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BridgeWay Station Celebrates Grand Opening

Apr 29, 2024 09:34AM ● By John C. Stevenson

(Officials, including South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, cut the ribbon to mark the opening of BridgeWay Station in Mauldin on April 27, 2024. Photo provided)

Hundreds of people flocked to Mauldin Saturday, April 27, to help kick off the official opening of BridgeWay Station, a mixed-use community that developer Phil Hughes predicted will become a thriving destination for Upstate residents.

Curious onlookers were treated to entertainment including a stunt-dog show, live music and, as the sun set, fireworks.

BridgeWay Station comprises retail shops, apartments, restaurants, green spaces, free parking, and more, all nestled in a newly constructed village that reflects the vibe of old Europe, but with easy access to nearby Interstate 385.

“This is the real beginning of what we hope will be a surely unique, surely beautiful, and wonderfully attractive new town center,” said Hughes, founder and president of Greenville-based developer Hughes Investments Inc., shortly before a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Hughes, whose company and family have long histories of developing projects in the Upstate, said BridgeWay Station showcases much of what his company has learned through its decades of work in downtown Greenville.

“We learned that people love walkability, they love the food and beverage (businesses), they love the wonderful shops, they love a vibrant, active community,” he said. “We’re trying to give them all that, and in addition, have it closer to their homes, closer to more people, with easier access without congestion, and free parking.

“So, it’s trying to bridge two worlds and bring them together; hence, one of the reasons we picked the name ‘BridgeWay,’” he added.

On hand for the grand-opening festivities Saturday were Commadore and Tarnesha McCrary, who moved to Greenville and a BridgeWay Station apartment some eight months ago. The couple echoed many of Hughes’ hopes for the development.

“I think this is an outstanding way to build a community, to bring a community together, especially when it’s (located) between Fountain Inn and downtown,” Commadore McCrary said. “This way you don’t have to go far, you can stay right in your local community. Basically, it’s the best of both worlds.”

Tarnesha McCrary said she came upon BridgeWay Station through the internet: “I like ‘new,’ so I googled ‘new apartments in Simpsonville,’ and this came up,” she explained. “It talked about the content and what is to come, and I said, ‘this would be great.’ If we’ve got to do apartment life, we might as well do it in style!”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured several Upstate political leaders, including Mauldin Mayor Terry Merritt, Greenville County Council Chairman Dan Tripp, state Rep. Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville), state Sen. Ross Turner (R-Greenville), and Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette.

Evette lauded the project as an example of how government and businesses can work together.

“This is an amazing project,” she said. “This is what a public-private partnership is supposed to look like. South Carolina is the fastest-growing state in the country, and it’s because of what we can build together. … BridgeWay has brought a little piece of Europe to us.”

In a lighter moment, Merritt touched on BridgeWay Station’s location, which has a Simpsonville address: “Yes, BridgeWay Station may have a Simpsonville address,” he said, “but it’s in Mauldin.”

Merritt went on to describe the development as a “game-changer” for the city.

“Mauldin has always been a place you would drive through on the way to someplace else,” he noted. “This is a shift from a bedroom community to a destination. I see people shopping, playing games. I see parents pushing kids in strollers. It’s got City Market, which is South Carolina’s largest food hall. It’s not just a development, it’s an experience.”

Rhonda Lindsey, a Mauldin resident who lives only a few minutes from BridgeWay Station and who attended Saturday’s grand-opening ceremonies, said she has watched and visited the development several times, out of curiosity.

“I love it,” she exclaimed. “It’s got the architecture, the vibe – it’s got a lot of different things.”

While work continues at BridgeWay Station, a wide variety of businesses are already open, including several dining options; BridgeWay Brewing Co.; The Junkyard, a fitness center; Le Chic Nails Lounge; and The Worx, a coworking space.

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