By Stan Welch
Planned development of riverfront property along the Saluda River corridor now includes Piedmont, Pelzer and Williamston.
When contacted by The Journal for confirmation of reports, State Investors confirmed their recent purchase of the old J.P. Stevens plant in Piedmont. The purchase gives the company properties in or near all three area towns located along the river in what some call the Saluda Valley.
Richard Greer, speaking on behalf of the development company, told The Journal this week that all the properties owned by the company will be included in an overall project that will be known as Saluda Falls.
The Piedmont segment will be largely residential, with apartments in the old mill building, and with walking trails and green space. Greer pointed out that the topography of the site allows excellent river views to a large number of the proposed residence. “We are developing a site plan that may even include small single residency cottages. There are still lots of details to work our, and lots of possibilities.”
There will be a place to put in kayaks and canoes as well as to take them out. We have no wish to put anything larger than a john boat or something comparable on the water,” Greer said. “The Saluda Blueway corridor is an essential element of this plan, and we want to take advantage of the fact that this isn’t the Reedy River. We have three active dams in a very short stretch of river course.”
“I doubt you would find three dams in such a short run anywhere else in the Southeast. And the beauty of it is the beauty of it. We have trees and forest land and vistas. Nature is the point of all this, not high rise parking garages and five story apartment buildings everywhere,” Greer said.
The Pelzer segment of the Saluda Falls project will be largely commercial and retail, with plans in the works for the lower mill site in particular. The upper site holds more promise for light industrial and commercial use, while the lower dam area in Williamston also appears best suited for residential use.
“We want people to realize what an attractive part of the Upstate this is, and how relatively unspoiled and uncrowded it is,” Greer said. “As jobs continue to grow in this area, and wages continue to rise, the area’s appeal to young families and couples is soaring. The schools are excellent and there are sizable tracts of land still available for residential construction. There is a great opportunity for these areas to redefine their future and begin building that future now.”
State Investors is already involved in development efforts for the Pelzer Mills properties and is planning a project further down the river that will involve property near Williamston.
Greer promises additional announcements of projects and developments in the future.
By Stan Welch