Commercial condos planned on Herlong

Retail and office condos are slated to be the next development on Rock Hill's fast-growing Herlong Avenue.

A Charlotte-based developer plans to build 32,000 square feet of two-story commercial condos on South Herlong Avenue, near the intersection of Heckle Boulevard, said Hershel Fogleman, owner of SCRE Properties. Plans for Shoppes at Huntington will be presented to the Rock Hill Planning Commission next month, Fogelman said. He hopes to have the property annexed into the city limits before construction begins this sum- mer.

"What we're doing right now is listening and being sensitive to the surrounding neighborhoods," he said, noting the 3-acre site is located next to AAA Automark car care and across from the Huntington Place subdivision. "We're going to build something of quality that neighbors will be proud to walk to, shop at or just sit and read the newspaper and enjoy a cup of coffee."

Fogleman said the $5.5 million development will recruit neighborhood businesses such as a coffee shop, dry cleaners, restaurants and insurance offices. Fogelman said several business owners already have expressed interest.

The Shoppes at Huntington, which will be the first of its kind in the Rock Hill area, will be a two-story shopping center that resembles residential condominiums. Fogleman described the appearance as "old English" architecture.

The shops also offer an opportunity for businesses to buy, not lease, the new space. Fogleman said the concept is a trend gaining popularity because it allows owners to build value in the property as well as the business.

"There are a lot of entrepreneurs who would love to own their own condo and run their business out of it," he said.

Some of the space will be sold to investors and leased, but at least 60 percent of the space will be sold to individual businesses, he said.

SCRE Properties helped market a similar retail-condo project in south Charlotte called The Fountains. This will be its first project in Rock Hill.

Construction on the Shoppes at Huntington will begin this fall. The first shops will open in early 2009.