What is Camperdown? A tremendous amount has been written about this mega project. Why? It is simply grand. If cities need people who think big, these developers have risen to the task.
Where is it? The Camperdown development sits at the corner of South Main and Broad streets in downtown Greenville. It is the site of the former Camperdown Mill with 200 years of grist and cotton mill history. Before the final structure caught fire, these mills sat next to Reedy River Falls and harnessed the energy from the river. More recently, it was the site of The Greenville News building.
A noteworthy page out of Mayor Knox White’s urban redevelopment playbook is to always have something unique, like a surprise, around every corner. This project has that tenfold. A music stage under construction behind one of two dessert eateries sits in the center of the public plaza. A person walking down Main Street can climb the stairs across from the Peace Center to listen to the music or enter at the street level from Broad Street.
What is DECA? The DECA Camperdown building is named for the 10-story structure. An estimated 75 of the 216 apartments have been leased. The Greenville News has leased the Broad Street portion. A rooftop clubhouse and pool are visible from the other buildings. Folks have begun to move in, and you can see balcony gardens blooming from the street. These new residents make up the growing number — estimated at 3,500 — who call the central business district home.
How is the hotel construction progressing? The corner spot at Broad and Main is the AC Hotel by Marriott. There are several retail and restaurant spaces under construction, and the walkway along Main Street is underway. The hotel will also manage and program the public space and the music stage mentioned above.
What is Falls Tower? The large Falls Tower is the 17-story office, retail and residential building that housed a crane for many months. Eleven top-floor condominiums have been purchased, and seven remain open for sale. Each condominium has 200 square feet of outdoor balcony space.
What is the timing? Recently, I toured the site with the project’s master developer, Centennial American Properties. Director of leasing Rebecca Gault and I climbed the 17 floors and stopped at every floor noting the views. One can see great views of downtown rooftops, church steeples, former mill smokestacks, planes heading toward the downtown airport and a remarkable urban tree canopy. (In fact, Centennial American Properties’ website has a virtual 360-degree tour you can take on each floor.) Several large headquarters are underway in the building and estimated to come online at the end of 2020.
Who will be in Falls Tower? In addition to retail and restaurants, Bank of America and CBRE offices all are underway on various floors. The multifloor tenant Elliott Davis has a center grand staircase within its several floors. Spaces Falls Tower on the seventh floor offers a “flexible workspace” business, which may be great timing given the change in working from home. If folks from New England are transitioning to work from home, why not come to a place with better tax rates and a milder climate?
What about the public space? I buried the lede. The true win for everyone will be the plaza and the expanded trail and park space along the east side of Falls Park. The east gateway will add a dozen acres to Falls Park. A meandering trail is underway along Japanese Dogwood Lane connecting the Bohemian Hotel plaza to the Peace Center amphitheater. While the Greenville city skyline evolves, so does green space — which is good for public health.
Amy Ryberg Doyle served for 12 years on Greenville City Council. She is married and has four children. An outdoors enthusiast, she likes to bike, swim and run, but not all in that order. She power-naps daily.