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Food hall concept, entertainment venue coming to downtown Simpsonville

Real Estate - Commercial
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The Yard project will feature several food vendors, an entertainment stage and a courtyard. (Rendering/GCI Services Inc.)

A food hall concept and entertainment venue planned for downtown Simpsonville is part of planning officials’ vision to spur economic growth and development in the city.

The Yard is an outdoor food hall concept, with an anticipated 10 spots for food vendors — these haven’t been secured yet — with entertainment options, including a scaled-down version of mini-golf and cornhole, mezzanine-style seating to allow for larger gatherings and a center courtyard, according to the Justin Campbell, spokesperson for the city of Simpsonville.

The project will be similar to the Warehouse at Vaughn’s at the south end of downtown Simpsonville and like Gather GVL in downtown Greenville.

“We want to have options available to families and to allow for people to stay in one place when they come downtown or have easy walkability into the rest of downtown,” said Campbell.

The developer and general contractor on the project is Upstate-based GCI Services Inc.

Zoning for The Yard site is considered for business development, said Campbell, and city council approved the rezoning for innovative development, which will allow the developer to have more flexibility for creativity with such a food hall, having a combination of dining and entertainment versus just a one-stop shop.

“This allows developers to bring projects that attract families, to bring that sense of community to the area as well versus just providing somewhere to eat and leave,” he added.

Featured highlights of The Yard:

  • Conversion of an 8-foot by 40-foot semi-trailer into entertainment stage and movie screen backdrop;
  • 11,000 square feet of outdoor community gathering and approximately 4,000 square feet of this area to be designated as outdoor seating;
  • Addition of 55 parking spaces plus five designated motorcycle/golf cart parking spaces; and
  • 4,000 square feet of mezzanine-style seating, to include ground level and upstairs seating.

“The new venue will be a beautiful asset to our local community,” the developer said. “Providing a safe place where families can enjoy food, beverage, entertainment and a place for children to play.”

The city is focused on creating a vibrant downtown that is inviting to families as the city itself is family-oriented, said Campbell, and this type of project will bring that vibrancy, which spurs economic growth and development.

“Projects such as The Yard brings more families who can expect options as they want to go somewhere they can pick and choose from several options,” he added. “Multifaceted gathering spots in downtown brings people together, fostering and encouraging people to interact with others they may not know. It’s not just about people spending money at these types of venues but the sense of community that will be created there.”

According to the developer, they are hoping to break ground on the project by early spring, as they wait for the rezoning permit to get the green light.

“Once started, I would hope to see completion this fall,” Campbell added.

The developer declined to comment on the cost of the project at this time.

These projects add value to the City of Simpsonville’s overall revitalization with streetscaping, new lighting, as well as traffic realignment to improve traffic movement and walkability, which is an important feature in any project involving downtown revitalization, said Campbell.

“Projects like this aid in walkability,” he said. “People go there, hang out for a while, and can walk around downtown. Consider this project an amplification of what is already vibrant and great about the City of Simpsonville.”

Reach Krys at 864-640-4418.

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