Q&A…Taft Matney

Taft Matney

From time to time, I get questions, and sometimes, I have answers. I figure if someone has asked it, at least one other someone else has thought of it, so it made sense to bring them here. Think of this as “Dear Abby” but for questions about the City of Mauldin.

“What’s up with the Swamp Rabbit Trail? Is it ever coming to Mauldin?”

We’re working on it, and we hope so.

The “we hope so” part comes from the fact that a few years ago, Mauldin City Council approved funding for a study about how to bring the Swamp Rabbit Trail (SRT) to and through Mauldin. A few routes were identified, including one that could bring it into the city center village area and go down East Butler Road toward Bridges Road. Of course, it’s also dependent on the extension of the SRT down Laurens Road through CU-ICAR and to Mauldin’s City limits, and that’s a lager issue controlled by Greenville County and the City of Greenville.

The “we’re working on it” part is nearly complete, but there hasn’t been a lot of fanfare about it yet. Laurens Electric Cooperative deeded the City of Mauldin a property easement across the street from Mauldin High School (Go Mavs!). On that easement, the city is constructing a trailhead section that will begin at East Butler and go through the property to drop off at what will be the entryway for the new pedestrian bridge that will cross I-385 and to BridgeWay Station. That trailhead and pedestrian bridge solves the problem of how to get the SRT across I-385.

“So you have BridgeWay Station and City Center Village being developed. Do you worry that they’ll compete against each other?”

No. In fact, I think they’ll complement each other. While each area will be designed to be a mixed-use (residential, retail, dining, entertainment, office) attraction, they will have different looks and feels.

So far, it’s been announced that the 6.5 acres along Jenkins Court will be developed into a 25,000 square ft entertainment venue with live music, a food hall with multiple restaurants, recreational options, and a number of townhomes. Also recently announced was that the former Family Dollar (Eckerd/Rite Aid) will be redeveloped into Maverick Station, including fast-casual restaurant Sully’s Steamers, two office suites, and a full-service restaurant on the front end that also includes space for outdoor dining.

Right now, Drew Parker of The Parker Group (who is developing these two pieces) expects Maverick Station to open in the first quarter of 2022 and that the Jenkins Court entertainment project will open soon after.

The city center village area will be developed in phases and hopefully provide additional opportunities for local developers to share in Mauldin’s vision for that area.

On the other side of town, BridgeWay Station will be the first town center development in South Carolina. Essentially, it’s designed as a city within a city. In addition to the surrounding condominiums and office space previously developed by Hughes Investments, Phase I of development will include:

• 68,939 square feet of retail
• 210,824 square feet of residential
• Approximately 73,000 square feet of office
• Approximately 81,000 square feet of institutional development
• 24,691 square feet of plaza and pavilion public space; and,
• 5+ acres of parks connected to the Swamp Rabbit Trail

As Even Smith recently wrote in the Greenville Journal, “The first phase of the project, which comes with a price tag of more than $150 million, is just the start. ‘Hundreds of millions are anticipated in future phases,’ Hughes said.”

Dirt is moving now, so expect to see Phase 1 of BridgeWay Station out of the ground in two years.

I recently met with Mr. Hughes and his team for a project update, and while I can’t say much due to confidentiality, there is exciting progress in terms of potential and committed retail, restaurant, and entertainment tenants.

The two developments will offer different shopping, dining, working, recreation, and residential attractions, but with their connectivity along East Butler Road, Mauldin residents and visitors will have a number of options to choose from.

I hope this helps answer a couple of questions. If there are other questions you have and would like to have them answered here, please feel drop me an email.

Taft Matney serves in Seat 1 on Mauldin city Council. He can be reached at■

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