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Major Upgrade for Hillcrest Shopping Center

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I thought the Easton was going to be the biggest development on the Eastside since the Walmart moved down the road and Lowe's & Home Depot Moved in- but it seems that Hillcrest will be turning a major corner too. It looks to me, at least at this stage- that the Eastside has the potential to rival the West in terms of shopping.

Hillcrest Specialty Row, as we know, is seeing a major facelift. Today's paper has some interesting details on the future of this center: $4.2 million is being put into this portion of Hillcrest, and the company hopes it will once again become Spartanburg's premier shopping center. Wiring and plubming is being redone on the inside, the outside is getting a very attractive facade. The stores on the backside are also getting some much needed TLC. But what does this mean for Specialty Row? Well, the Hillcrest Shopping Center's owner, Central Properties Group (CPG), is talking with lots of major national retailers. Most of these are not unique to town (I've starred the ones that are*)- but if they come it will solidify the list of tennants available to Eastside residents, and to all Spartans. It will also create a much better environment- and a reason to stay on the Eastside. On the list publiched in the HJ today are as follows:

Banana Republic*

Old Navy

LongHorn Steakhouse* (coming back!)

Outback Steakhouse

Chico's*

Kirkland's

McAlister's Deli

Orvis* (1st in SC)

Moe's Southwest Grill

Barnes and Noble

None of these retailers have commited yet, and negotiations are apparantly ongoing. I'm optomistic because of last year's revitalization that brought national chains like Ross, Panera Bread Co., Office Depot, Petco, Stein Mart to the Eastside.

Anyway, the article says that the goal is to turn Hillcrest into a lifestyle center type of operation before Easton even gets started. Hillcrest would then rival Easton as the Eastside's major shopping center, and it could likely draw people away from Westgate and Dorman Center. Its interesting that many of these stores are those that you would normally find in a mall.

A quote from Mayor Barnet: "There is huge potential for the east side of Spartanburg. With the growth of the Mary Black Hospital System and continued investment in residential development, we do have confidence that the area can support two major shopping centers."

This would be fantastic news for the Eastside. I hope that they are going to allow for some of that parking lot to be filled in- and not just as outparcels on East Main. This is exciting news for what I have considered to be a floundering shoping center for years. Besides the front parking lot, there is lots of room on the Fernwood-Glendale side. The old Garden center has moved to Drayton, so there is room for at least two buildings there, plus there are at least half a dozen spaces on the backside. Then there is the newer section over by the movie theater which has been vacant for years.

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Its not all good news though. The new owner that is making all of these upgrades does not appear to like the local stores that have been there for years. Some of them may end up moving becuase of rent increases.

This is not a done deal yet, so who knows if this will go through. If it does, and Easton comes through, the Eastside will be completly transformed. These two developments, combined with the downtown master plan, and all of the other numerous projects going on in Spartanburg have the potential to take Spartanburg to another level. A lot needs to happen before I would say that with confidence, but all of this kinda makes me wish I hadn't moved to Charlotte :whistling:

Here's a link to thie article in today's Herald-Journal

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Myrtle Beach already has dibs on having South Carolina's first Orvis, at The Market Common.

Spartanburg getting seconds in Barnes & Noble and Outback Steakhouse would be awesome. :yahoo: (Greenville is long overdue for a second Outback Steakhouse, near Cherrydale.)

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I think that the Eastside is long overdue for all of these things. I'm suprised to not get more reaction from other Spartans. As a former eastside resident, I am very excited about all of these developments.

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As a former eastside resident, I am very excited about all of these developments.

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Here are some construction pictures:

Sign:

hillcrest_sign.jpg

Front:

hillcrestfront_1.jpg

hillcrestfront_2.jpg

hillcrestfront_3.jpg

hillcrestfront_4.jpg

hillcrestfront_5.jpg

hillcrestfront_6.jpg

hillcrestfront_7.jpg

Back:

hillcrestback1.jpg

hillcrestback2.jpg

Vacant Lot in back:

hillcrest_vacant.jpg

The changes to the back are the most impressive. I wish we had some better pictures of the old facade. If you could how much better this looks than the old Hillcrest (which really hadn't been updated this extensively since Hillcrest Mall was there) you would be impressed. They updated it just a few years ago, but it was more like a fresh coat of paint versus a complete remodel.

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Here are a few pictures of the new Hillcrest Starbucks:

starbuckseast2.jpg

starbuckseast3.jpg

It probably looks better from the road... supposedly Panera is pretty ticked off about this, because they were told they would be the exclusive coffee provider in that shopping center.

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Any updates on what's happening? I haven't gotten up to Sparkle in a while now...

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Last time I was home (several weeks ago) the exterior renovations were nearly complete. It doesn't look at all like the Hillcrest I grew up going to! Perhaps someone will update us on the progress of this renovation....

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Although this article from the HJ has Lan Yair in the headline, it is basically about the renovation at Hillcrest. the developers are worried that the proposed Easton development is causing some retailers to "wait and see" , before signing leases with hillcrest. It shows a nice picture of the renovated specialty row and mentions that they have out wider sidewalks and a fountain to dress up the property more.

ARTICLE

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Wow, thats big news. Now they want to KEEP Yanni's and Garner's Natural Foods instead of run out more local business.

The new list of tennants includes:

  • Hibbett Sports

  • Rue 21

  • The Wine Bar

  • Sam's Factory Outlet

  • Coldwater Creek

  • Expanded Yanni's

  • Expanded Garner's Natural Foods

We're down to 6 tennants from 10, and all of them significantly less well known than the previous list of tennants. They did say that nothing is finalized, and that no leases have been signed yet. I hope that they are indeed just waiting on the Easton Marketplace project. I don't see why some of those from the previous list (like Longhorn) wouldn't still come back to town.

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Well, from a visual standpoint, Hillcrest Specialty Row is looks as good as it ever has. You'd never know this thing was developed 40 or 50 years ago (or whatever). Enjoy my pictures, then read my comments.

"The Back" (Fernwood-Glendale)

hillcrestback_111907.jpg

"The Front" (East Main)

hillcrestfront_111907_1.jpg

hillcrestfront_111907_2.jpg

Why?

hillcrestfront_111907_3.jpg

hillcrestfront_111907_4.jpg

Ok. So do you notice anything different? There are 3 glaring answers to this, and several others if you've seen it in person.

  1. Nice new exterior makes this look like a brand news shopping center. Very much a modernized retail establishment.

  2. The Specialty Row at Hillcrest. We have to be trendy, and since we've run off all the local businesses in this place we may as well call lit something slightly different. And since its now modernized we should name it as such [[Do we realy need the "at" ? Why not "@"?]]. I saw an ad in the paper on Sunday for a subdivision called Stonelodge at Woodfield Ridge (or something equally "trendy"). Why can't we just name it something simple? It will always be Hillcrest Specialty Row to me.

  3. Pretty much all of the old tenants are gone. There are lots and lots of vacancies. This developer better know what he's doing.

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I like the oversized brick they used on that last pic. Gives it a unique kind of flare.

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Any news on Hillcrest?

I have heard rumors that they are getting more movement on tenants in the backside of Specialty Row.

I noticed Nationwide moved back there. They were beside Taco Dog, I think.

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Welcome to the forum spartist!

I haven't heard anything. I sure hope they can get some more tenants. It's ironic that the place has been deserted since they upgraded everything.

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I haven't heard anything. I sure hope they can get some more tenants. It's ironic that the place has been deserted since they upgraded everything.

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On the "flipside" of the Specialty Row there is now an art studio/gallery. The Watch Works moved over there as well and just hung out their sign. I think they were downtown in Broadwalk.

H-J article

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The Watchworks was over in Broadwalk. They are the only true watch makers in Spartanburg. The move to Specialty Row makes perfect sense, as they will have more visibility there than Broadwalk. Plus it sort of reaffirms the idea that the Broadwalk will become the new location for government offices.

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