With WestLINK, Clemson grad launches live/work building concept in Greenville
Asterisk Development LLC, a real estate development company founded in 2009 by Bobby Barreto out of his Clemson University dorm room.
A live/work building concept for entrepreneurs located in downtown Greenville, the West End or Village of West Greenville. The building will have 30 apartments on the top two floors and a retail space, 36 offices and collaboration and conference room spaces on the bottom two floors.
Who They Are
Barreto has a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Clemson. To date, his company has completed an apartment complex project in Clemson and 60,000 square feet of single and multifamily development projects. Barreto also has a silent partner assisting with the WestLINK project.
What They Want
Private investors for first round of funding to acquire 0.5 to 2 acres of land needed for the building. Land cost is estimated at $500,000 to $1 million. Total project cost is estimated at $5 million to $10 million.
Bobby Barreto at 864-561-4031 or firstname.lastname@example.org
While a freshman at Clemson studying management, entrepreneurship and economics, Bobby Barreto decided he wanted to try something different from the typical part-time college job of waiting tables or working fast food. After watching an HGTV show that featured people flipping houses, he decided to start his own real estate development company.
That was in 2009. Today, Barreto is a young, enthusiastic go-getter armed with a B.A. from Clemson and a newly minted MBA in Entrepreneurship & Innovation from Clemson as well. His company, Asterisk Development, has completed an apartment complex project in Clemson along with several other projects.
His latest venture is called WestLINK, a live/work building concept for entrepreneurs. Barreto said he got the idea a few years ago and “fine-tuned the details” while he was in Clemson’s MBA entrepreneurial program. While he envisions a collaborative space similar to the Iron Yard or OpenWorks concept for entrepreneurs and startup businesses, he says the live/work combination is completely unique.
Roughly 30 studio to two-bedroom apartments will occupy the top two floors, while private offices, lounge and reception areas, conference rooms, and possibly a coffee shop or cafe will dominate the bottom two floors. Barreto hopes to attract a mixture of businesses and entrepreneurs, but sees the concept appealing to small businesses with four or fewer employees.
“It’s really to replace entrepreneurs working out of a spare bedroom,” he says.
Apartments and offices will be leased together to “encourage a community of people who live and work in the same building.”
Barreto says many entrepreneurs choose to run their businesses out of their homes because it is convenient and cost-effective, but soon learn they are constantly fighting off distractions and unable to easily collaborate with other creative thinkers. Other entrepreneurs may opt to rent a desk or office space in a co-work building, but then have to commute as well as pay for that space. WestLINK will provide a cost-effective solution while allowing entrepreneurs to not sacrifice convenience or cost savings, he said.
The risk to potential investors is fairly low, he says, because should the project fail, (which he isn’t anticipating), owning land in downtown Greenville is a pretty good investment in itself.
He hopes to break ground on WestLINK in the next three to six months with a mid-2016 completion date for the entire project.
“This is something that no one else has – not Charlotte, not Atlanta, not New York, not Silicon Valley,” Barreto said. “It’s edgy and is a place worth living at for young entrepreneurs. This will put Greenville at the forefront of mixed-use urban development.”