Saluda Falls projects update

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By Stan Welch
Progress on the three pronged Saluda Falls development, being spearheaded by Upstate Investor, continues according to Richard Greer, lead man on the projects. The project seeks to develop and market properties at the prior mill sites along the river in Piedmont, Pelzer and Williamston.
Greer, speaking exclusively with The Journal, explained that even as the project develops, some changes in the nature of the various aspects are taking place. For example, the Piedmont phase, originally intended to be heavily residential, is moving towards a slightly more commercial approach. “We are working with two or three development companies, and their approach is slightly different. There is so much growth to the south of Greenville that we think providing retail and commercial opportunities to all those moving into the area will be more advantageous. We will still have a significant residential footprint on the site. It’s just a minor shift in our approach,” said Greer.
Other commercial endeavors adjacent to the site, such as the soon to be restored mercantile building, will reinforce that shift. At the same time, the Piedmont site will also offer great access and opportunities to kayakers and canoeists. ”The Saluda is an incredible resource for recreation, boating and fishing. Our company’s motto is ‘We ain’t the Reedy River’. The Saluda is a real river that you can get out on and enjoy, not a creek. And the Piedmont site will take full advantage of that.” The entire riverfront area will be open to the public.
A significant change in the Pelzer phase is the fact that the proposed on site micro brewery will not be Thomas Creek, as has long been rumored. “The Saluda Falls Brewery, an established and award winning brewery out of Saluda, N.C. will be occupying the lower mill site. We are very excited about their coming. As to the adjacent riverfront property, we are moving away from the idea of an amphitheater to a more open, versatile space. We would like to be able to accommodate up to fifteen hundred people at our various events, and that physical format allows for that more easily.”
Plans for a cottage village are proceeding for a twenty four acre tract above the Williamston dam, owned by ENEL, a company that still operates the hydroelectric power houses along the stretch of river in question. “Our goal is to create a stretch of river that will offer a variety of experiences, recreational, environmental, entertainment and social, and residential. There won’t be anything quite like the Saluda Falls at Piedmont, Pelzer and Williamston.”