The Greenville County Council has approved on second reading an ordinance that would create a nonprofit public facilities corporation to oversee the redevelopment of County Square.
Developers RocaPoint Partners/The Georgetown Company, architects Foster + Partners and Wakefield Beasley & Associates, and commercial real estate firm KDS Commercial Properties have been chosen for the billion-dollar transformation of the nearly 38-acre county government office site that was once home to Furman University and Bell Tower shopping mall.
The ordinance, which received no discussion at Tuesday’s County Council meeting and must pass one more vote by Council, directed county representatives to negotiate the terms and sets up the University Ridge Public Facilities Corporation to “accept, buy, sell, own, hold, lease, develop, operate, mortgage, insure, pledge, assign, transfer, or otherwise receive or dispose of real and personal property in conjunction with the redevelopment.”
RocaPoint will acquire or sell most of the county-owned property on University Ridge in return for building a $60 million multistory county office building in the most visible corner of the property, Church Street and University Ridge, county officials have said. London-based Foster + Partners, the firm that has designed the new Apple headquarters, is the architect. Initial renderings show the new county facility as a transparent glass-and-steel building that would serve as a gateway to the rest of the development.
The redeveloped County Square is expected to have 3 million square feet of new Class A office, retail, hotel, residential, and public space. While it is expected to generate annual business revenues of more than $560 million once completed, county officials say the development will be fluid, with the market driving the exact mix of uses while maintaining the character and components in RocaPoint’s proposal.
After the agreement receives final approval, work will begin on the design of the county building and a master plan for the entire site. It will take up to 18 months before construction of the county building begins. The new county building has to be built and county operations moved before the development of the rest of the site can begin.
It could take up to 10 years to develop the entire site.
County officials said the project could result in 7,700 construction jobs and 5,500 jobs after development is complete.
The redevelopment is expected to generate $22.5 million in annual tax revenue for the city and the county.
A final reading of the ordinance is May 15.