president of Fairview Builders in Travelers Rest, said he and three partners recently bought 18.1 acres at the site and intend to build 10 luxury homes, a 30- to 40-unit senior living facility, an undetermined amount of office and retail space, and a bed and breakfast with associated bungalows.

Plans for a village on the property go back to 2006, when Jim Anthony, founder of the seven Cliffs luxury real estate communities in the Upstate and western North Carolina, announced the Mountain Park development.

Anthony later lost control of key properties during the Great Recession, including the village site. A bank and then an individual investor owned the 18.1 acres before Hamblen and partners bought it recently for a sum he declined to disclose.

“We’re essentially building out the original plan,” Hamblen said. His company has designed and built custom homes at Cliffs communities for more than a decade.

Already in operation at the village site are a dentist office, family medical practice, condo complex, Cliffs sales office and the headquarters of Gabriel Builders, which also builds custom homes in Cliffs communities.

The Cliffs plans to open a “wellness center” in January in the same building where its sales office is located.

The Gary Player Group, which designed the Mountain Park golf course, operated an office at the village site for years before relocating it to downtown Greenville. The Cliffs corporate headquarters is directly across Highway 11 from the village site.

Hamblen said the 10 patio homes will be constructed along a lake and offer panoramic views of the Mountain Park golf course. They’ll vary in size from 1,800 square feet to 3,000 square feet and cost in the range of $550,000 to $850,000, he said.

Buyers will be eligible for a Mountain Park club membership and, though that, have access to amenities at all seven Cliffs communities.

Hamblen said he’ll begin building the houses in January and that he wouldn’t be surprised to see them all sold by summer.

The new subdivision will be located a mile from U.S. 25, which leads directly to downtown Greenville, he noted.

“Our goal with The Village at Mountain Park is to offer a smart, convenient, suburban lifestyle destination within a short distance to downtown Greenville,” Hamblen said.

He said he’s talking to potential commercial tenants who might open a boutique grocery, veterinary office and physical therapy office in a part of the village called Market Square.

“And we haven’t reached out to anybody,” Hamblen said. “These are just people who called up.”

The plans to finish the village come as property sales at Cliffs communities continue to recover from the effects of the Great Recession.

Kent Smith, chief executive of Cliffs Land Partners, said his team generated a little more than $100 million in sales this year. That’s a post-recession peak and up from $68 million last year, he said.

Smith said 845 homes have been completed at the three Cliffs communities along Highway 11 — Cliffs at Mountain Park, Cliffs at Glassy and Cliffs Valley — and 150 homes are under construction across all seven Cliffs communities.

The plan to build out the village is good news for Mountain Park property owners, Smith said.

Hamblen and partners are “moving forward with what a lot of people anticipated having at their disposal when they acquired property here,” he said.

Top: Photo by The Cliffs Communities/Steven McBride

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