The revised plans for a redeveloped Knowledge Park site received final approval from the City Council this week, paving the way for construction to start on the former industrial site near downtown Rock Hill.
At the same time, the council approved a loan application from a state industrial cleanup fund to expedite cleanup of the former site of the Rock Hill Printing & Finishing Co. – also known as the Bleachery – that will eventually become the site of restaurants, office space, housing and an indoor sports complex.
The city will apply for the $1.5 milllion loan from the S.C. Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Fund, which will primarily pay for the removal of asbestos and lead paint from the Lowenstein building. Once renovations are complete, the developer’s master plan calls for the building to be used for 228,000 square feet of office space.
“This is a DHEC loan. It’s a 1 percent loan for a 10-year term, and it provides for a $200,000 forgiveness loan once everything is completed,” said Anne Harty, the city’s chief financial officer.
With the plan finally approved, developer Sora-Phelps plans to hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the site off White Street at 2 p.m. Monday, May 23, to formally kick off the construction process. The city hopes the development will eventually serve as a bridge between the Winthrop University campus and the downtown business district.
The City Council approved the master plan on a 6-1 vote, with Councilman Kevin Sutton voting against.