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The Business Narrative: Housing Priority

May 31, 2024 06:28AM ● By Donna Walker

The Sullivan: Greenville’s Biggest Affordable Housing Effort In Years Opens Its Doors

Community, business and government officials and leaders gathered May 30, 2024, to unveil The Sullivan, a 180-unit, five building complex that marks Greenville, South Carolina’s latest effort to create more affordable housing.

 

Housing at The Sullivan includes floor plans with one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom options ranging from 900 to 1,600 square feet, and are reserved for households making below 60 percent of the area median income, which is approximately $53,000.

 

It is the largest affordable housing project built in Greenville in more than a decade.

 

The Sullivan is the combined effort of two Upstate organizations that specialize in multifamily affordable housing: Schaumber Development and Douglas Development. Greenville-based NHE is the property manager.

 

Located on 40 acres at 6001 Jacks Lookout Road in the fast-growing Berea community, The Sullivan features a resident clubhouse with coffee bar, business center, onsite laundry facilities and a fitness center that overlooks a pool with sundeck, playground and covered picnic and grilling area, as well as an outdoor pet area.

 

Free Wi-Fi internet access will be available to residents in common areas around the clubhouse. 

 

The developers are working with Greenville-based Leadwell 360, LLC, to offer a community social services program at The Sullivan.

 

“Just one of the unique characteristics of the Sullivan is its on-site community services program,” said Lorain Crowl, programs consultant and owner of Leadwell 360, LLC.

“The program is not only designed to assess the needs of the residents and help connect them to community resources like household essentials, financial empowerment classes, job training, and childcare, but to also create events that bring the community together.”

 

The project was financed through investment from RBC Capital Markets, JPMorgan Chase, Stifel, Prudential and CommunityWorks, as well as 4 percent bonds and low-income housing tax credits administered by the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority.

 

Progress Carolina served as general contractor on the community with Progress Design as the architects.

 

“The Sullivan is such an amazing project because this is meeting one of Greenville’s most desperate needs,” said Taylor Davis, NHE’s president and CEO. “This is housing for people who are working and serving as the backbone of the community.”

 

It is estimated that the Upstate needs more than 10,000 more units of affordable housing than exists currently and priced to be affordable to households earning up to 80 percent of the area median income. 

 

For aiming to address Greenville’s critical need for housing without sacrificing amenities, location or design, The Sullivan earned the 2024 CoStar Impact Award for multifamily development of the year, as judged by a local team of real estate professionals familiar with the market. 

 

NHE provides professional association management, apartment management, community development and service coordination to communities across the Southeast, and currently represents more than 18,000 homes, apartments and condominiums in 15 states.

 

Formed in 2011, Schaumber Development is a real estate development and consulting firm specializing in quality affordable housing.

 

With offices in South Carolina and Maryland, it specializes in new construction and rehabilitation of workforce and affordable housing, as well as structured partnership buyouts.

 

To date, Schaumber Development has developed more than 20 new multifamily communities in the Carolinas exceeding 1,200 apartment homes and rehabbed more than 300 units. 

 

Douglas Development is the longest running affordable housing tax credit development company in South Carolina.

Survey Shows Rampant Work Zone Dangers In South Carolina, North Carolina

Carolinas AGC partnered with AGC of America and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to release results of AGC of America's 2024 Work Zone Safety Awareness Survey consisting of results from CAGC members.

 

The survey results highlighted the dangers of highway work zones for motorists and workers in North Carolina, South Carolina and nationwide.

 

Some troubling facts that came out of the survey include:

 

* 84 percent of contractors in North Carolina, 77 percent in South Carolina, and 64 percent nationwide, reported at least one crash in the past year involving a moving vehicle at highway work zones where they operate.

* 56 percent of North Carolina contractors and 62 percent in South Carolina reported experiencing five or more crashes during the past twelve months, compared to only 33 percent nationally.

* 24 percent of North Carolina contractors reported that a construction worker was killed in a crash in their work zones (none in South Carolina) while 29 percent of NC respondents and 27 percent of SC respondents who experienced crashes reported drivers or passengers were killed.

 

In South Carolina, new legislation — pushed by Carolinas AGC — will modernize the state's driver training for all newly licensed drivers.

 

The legislation, signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster, makes South Carolina only the third state in the country to require construction work zone training be included in the training all new drivers receive before they can obtain a driver's license. 

 

Said Leslie Clark, Carolinas AGC COO and SC Divisions director: "There's nothing more important than our members returning home safely to their families after working tirelessly to maintain, improve, and build our state's roads and bridges."

 

Clark added, "We hope that all newly licensed drivers, after receiving this training, will understand the importance of safely navigating a construction work zone when they are operating a vehicle."

Degree Initiative Focused on Increasing College Completion 

Spartanburg Methodist College (SMC) is launching a new online bachelor’s degree that officials say provides a clear path to a degree for adult learners who want to return and finish their college education.  

 

SMC developed the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies to help OneSpartanburg, Inc.’s Re:Degree initiative re-engage students who had to stop their studies and help them finish their degree.

 

Both efforts are part of the Movement 2030 cradle to career campaign by the Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM). 

 

“SMC was established as a work-study institution dedicated to educating local workers to provide them with the skills and knowledge to improve their future. Our work with Movement 2030 and Re:Degree fits right into the core of our mission,” said SMC President Scott Cochran.

 

Cochran added, “This new degree is the perfect option for students who want to return and finish their degree to improve their career prospects.” 

 

Officials said the General Studies degree launches in January 2025 and offers a fully online, flexible educational experience with a comprehensive curriculum focused on providing the essential skills sought by employers.

 

Rather than a specialized, narrow discipline, the new degree gives graduates a broad education in several key areas, including English and the humanities, business and social sciences, and math and natural sciences. 

 

“Data shows those with completed degrees have higher social and economic mobility, and increased pay opportunities available in their careers. This General Studies program can make a substantive difference for some of those people in Spartanburg County with some college experience but no degree,” said Erin Smith, OneSpartanburg, Inc. director of adult degree reengagement. 

 

Officials said SMC developed the new degree with an investment from SAM’s Movement 2030 to increase college attainment in Spartanburg County.

 

The college is expanding its online offerings to provide more flexible and affordable opportunities for the thousands in the county with some college and no degree. 

 

To further ease the transition back to college, SMC also is providing interested students the opportunity to earn college credit for their work and life experiences, in addition to any previous classes they have taken.

 

Through its credits for prior learning program, students can earn credit for specialized work experience, professional certifications, and service in the military or law enforcement. 

 

Officials said the General Studies bachelor’s degree will teach students to demonstrate mastery in writing, reading, and critical thinking; develop a robust skill set in analytical and creative thinking and problem solving; demonstrate a broad knowledge of physical, social, and cultural worlds; and apply their interdisciplinary knowledge to develop innovative solutions to complex challenges. 

 

Officials said the degree prepares graduates to advance in their current careers or pursue a new career in various fields, such as communication and media, business and management, health-care administration, technology and innovation, and more. 

 

Potential students can learn more about the General Studies degree at www.smcsc.edu/onlinegeneralstudies.

Lancaster County Welcomes New Planning Director

Lancaster County announced the appointment of April Williams as the new planning director.

 

Officials said that with a decade of experience in the government sector, Williams brings a proven track record in strategic planning and resource management.

 

Williams previously was the planning director and Main Street director for the city of Inman, South Carolina.

 

She led cross-functional teams in developing and implementing comprehensive strategic plans during her tenure. She managed budget and resource allocations for Main Street programs, ensuring the efficient use of funds.

 

“Her extensive background in legal issues will greatly enhance our service to the Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Commission. Her experience in rewriting codes and comprehensive plans is particularly timely for our current projects,” said Allison Hardin, director of the Lancaster County Development Services Division

 

Hardin added, “Her master’s degree in public administration, focusing on leadership, has proven invaluable in the budget process and development agreement assessments."

 

Williams holds a master’s degree in public administration from Western Carolina University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina Upstate.

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