Knowledge Park plan: 1k new jobs, $134M in private investment

Posted March 3, 2014 12:45 pm | Filed under Downtown Renewal, Featured, Local News

DSC_3501Andrew Kiel |
The partners behind what may be the future Knowledge Park development plan in Rock Hill unveiled their mater plan for the city’s blighted textile corridor Monday.

Over the next six years, Sora Phelps, a New Jersey-based developer, plans to invest 134 million dollars in a tract of land between Dave Lyle Blvd. and Stewart Avenue along East White Street, building a mix of new town homes, office and retail space and a greenway.

In an eight-phase conceptual plan, the developer plans to tackle the 275,000 square-foot Lowenstein building first, a site once home to the Rock Hill Printing and Finishing Plant. The phase also includes building a temporary surface parking lot that would make way for a future 300-car parking garage.

Phase two calls for building student housing adjacent to Winthrop University, near Stewart Avenue and the Norfolk Southern railroad. Also planned — a 4,000 square-foot textile museum and additional utility upgrades to utility infrastructure and parking along Stewart Avenue.

Phase three includes additional student housing, coupled with retail space, a 90-unit senior housing complex, 400 additional parking spaces and the first leg of construction of new traffic circles and the future “greenway.”

Phase four includes converting the Bleachery’s former power plant into 18,500 square feet of new retail space, the construction of a 17,000 market building, a pedestrian plaza and park. Plans in this phase also call for new parking and building street access to the site from the traffic circle built in phase three.

Phase five calls for another 70 housing units — at either market rate or an extension of the existing senior housing. 60,000 square feet of office space is planned as is an additional parking structure to hold up to 275 vehicles.

Immediately behind the Lowenstein building, phase six includes 81 town homes and the second phase of the greenway and parking.

Phase seven  calls for building 60,000 square feet of office space, a 60-room inn affiliated with Winthrop University with additional retail space. Another 300-space parking garage is planned, as is a connector to Union Avenue.

Lastly, phase eight includes a 5,000 square foot artisan/craftsman incubator.

Developers say the plan will generate 2.8 million dollars in annual tax revenue by the time construction is complete in 2020, with an estimated 3.25 million in annual revenue coming by 2025.