Spartanburg Methodist College (SMC) on Monday, Oct. 16, announced it plans to open an off-site location in downtown Spartanburg.
The college said it has signed a lease on a 2,000-square-foot space in the historic Aug W. Smith Building at 174 E. Main St.
Greenville-based developer Blue Wall Real Estate is investing $10.5 million to redevelop the 91-year-old building with two retail spaces on the ground floor and apartments above.
In September, Spill the Beans, an coffee shop and creamery owned by Greenville entrepreneurs Abram and Heather Curtis, announced it will move into the adjacent 2,500-square-foot retail space.
SMC President Scott Cochran said this will be the school’s only off-site facility. It will provide the college with flexible office and event space, and give SMC something it needs – a presence in downtown.
“Downtown is really important to Spartanburg,” Cochran said. “We want to be active and visible in the community. And, for us, this is a great way to do that.”
Cochran said no for-credit classes will be offered at the space. The space will be open to students, in particular, those participating in entrepreneurial programs.
SMC will host a variety of community outreach events, such as executive education classes, and camps for children and senior adults.
“We have an entrepreneurial spirit here,” Cochran said. “So we’re asking the public, ‘What would you like to see here?’”
Cochran said the college is working with a team from Spartanburg-based McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture to come up with a final design for the space.
He said it will have an open, industrial feel that will be enhanced by the glass accordion doors that will be installed on the building’s façade.
Cochran said sidewalk in front of the space will likely feature outdoor seating, which he said will most likely match that of Spill the Beans in order to maintain continuity.
The space will have a small kitchen area for catered affairs, as well as an art studio for local artist and SMC professor Kris Neely.
In the spring, the college will hold its “prospective and admitted” students event in the space, Cochran said. SMC previously had to rent out Indigo Hall for the event.
“We’re excited to have SMC occupying that second space,” said Bogue Wallin, principal of Blue Wall Real Estate, in a statement. “The college has a long history of serving the Spartanburg community, and SMC’s plans felt very compatible with our goal to make sure Aug Smith on Main is part of the civic and cultural life of Spartanburg.”
Andrew Babb with NAI Earle Furman represented both Blue Wall and SMC in the signing of the lease agreement.