Committee passes measure to build new grocery store in Greenvill - FOX Carolina 21

Committee passes measure to build new grocery store in Greenville Co., headed for full council vote

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Neighbors plan to protest proposed grocery store. (FOX Carolina/ May 3, 2017) Neighbors plan to protest proposed grocery store. (FOX Carolina/ May 3, 2017)

Harvey Kennedy likes his neighborhood, Walker's Crossing in Greenville County.

"It was like being in the country because there were no traffic lights," he said.

Through the years, however, growth and development have also moved in and now he's about a block away from what some call "wicked Woodruff Road."

"Woodruff Road is really congested." Kennedy said.

He says the intersection of Highway 14 and Woodruff Road is especially bad due to "the traffic."

A developer named Realty Link is now proposing a Sprouts Grocery Store next to Graceland Cemetery and across the street from Kennedy's neighborhood. He says during a town hall meeting, representatives with the company showed neighbors plans for the area.

"He bought the cemetery and he presented the plan to us and part of the plan was a wall," Kennedy said.

Right now there is a wall being built on the property. 

"We don't need to disturb those people who are resting peacefully in the cemetery," Kennedy said.

FOX Carolina learned the area next to Graceland is not zoned as a commercial property but a residential property. Really Link has requested a planned re-zoning. 

"We don't need the grocery store," Kennedy said.

Within a mile of the cemetery, there are three grocery stores. There's a BI-LO, a Publix, and an Aldi as well as seven others in the area.

Kennedy says developers told neighbors the Sprouts Grocery Store would be connected to office space. Kennedy wants the developers to shop around, however.

Developers with Realty Link say they're starting construction on a wall to separate the the proposed property from the cemetery out of respect for those resting there. If approved, the 30,000 square foot grocery store will be the first Sprouts in South Carolina.

Developers describe the store as an organic, healthy-living grocery store similar to Whole Foods, but less expensive. Developers say they would like to start building in August. 

The developers who bought the 10 acres of land say they completed a traffic study and met with engineers with the South Carolina Department of Transportation five times. They say they understand the concern and can help ease congestion in the area after they build the grocery store.

At a council meeting on Monday, the measure to go forward with the plans to build 17 homes and a retail space passed a committee vote. The plans will now need to go to a vote with the full council before any further action is taken.

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