University Ridge redevelopment passes unanimously at Greenville Co. Council

University Ridge redevelopment project renderings. (Source: Foster + Partners)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) -- Greenville city leaders want to know what you think about a $1 billion redevelopment project. 

The city is hosting a listening session Tuesday and Thursday nights on the County Square project, a highly debated plan to redevelop the county-owned property along University Ridge.

RELATED: Greenville County Council members vote to hold decision on University Ridge development project

Current renderings include tearing down the current buildings at County Square, adding a new county building, high rises and retail space. 

This is a story FOX Carolina has been following for months. One of the biggest critiques from the public has been the redevelopment will increase property values, forcing out the residents who already live in the area. 

RELATED: Greenville commission votes in favor of modified County Square plan

Since then, the city and county have designated several million dollars to building affordable housing in the area. 

Susan McLarty, coordinator for the Greenville Homeless Alliance, said she's

Her group is one of many that's said affordable housing needs to be included in the plans.

McLarty said she has told city and county leaders Greenville has hundreds of people in emergency housing ready to move into permanent homes, but they’re stuck in the shelters because rent is too expensive and this development would only make it worse.

The city and county have already pledged about seven million dollars to create affordable housing in the project, but McLarty said that's not enough.

"We need to be looking at mixed-income housing, making that throughout this project and other areas of the city and that's going to take more dollars to address that both here on the County Square site and throughout our county," she said. "We still have the opportunity to get it right."

These listening sessions come one week before city council votes on the county's plans. Although the county owns the land along University Ridge, the city must approve plans to rezone to make room for the high rises in the current redevelopment plan. 

A final decision is expected in February. 

The listening sessions start Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Greenville Water Community Room at 517 Washington St. 

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