The Oklahoma-based convenience store chain QuikTrip bought the 0.31-acre corner lot that housed Mansour’s Liquors for $1.5 million, according to Greenville County property records. The property is the final piece of land needed for their new store at North Markley and Academy streets.
Construction should start in early January, said QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh.
“We’re ready to move forward with the project,” he said. The store should be open in early summer if the weather cooperates.
While obtaining the liquor store property wasn’t a do-or-die proposition for the controversial project, the Rev. Vardrey Fleming, West Greenville Community Association president, said it was an added benefit for the neighborhood. “Having a liquor store in a community is certainly not a good thing,” he said.
The project generated controversy when it was first proposed, with the West Greenville Community Association supporting the project because of QuikTrip’s history of hiring local residents and others saying the store was not the best use of a prime piece.
Opponents said the QT didn’t conform with the city’s comprehensive plan for a gateway to downtown, would create school safety and traffic issues, would result in the removal of historic trees and would harm views of the mountains from downtown Greenville.
But residents of the area said they were more concerned that more high-rise apartments would be built rather than the convenience store.
“One of the things we don’t want is unaffordable apartments,” said Fleming. “That’s the biggest negative for us, because it is literally changing the neighborhood.”
A divided City Council in February approved a zoning change necessary for the project to happen.
One of the arguments made against the QT development was a 2012 proposal by Spinx Company to build a neighborhood market and convenience store along Buncombe Street on the former Gene’s Restaurant property. The council voted against rezoning in that case.
Spinx, a locally owned convenience store chain and a QT competitor, demolished its store on Pendleton Street and is building a new one on that site. The store, less than a half-mile from the QT property, will include a community garden in partnership with the Feed & Seed organization. Village of West Greenville artists will design a sign on the property.