During the their meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council heard a presentation on a proposed restaurant brewery and approved first reading on a contract for a residential development. If either of both of the projects come to fruition, they could be the spark for development the town has been looking for.
Developer/consultant Richard Greer and Chris Paulson of Craft Beer Partners LLC, presented information on their interest in developing the old water treatment plant property into a brewery/restaurant. Greer, who has worked on several development projects in Piedmont, Pelzer and Williamston, said they are looking for opportunity. He said the attitude in Williamston is the right kind of attitude to do business in and that investors like.
He said the water treatment plant offers an opportunity for a brewery/restaurant “in a very unique way.”
He said that Paulson is looking for a place to open a “unique business that people would travel to”.
He said they have run into “red flags” at other potential locations.
Paulson said he has looked at five different locations over the last three years, including Greenville, Mauldin, Piedmont and Pelzer. Each time they ran into “red flags”.
Paulson said the water plant building looked rough but the location, in downtown area has advantages including being near the creek and walking trail and being walkable. During the presentation he said the property also offers the opportunity to grow vegetables that could be used in the restaurant. He said the craft beer and farm to table concept is very appealing and that the facility offers a unique opportunity to do that.
Greer said they were making the presentaton to see if the town would be interested in supporting the proposed project. Greer said if the town is ok with it, they will do a Phase 1 environmental study on the property to make sure there are no problems and then move forward.
The presentation was for information only and no action was taken by Council.
Another proposed development received first reading approval. Council approved an agreement with Scout Development, LLC. to provide property in exchange for residential development.
Scout Development is planning to construct a sixty unit housing project on a tract of land owned by the town which is located between First Street and Mahaffey Street. The property is comprised of 32.74 acres and was purchased from Milliken in 2012.
Under the agreement, Scout Realty will be required to provide an Engineered Site Plan to the town planning commission and town council and the development is to be completed by Oct. 1, 2023. If not completed, any undeveloped portion of the property will revert back to the town unless the agreement is extended by both parties.
Councilman Rockey Burgess said he had talked with several local developers who had told him it “looks like a good deal for the city.”
Mayor Durham said the town is encouraging quality residential development. “We are all excited about new rooftops in Williamston,” he said.
Durham said the project will be discussed further in an upcoming worksession.