Planning under way for new 500-acre mixed-use community

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A global real estate and investment firm could bring hundreds of new homes and commercial growth to southern Spartanburg County.

Walton South Carolina LLC, an affiliate of Canada-based Walton Group of Companies, has purchased about 500 acres near Southport and Old Canaan roads near Cedar Springs.

The $3 million purchase, Walton’s first property acquisition in the Upstate, includes three undeveloped tracts near the Steris plant formerly owned by the Creal Family Limited Partnership.

About 57 acres of the property lie within the city limits, with the remaining land in the county, according to public records.

Anthony Sparrow, general manager of Walton’s Tennessee and Carolinas division, said the company is developing a master plan for the property, which it has named Southport Village.

“During the past 10 years, we have purchased about 100,000 acres across the U.S.,” Sparrow said. “We focus on growth corridors. … We are in the beginning stages of planning for the property. We like the area and see a lot of potential for growth.”

Sparrow said the company has had its eye on the Upstate since it acquired its first property in Charlotte, N.C., almost two years ago.

He said job and income growth and the availability of affordable land are factors that make the region attractive for residential and commercial development.

Earlier this month, the company told Builder magazine it anticipates a mixed-use plan for Southport Village that could include 860 single-family units, 300 multifamily units, and 22 acres for commercial use.

The property would feature amenities such as recreation areas, parks, and open space, the company said.

Walton touted the property’s proximity to Interstates 26 and 85 and to major employers, such as BMW Manufacturing Co. and Michelin North America.

“Spartanburg not only provides Southport Village with a low cost of living and ideal mild year-round temperatures, it also offers superior connectivity and one of the state’s most business-friendly environments,” said Edward R. Fleming, president of Walton Development and Management’s East Region, in a statement. “The advantageous location of our property will most certainly benefit from the flourishing development in the area.”

Speaking on behalf of the Creal Family Limited Partnership, Butch Genoble, a local real estate developer, said he believes the development will have a positive impact on Spartanburg.

Genoble said it could help extend the city and county’s growth to outlying communities in the southern part of the county, including Pacolet and Pauline.

“I think it’s a great deal for Spartanburg,” he said.

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