The Knowledge Park will be the dynamic center of Rock Hill’s 21st century economy. Designed to be home to knowledge economy businesses and jobs, it is technologically advanced, yet rooted in the city’s rich history. Supported by a diverse community of learners, it offers an appealing urban lifestyle built upon a model of economic and environmental sustainability.
The development team is a joint venture between Sora Development, Inc. of Towson, Maryland and Phelps Development, Inc. of Greeley, Colorado. Sora Development has an extensive portfolio of real estate development activities, many of which are located in communities along the east coat with universities present. Phelps Development is an affiliate of Hensel-Phelps Construction, one of the largest construction firms in the nation. More information on Sora Development can be located at soradevelopment.com. More information on Phelps Development can be located at phelpsdevelopment.com.
New development is already underway at Fountain Park and Fountain Park Place where a 48,000 sq. ft. class A office building, parking garage, and public park/fountain amenities are being built. Family Trust Federal Credit Union will build a new $7 million headquarters building at White Street and Laurel Street beginning in Spring 2014.
Development at the former Bleachery site could begin at the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015 depending on a variety of factors including market conditions, tax credit procedures, and permitting requirements.
The redevelopment plan for Knowledge Park includes many different uses functioning together harmoniously. The uses may include student housing, active adult housing, apartment or condominium units, restaurant and retail spaces, public gathering and recreational land, office opportunities, educational space, parking and transportation facilities, and civic areas.
The Knowledge Park Leadership Group (KPLG) is a group of 16 private and 6 public leaders who have come together to guide the Knowledge Park development effort. The public-private sector leadership group will continue to guide and work cooperatively with the master developer and others to bring the Knowledge Park development goals to fruition. The KPLG will drive key initiatives forward including the installation of advanced technologies, business recruitment efforts, and a talent development initiative.
The City of Rock Hill’s investment in the project will largely come in the form of new infrastructure. Already underway is planning for and installation of new water lines, wastewater services, stormwater facilities, electric wiring and equipment, sidewalks, landscaping, and roads. Some of the more visible and large infrastructure improvements include a new water tank and electric substation.
It is estimated that just over 1,000 jobs could be created (not including construction activity) with full development of the master redevelopment plan for the former Bleachery property as presented.
It is estimated that up to $150 million could be invested at Knowledge Park with full development of the master redevelopment plan for the former Bleachery site as presented.
There will be changes and alterations to the redevelopment plan over time as required to accommodate market conditions, economic events, business opportunities, engineering requirements, etc. The plan presented should be viewed as an overall guide as to the type, density, and location of the development proposed.
Initially, development efforts will be focused on the former Bleachery property including the former Lowenstein Building, power plant, and water filter plant. Other development activity is already underway by Comporium Communications and partners at Old Town East and Fountain Park and by Family Trust Federal Credit Union at the intersection of West White Street and Laurel Street.
Redevelopment at the site of the former Woolworth Building remains a high priority for both Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation and the City of Rock Hill. Additional development opportunities exist throughout Knowledge Park at ten other sites. Sora Phelps Rock Hill LLC or other developers may develop projects at these sites as momentum is generated by the first few projects announced and/or underway.