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170 apartment-style homes planned for Abner Creek community

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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Redwood Acquisitions is proposing to build 170-175 two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments with a privately attached garage for two vehicles. A resident manager and maintenance staff will live onsite.
 

Redwood Living, Inc.

Redwood Acquisitions is proposing to build 170-175 two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments with a privately attached garage for two vehicles. A resident manager and maintenance staff will live onsite.

 

A community of 170-175 single-family apartment-style homes was given City Planning Commission’s approval Monday on 44.6-acres at Foxfield Way and Chandler Road.

The commission also approved rezoning the development as a Design Review District (DRD). “I like that better because if there are any changes to the design we can have them (Redwood Living, Inc.) back here to answer for it,” Brian Martin, commissioner, said.

The commissioners voted unanimously, 5-0, absent two commissioners – Chris Harrison and Clay Jones – who previously resigned.

Scott Gillespie, of Redwood Acquisitions, facing a dozen residents from nearby Abner Creek communities, explained the unique concept in a presentation that appeared to win over many of the skeptics. It will be the first complex in Greer featuring two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments with a privately attached garage for two vehicles and entry.

“Our average occupancy is (98) percent and the term of their stay is (4.6) years,” Gillespie said. “Our average demographic is 52-years old. We appeal to the young professionals and older clientele – mobile, older and empty nesters.”

Amenities Gillespie described include two ponds, sidewalks meandering through landscaped areas, and more than 50 percent green space. “The number one amenity our research tells us is that people want is walking paths,” Gillespie said.

All streets are private, driveways are wide enough for two vehicles, and the houses will be built to meet the American Disabilities Act standards. “I think that is very unusual for a developer to do that,” commissioner Don Foster said.

“It is a very, very appropriate fit,” said Gillespie. “We sell peace, quiet and comfort.”

Rent ranges from $1,200-$1,500 for homes having between 1,100-1,500 square feet. Some models, Gillespie said, may offer 1,800 square feet. A resident manager and maintenance staff will also live onsite, according to Gillespie.

Redwood, headquartered in Beachwood, Ohio, was formally a property management company before it became involved in building communities. Redwood has built 4,500 apartment homes in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.

Gillespie said another apartment-style community is planned for Greenville, two more in the Upstate are in stages of discussion and Charlotte and Asheville are also communities attracting interest. “We’ve been on a growth spurt,” he said.

Nearby property owners protested, mostly for the narrow and busy Abner Creek Road that will be the entry/outlet for traffic.

Commission Chairman Morris Burton advised property owners City Council was the forum to voice their concerns about roads. He suggested a three-minute limit per person for comments.

“My basic concern is the traffic on Abner Creek Road,” Mike Abel, Briar Creek Homeowners Association President, said.

Marcia Bender, who has spoken against other developments because of concerns on the virtually single-lane Abner Creek Road near her home, challenged the city’s posting of the planning commission meeting. “The fifth of June, signage was posted. It was posted on (your) website on the 12th and when I call the city the calls go to an answering (line),” Bender said. City staff in attendance did not comment.

Lisa Sims, who lives on Abner Creek Road, said, “I’m concerned what 300-400 more people will bring. You’re selling peace and comfort but it’s unsettling to us.”

A request from the GSP Airport Environs Commission has yet to be received with Redwood asking permission to place the two fountains in the back of the property. A traffic study has not been completed.

City Council will give the recommendation two readings with the first expected June 24 at 6:30 p.m.

 

 

 

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