Greenville City Council members have given initial approval to the sale of eight-tenths of an acre of land on West Washington Street for a planned mixed-use development of affordable housing, offices, and green space.
City officials said Washington West could become a model for affordable housing developments on other city-owned property.
Washington West will have 16 residential units — one market rate and the rest either affordable or workforce housing — as well as market-rate and affordable office space. The development is unique because it does not include any federal funding.
The development has been in the works for two years.
“It’s been a long process,” said developer Trey Cole, who is working on the project with architect Pat Dilger. “We’re ready to get started, believe me.”
According to a development agreement, the city will sell five parcels it has owned since the early 2000s to Crescent Village at Washington West LLC for $123,325. The city will use the proceeds to widen Antley Street and for other infrastructure improvements in connection with the project as well as to provide down payment assistance to buyers purchasing or renting residential or commercial units in the development.
The development agreement states the affordable units must remain so for at least 20 years.
The market-rate units will help subsidize the affordable units, Cole has said.
The affordable office space will provide a space for low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs and neighborhood businesses just getting off the ground, Cole has said.
The city owns some of the most valuable and developable land in Greenville — about 25 acres along the edges to a couple of blocks away from the planned Unity Park. The city plans to use that land for new affordable housing to counter rising property values and housing costs around the park and in the surrounding neighborhoods near downtown.
A 2016 study identified a shortage of more than 2,500 affordable housing units in the city limits. A study by the same company last year found a shortage of more than 9,000 affordable housing units in the county.
Cole said that further design and architectural work remains to be done and no construction start date has been set.
Final approval of the agreement is expected Feb. 25.