An abandoned golf course may become a hotspot for Upstate hikers and wildlife alike.
The former Millstone Golf Course, comprised of 200 acres along Highway 123 and four miles from downtown Greenville, has been purchased and permanently protected by the Ethos Project, a land development company from Orlando, Fla.
The company, which focuses on sustainable development, has established a conservation easement on 185 acres to protect the property’s various natural resources, which includes 1,500 feet of frontage along the Saluda River.
“Animals will need more places to live as Greenville continues to grow,” said Hank Didier, founder of the Ethos Project. “We believe the property will flourish under the conservation easement and become a wildlife destination.”
But the property, also known as River West, could also become a hub for outdoor recreation. “The land sat for over a decade,” said Didier. “There are existing structures from the golf course that would make for a great outdoor experience.”
According to the National Golf Foundation, 643 golf courses in the United States closed from 2006 to 2013. Millstone Golf Course was one of them. The property now has more than 100 acres of unused creeks, ponds, waterfalls, and more than five miles of golf cart paths.
Ethos is considering donating some land to the City of Greenville or Greenville County for a public park and trail system. “We’re currently putting together a map of possible wildlife trails,” said Didier. “It would be a beautiful park with views of Table Rock State Park and the surrounding mountains.”
The company has also retained 15 acres of residential lots for future development.
Ethos planned to construct 1,400 homes on the property before establishing an easement. The property, which was listed for more than $5 million, was approved for 172,500 square feet of commercial units. “The property is best suited for single family and multifamily residential development,” said Didier.
He said the sliver of land could hold at least 30 homes, which would offer solar panels and other “environmentally conscious” options to owners.
“The Ethos approach utilizes architecturally significant design emphasizing a smart use of green space rather than maximum density development, effective water management, solar and other energy efficiency options,” according to the company’s website.
The company’s plans for the property, including the park, are preliminary and subject to change, according to Didier. “It’s going to be at least 3 to 5 years before anything is done with the property,” he said. “A lot can happen during that time.”
For more information, visit ethosprojects.com.