Developers plan for apartments and retail at vacant “Baby-Bilo” on North Main

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 10:29 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - New development plans could revive an old Bi-Lo shopping center in a popular part of Greenville. It sits at the intersection of North Main Street and West Park Avenue, across from McPhearson Park.

“There was a lot of activity here at one point,” said City Councilman John DeWorken.

Currently, other than a Chinese restaurant and health clinic, the plaza hasn’t seen much activity in a decade. It went downhill after what was known as the “Baby Bi-Lo” closed.

“I assume they call it baby Bi-Lo because this was a small Bi-Lo. But I do remember using this Bi-Lo as my grocery store,” said DeWorken. Deworken’s not only a councilman but a North Main resident who remembers those glory days.

“It did have an impact when it closed, but now there’s a real opportunity to do something here for the surrounding neighborhood,” he said.

Tuesday, developers held a meeting with neighbors to show off the plans, which start with demolition. It’s a mixed-use development, two buildings with 300 apartment units, 400 parking spaces, 16,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and green space. The project has not been submitted to the city as developers are still getting feedback.

“I love the idea of retail and restaurants to activate this area,” said DeWorken. “I think the concern is the height and the number of units. Six stories is pretty big.”

He says developers plan to use the new development code’s height bonus to provide affordable units, while matching the plan to neighborhood desires.

“That is making sure growth does not suffocate the very people who live here,” he said.

We spoke with two business owners near the plaza—one was excited to hear about the development and the changes it could bring, and another was worried rent in a new development may be too high to afford. We’ll continue following this story as we learn more specific details.