New development will attract retailers
- Retail space within core shopping centers tightens toward full capacity.
- Unity Park will increase retail demand as the housing around the park is completed.
Plans for Unity Park
The 60 acres of Greenville lowland including the Mayberry and Meadowbrook Parks, will now be transformed into a unifying community park for everyone to enjoy. The official park address will be 40 Mayberry Street and, according to Greenville Parks and Recreation, will span from the A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering on the southeastern edge to the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks. This $40 million project will be funded by the city borrowing $20 million from the hospitality tax fund, selling 50 acres of land surrounding the park to be converted into affordable housing bordering the park and contributions from the private sector. According to Greenville Parks and Recreation, the vast park will include many features such as:
- Observation tower - The city plans to include a 120 foot, 10 story lighted observation tower which will offer a unique vantage point to view the Blue Ridge Mountains and the city of Greenville. Once completed, it will also be used for park fundraising efforts.
- Pedestrian bridge - A pedestrian bridge will connect various park areas and cross over the Reedy River.
- Gathering spot- An open green area gathering spot will be used for concerts and special events.
- Sprayground - A concrete area with spraying water jets will be available to entertain children and cool down visitors.
- Natural feature play area/ playground - A world-class playground and natural play and exploration area will promote active and healthy activities for children.
- Wetlands boardwalks - Boardwalks will allow visitors to observe previously hidden wetlands areas.
Unity Park is a positive change for Greenville expanding the live-work-play environment along the Reedy River northwards. As the residential density increases, more retail will be drawn to the area. Two warehouses are being privately developed in order to house a public market and businesses compatible with the park. Residents of the planned apartments along the park outskirts will be able to bike to downtown along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, shop within the park retail areas and enjoy recreational park activities.
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