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Grocery could be coming to West Fifth Street

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Greenville's Redevelopment Commission is turning over the property above in west Greenville to the city for possible development of a grocery store, laundry and offices.

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Shannon Keith
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Greenville’s Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday took the first step in a west Greenville project that could bring an oasis to an area classified as a food desert.

The commission unanimously approved a request to convey ownership of an empty lot at 907 W. Fifth St. to the City of Greenville so the city can combine it with three adjacent lots west of Vance Street.

The city has been working with the Koinonia Christian Center Community Development Corporation to place a small full-service grocery, a laundry and office space on the four lots, city planner Tom Wisemiller told the Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday.

“The city’s Community Development staff has been working with the CDC to acquire this property and noticed that one of the parcels is owned by the Redevelopment Commission,” Wisemiller said. “The city wants to combine this into one parcel so we can take it before the City Council.”

Wisemiller said the project would satisfy several goals of the city’s West Greenville Redevelopment Plan, including providing jobs and access to food in the area.

“This area of Greenville was designated by the USDA as a ‘food desert,’” Wisemiller said. “This project would help residents with access to healthy food and will help in revitalization efforts in the area.”

Wisemiller said the CDC is committed to moving this project forward on an expedited basis and has indicated that it will not seek any cash incentives from the city. 

Veronica Grice, the CDC’s business director, said the Koinonia Christian Center, now located at 1405 S.W. Greenville Blvd., “grew up” in west Greenville and was looking for a project in the area.

“The church wanted to remain a major part of the community,” Grice said. “This property gives us a chance to come back to west Greenville and have a positive impact.”

Grice said the location of the property was “perfect.”

“Its location of Fifth Street is perfect for this type of development,” she said. “It will help provide jobs and is in walking distance to so many residents.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Grice said.

Redevelopment Commission member Pat Dunn agreed.

“This will be a welcome addition to Fifth Street,” Dunn said. “I can’t think of a better use for this property.”

The commission acquired the property in 2012 as part of ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the area. It ceded the property to the city for $1.

Now that the property has been conveyed to the city, staff can negotiate a development agreement for the entire property and bring it before the City Council for approval.

Greenville’s Community Development Director Ben Griffiths said staff hopes to have an agreement ready to go before the City Council by June.

“We are really excited about the possibility of this project in west Greenville,” Griffiths said. “This really fits into Greenville’s redevelopment plans.”

The City Council could decide to transfer the property to the CDC on the condition that it satisfies the conditions of the development agreement. 

Contact Shannon Keith at skeith@reflector.com or at 252-329-9579.

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