Mixed-use plan underway on Hwy. 160 West

More apartments, retail coming to Fort Mill Township

Jonathan AllenJune 4, 2008 

Within the next two years, 288 apartments and 110,605 square feet of retail and office space will rise out of the clay on Hwy. 160 West near Harris Teeter.

Initially conceived as a 32-acre apartment complex under the existing zoning on the property, Rock Hill-based developer ELA sought and won approval of a planned development district zoning for the project that now allows for retail and office space. The York County Council approved third reading of the zoning switch on Monday, May 19, according to County Planner Steve Allen.

"It's going to be mostly retail and restaurants with office space planned for the upstairs in the front buildings," ELA General Manager Bob Timmons said.

The "front buildings" will face Hwy. 160 West across from Baxter Village and will comprise 60,105 square feet for office and retail use. Another section of the development located behind the front buildings will house office suites downstairs and condos on the upper floors and will cover another 29,250 square feet. The other section of commercial space in the development will be comprised of as many as three 3- to 5-story office buildings covering 21,250 square feet.

The apartment buildings will be located towards the back of the property.

The plan also includes approximately 4.5 acres of open space.

The county also required ELA to widen proposed interior roadways and include "stub outs" to adjacent properties to facilitate interconnectedness with whatever is eventually developed on either side of the project, Timmons said.

"They wanted us to cut down on the curb cuts to avoid another Cherry Road," he said, of the development's entrance along the already-busy Hwy 160 West.

Despite a Hwy. 160 corridor study performed by the county more than a year ago that concluded there should not be any more property along the highway rezoned commercial because of the higher traffic volume that commercial developments attract, county planners agreed with the plan, according to Allen.

"We felt with the mix of uses they were proposing, it wouldn't have made much difference in the traffic impact versus having it all multifamily," Allen said. "As for the 160 study, it's what we want to see because the trips' impact is negligible."

He added that the developer's proposed plan met the spirit of the 2025 Comprehensive Land Use plan even if it didn't meet the letter of it.

Grading work is currently underway. Timmons estimates the roads will be installed by the end of August. The first buildings will start going up by the end of this year. He projects total build-out to take up to 24 months. The estimated cost of the development is $55 million to $60 million.

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