Rock Hill developers shelve 139 Main condo project

Posted August 6, 2013 2:00 pm | Filed under Downtown Renewal, Featured, Local News

FILE/Andrew Kiel

“It’s now on the the shelf.”

That’s how Rock Hill developer Skip Tuttle describes the work on razing the former Woolworth Building on East Main Street and turning it in to a 46-unit apartment complex.

After years of work stringing together public and private funds, the project’s leaders say the cost of building the complex is just too expensive.

Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation Chairman Greg Rutherford said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development contractors, who already charge a premium for for their services, have priced them out of the market.

In April, HUD approved a $4 million loan for the complex, while the Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation was planning on investing another $500,000 towards the development. $1.3 million was planned in private investment.

“We want to make sure all the i’s are dotted, the t’s are crossed and we feel good about things, ” former RHEDC Chairman Andy Shene said back  in April. “We have a very through underwriting process that we’ve been going through for several months and years.”

Today, Rutherford said, the project is on hold while new funding avenues are being sought.

“There is still opportunity in the form of housing of some type,” Rutherford said. “But it’s more likely to come with conventional financing.”

Either way, Rutherford said, the Woolworth Building is in bad shape, and rather than invest money into fixing the roof for it to be demolished at a later time, it will be demolished within six months.