article featuring The Elements of Greenville was written by
Richard Breen on October 29, 2007 for GSABUSINESS.
Infill development poses opportunities, challenges
Nick Gilley has gone through three redesigns of the
condominium development he has planned for Mohawk Drive in
A few blocks away, condos at The Edge on North Main
are nearing completion more than two years after the original
It’s not easy doing residential development
on pockets of available land in mature neighborhoods. Known
as infill development, such projects must deal with unwelcoming
terrain – and
sometimes equally unwelcoming neighbors.
it to Gilley, however.
“We wanted to find an infill site,” he says. “Cities
work best when they grow from the inside.”
As the Upstate continues to draw newcomers, the real estate
market is responding in several ways. Rural land is being
converted to subdivisions. Downtown properties are being
redeveloped into high-end condos. Profit-seeking remodelers
are buying residences in mature, intown neighborhoods.
there are the vacant parcels in areas such as Greenville’s
North Main neighborhood. More and more of those sites are
being developed to take advantage of existing infrastructure
and the neighborhood’s proximity to downtown.
Rice of Coldwell Banker Caine refers to infill as "overlooked
a challenge to build on."
Coldwell Banker Caine is marketing Gilley’s development,
called The Elements.
The three-acre project consists of 19
units in a mix of 1-2 story and 2-3 bedroom models. It is
being positioned as an environmentally sensitive development
built to EarthCraft and Energy Star standards.
The city of
Greenville has proposed a bike trail along Richland Creek
that The Elements will link to. Greenville City Council member
Diane Smock says infill development is not surprising in
that part of town, where annexation is difficult and "a
lot of the low-hanging fruit has been plucked."
city has expressed an interest in creating affordable housing
Meanwhile, escalating land values make it a business necessity
to develop either high-end or multi-family projects. As condos
and townhouses are proposed in and around single-family-home
neighborhoods, Smock says the community will "have
to face the 'D' question – density."
"It's a tough one," she says. "I
hope, instead of clashing, there’s mutual respect and
Gilley is part of TRV Development Inc., which will serve
as builder-developer. His father, Jerry, "has done
a few thousand houses around the Southeast," he says.
brought the younger Gilley to Greenville three years ago,
and he and his wife "just fell in love with the city
completely." He then began looking for a potential development
site, which brought him to Mohawk Drive, which sits on the
edge of the North Main community near Wade Hampton Boulevard.
needed to get some density on that site to make the project
work for us," Gilley says.
TRV proposed a 40-unit development, which met with pushback
from neighbors. The site has long been undeveloped and runs
down to Richland Creek, a Reedy River tributary.
the developers met with neighborhood leaders and tried to
address their concerns.
"Nick and his dad, their forte
is infill development," he says. "They want to
be a part of the community and blend in rather than just
ramming something down their throats."
Gilley says a certain
amount of density was needed to keep the units affordable.
cut back buildings to save trees," he says.
Trees were also
on the mind of Hogan Properties' Sean Hogan in developing
The Edge, which consists of 50 units carved into 6.2 acres
along an embankment across from Rotary Park.
have a lot of room and were trying to save as many trees
as possible," he says.
Thirty-five of the units sold at an
April 2005 auction, but "unanticipated design delays" impacted
"Infill construction is very meticulous work," Hogan
vertical construction is way ahead of schedule."
not outside the norm if you look at some of the other projects
It, too, is an Energy Star development. Including resales,
there are approximately 20 units for sale at The Edge. Agent
Jill Gabler of ERA Upstate lists units ranging in size from
1,230 – 1,815 square feet at prices from
$254,900 – $384,800.
Move-ins are expected to start Jan. 5.
Gilley expects to spend
the next 90 days conducting site work for The Elements before
"By maybe June of next year we
should be giving away some keys," he says.
There are 10 units for sale in the first
phase, ranging in size from 1,050-1,371 square feet at prices
from $169,995 – $248,151.
definitely targeted toward young professionals – first-time
homebuyers," Gilley says.
TRV will use porous concrete at
The Elements to limit runoff and is offering 10-foot x 10-foot
garden plots to residents.
EarthCraft House is a green building program created by the
Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association that reduces pollution.
Star is a federal program that promotes energy-efficient
design and products.