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Wedding & Event Venue Near Rock Hill, SC.

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Your Magic Moment Awaits

Your wedding day. Without a doubt, it's one of the most significant events you will ever experience - when you and the love of your life officially seal the deal and get married. On this day, your friends and family will gather to celebrate the next step in your life. Photographers will be running around snapping photos, catering plates delicious food for guests to enjoy, and the DJ sets the mood for a night of fun and libation. You've worked extra hard to make everything look perfect and run smoothly. You have examined every moving part down to the tiniest detail. At the center of all your effort is your wedding venue in Rock Hill, SC.

Your event space can mean the difference between an unforgettable event and an average occasion. Capturing your uniqueness as a couple is paramount to a memorable wedding. But, without the right venue location and staff, your unforgettable event can turn into a painfully average occasion. Fortunately, at Abney Hall, you won't ever have to worry about dingy reception spaces and crummy chow halls.

Constructed in Rock Hill, SC, in 1962, Abney Hall is 15,000 square feet and sits on 500 acres of land, making it a large wedding venue unlike any other. Abney Hall was originally the home of Mrs. Josephine Abney, a Rock Hill native who was a lifelong philanthropist. Mrs. Abney devoted much of her time and effort towards supporting charities, educational institutions, hospitals, and other noble efforts. Today, Abney Hall stands tall as a symbol of love, both in our community and for the couples who choose to get married here.

Abney Hall is an exclusive event experience unlike any other, surrounded by verdant forests and sparkling ponds. Our venue is a natural fit for several occasions, including:

Special Event Space Rock Hill, SC

Weddings

 Event Venue Rock Hill, SC

Bridal Showers

 Event Space Rock Hill, SC

Bridal Portraits

 Rehearsal Dinner Venue Rock Hill, SC

Rehearsal Dinners

 Bridal Shower Venue Rock Hill, SC

Corporate Events

 Business Event Space Rock Hill, SC

Much More!

 Wedding Space Rock Hill, SC

The Top Wedding Venue in Rock Hill, SC

The beginning of your life starts at Abney Hall. With our team by your side, we can create the fairy tale wedding you have dreamed about since childhood. Whether you have 100 guests or 1,000, our waterfront ceremony locations and French-inspired courtyard are perfect for your big day. Celebrate in luxurious style surrounded by shady magnolia trees, a private forest, large ponds, and the beauty of Mother Nature. While our venue location and aesthetic have been praised far and wide, so too have the practical aspects of Abney Hall. Looking for a relaxing, comfortable spot for your bridal party to get ready in? We offer an entire floor in the Abney Hall residence to get the bridal party ready. Want to make your groomsman feel extra-special too? We've got a private, plush house just feet from a sparkling pond that is a proper hangout spot for the guys in your group.

To make life easier on you, we also offer Abney Hall as your go-to spot for rehearsal dinners. Why book an expensive restaurant or travel to another location when unmatched beauty and convenience are right at your fingertips? Abney Hall is just the place for that very important dinner the night before your big day. We are also happy to host your bridal shower at Abney Hall. Our venue makes for one of Rock Hill's most unique bridal shower settings, where your family and friends can gather to give gifts and be merry before you walk down the aisle.

With such a large, magnificent house and a vast property, Abney Hall also makes for an unforgettable location for your bridal portraits and other wedding-related photography needs. Don't take our word for it - book a tour and see for yourself why so many new brides and grooms choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Rock Hill.

 Wedding Venue Rock Hill, SC

What Sets Abney Hall Apart from Other Wedding Venues in Rock Hill?

You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life beside. The next step? Finding the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony, reception, and celebration of your lifelong commitment to one another. Remember, the backdrop for photos, dancing, eating, and all other activities will be at your wedding venue. That's why we work so hard to set Abney Hall apart from our competitors - so you and your guests can focus on love and living your new life while we work with your vendors and photographers to make your magic night a reality.

Here are just a few reasons why guests choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Rock Hill, SC, along with some helpful tips from our experienced wedding venue staff:

Venue Size

Choosing the appropriate-sied venue for your desired guest count is a critical decision. A venue's capacity affects the number of people you need to consider having at your ceremony and reception. As you're first starting out, we recommend having a guest count in mind as you're searching for the right venue. Try to stick with that number. You may fall in love with a particular venue, but if its max capacity can't accommodate your guest count, it may be time to cross them off your list.

 Corporate Conference Hall Rock Hill, SC
Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

Keep in mind that this is your big day. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite the college roommate you shared a dorm with for one semester. At the end of the day, your wedding venue should be one that can accommodate those closest to you. Abney Hall is equipped for both small and large weddings, consisting of 500 acres of forest, ponds, and lush natural beauty. Whether you want an intimate wedding with only your best friends or a grand ceremony with hundreds of people, we have the right amount of room to make you comfortable.

Location and Nearby Lodging

On your big day, you're likely to have friends and family traveling in from other parts of the state or country. These folks will need a place to stay during and even after your wedding. Accessibility and ease are important factors when it comes to choosing your wedding venue for both you and your guests.

Located in Rock Hill, SC, Abney Hall is situated in a memorable, natural setting, giving your wedding a private vibe in the midst of Mother Nature. While we pride ourselves on having a secluded wedding event space, our venue is within an easy driving distance of hotels and vacation rentals.

Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

When you contact us for a tour, make sure to speak with our experienced venue manager about nearby hotels and shuttle service options. We understand that your guest's comfort and convenience are important, and we're happy to work with you to figure out the best way to get your guests to Abney Hall.

Venue Staff

At Abney Hall, our staff has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most friendly, accessible teams. We will provide you with a purpose-minded point of contact that can help answer questions relating to timelines, preferred vendors, and every aspect of your wedding. When you tour our wedding venue in Rock Hill, SC, for the first time, we want you to feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

We would be happy to go over:
  • Venue Pricing
  • Ceremony Specifics
  • Reception Specifics
  • Catering Possibilities
  • Decorating Possibilities
  • Entertainment Options
  • Photography and Photo Opportunities
  • Venue Amenities
  • Bridal Party Needs
  • Groomsman Needs

At Abney Hall, our goal is to be your first resource when it comes to setting up and coordinating the details of your wedding day.

Decor

When it comes to your wedding's decor, you probably already have a few ideas in mind. We love it when our brides and grooms have a vision in mind because one of our greatest joys is turning that vision into a reality. At Abney Hall, our team is available to help you and your decorator fit, accent, and accommodate your fairy-tale wedding - whatever that may be.

Are you looking to dress up your wedding with decorations galore? Just want to add a few accents that tie into your preferred color palette? Abney Hall is versatile and ready to help however we are able.

 Reception Hall Rock Hill, SC
Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

If you're thinking about bringing in your own greenery, lighting, floral pieces, and more, we recommend discussing your vision with us on your initial tour of our event space. That way, we can get a head start on making your big day exactly how you envision it.

Photo Opportunities

10 years from now, when you and your spouse are celebrating your anniversary, you will pull out photographs from your wedding and will reminisce about the unforgettable time you spent at Abney Hall. Your wedding photos will be with you forever, and as such, we work closely with you and your photographer to suggest extra-special photo op spots that you can only find on Abney Hall grounds.

From the grand staircase and French-inspired courtyard to our manicured gardens and lovely pond, there is no shortage of photo-op locations for your photographer to choose from. As one of the most popular wedding venues in Rock Hill, SC, we have worked with dozens of photographers over the years.

Our experience has allowed us to cultivate a list of preferred photographers - all of whom have the talent to take your pictures to the next level in a setting they're familiar with. We encourage you to check out our gallery to get a sense of the scope of our wedding venue and gain inspiration from other happy couples.

Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip

The gallery on our website is extensive but be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages as well. We keep our social pages updated with recent wedding photographs, giving you an incredible resource that you can use for your own photography purposes.

Special Event Space Rock Hill, SC

The Premier Corporate Event Venue in Rock Hill, SC

Abney Hall is known across the United States for our stunning weddings, but we also play host to some of the largest corporate events in South Carolina. Why choose a bland, lifeless meeting space when you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature coupled with a professional atmosphere? If you have an important team-building event or corporate conference that you have to coordinate, look no further than Abney Hall.

The epitome of class and style, our corporate event space is large, lavish, and chock-full of onsite amenities for you and your co-workers to enjoy. If your team needs a morale boost, don't bring them to the local Olive Garden for a cheap lunch. Treat them to a refreshing experience in our main dining room, where we can work with you to incorporate your catering options with the goals of your event.

When the hard work is done, and your team needs a breather, what better way to relax than with a quick dip in our pool? To burn off a little steam, head over to our brand-new tennis court - the perfect place to get some exercise in an ultra-private setting while you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Don't forget to bring your fishing poles for a couple of hours of fishing. There's even an opportunity to go hunting if you wish.

 Event Venue Rock Hill, SC

Elegance at Its Finest - Only
a Phone Call Away

If you're ready to learn more about Abney Hall as your wedding venue, don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear more about your plans, your vision, and your needs. We know that planning a wedding isn't easy. It takes time, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Our goal is to help provide you with all the info you need to learn more about our venue. Once you decide on a date, we'll work closely with you and your vendors to craft a wedding experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Our available dates for your big day are going quick, especially during peak seasons like spring and fall. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
 Event Space Rock Hill, SC

Latest News in Rock Hill, SC

'Break the silence and be transparent' | Panthers owner David Tepper hasn't responded to new offer, SC leaders say

In a public letter, Congressman Ralph Norman said unless Tepper speaks out, people will assume the Carolina Panthers Training Facility project is dead.ROCK HILL, S.C. — U.S. Representative Ralph Norman is the latest leader to speak regarding the Carolina Panthers training facility project in Rock Hill, South Carolina.The project has now been on hold for more than a month, and despite receiving a new funding offer from both the City of Rock Hill and Yo...

In a public letter, Congressman Ralph Norman said unless Tepper speaks out, people will assume the Carolina Panthers Training Facility project is dead.

ROCK HILL, S.C. — U.S. Representative Ralph Norman is the latest leader to speak regarding the Carolina Panthers training facility project in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

The project has now been on hold for more than a month, and despite receiving a new funding offer from both the City of Rock Hill and York County, Panthers owner David Tepper has not responded.

In a public letter released Sunday night, Norman called on Tepper to “break the silence and be transparent about what’s happening from his perspective.”

The major construction site on 240 acres has sat idle for weeks, and hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.

“The longer it goes, people will assume that it’s just dead,” Norman said. “The taxpayers deserve a lot better than what they’re getting. To go this far for something this big… something’s not right.”

The project was first paused in early March. WCNC Charlotte later learned Rock Hill failed to secure $225 million in bonds to pay for roads, sidewalks and other public infrastructure on the site.

Two weeks later, York County and then Rock Hill passed resolutions saying if the Panthers paid for the public infrastructure, it would get the money back in tax credits.

“Whenever we issued the resolution, we thought we would hear something immediately, and it’s just been nothing,” York County Councilmember Brandon Guffey, who helped pass the alternative financing resolution, said. “I think resentment is growing daily, not just with the officials, but with the community itself.”

The construction first broke ground in 2020. It was anticipated that the first phase would be completed in 2023, but even if the project resumes, it seems unlikely the deadline will be met.

Word of a Panthers training facility in South Carolina started buzzing in late 2018. Within three years, construction began on the $800 million project that's now in limbo over funding issues.

The Post and Courier in Charleston reports the Panthers were considering an 80-acre plot of land off I-77 where the Charlotte Knights used to play. The report says the facility could be modeled after the Dallas Cowboys' headquarters, complete with retail, restaurants and corporate offices.

Former head coach Ron Rivera leads a team delegation to meet state lawmakers. The purpose of the visit was to encourage a bill that would give David Tepper tax breaks and incentives to relocate to York County. The State Department of Commerce estimated the new facility would generate $188 million over 15 years for the state.

Lawmakers in South Carolina pushed a potential vote on a bill that would give Tepper $115 million in tax breaks to the last day of the legislative session. In a statement, Tepper said it would "cost us a lot of money" to move into South Carolina, saying "we would like to be there." Tepper said if the deal wasn't approved, he'd be happy to keep the team's practice facility in Uptown Charlotte.

Tepper addresses future of the Panthers, including a new stadium

During a media appearance in Rock Hill, Panthers owner David Tepper discusses the possiblity of a new stadium and makes it clear he will use public funding. Tepper also makes it clear a new stadium will not be a dome following the COVID-19 pandemic. It's unclear how much public money Tepper would want, but he says "the community's going to have to want it."

Rock Hill fails to issue $225 million in bonds for Panthers HQ project

Council records show Rock Hill leaders approved issuing up to $290 million in bonds for the project. City Attorney Paul Dillingham said the goal was to have the bonds issued by the end of February 2022. It didn't happen, and the Panthers paused construction. Tepper Sports & Entertainment says David Tepper has invested $170 million in the project so far.

Rock Hill business owners tell WCNC Charlotte they're worried about the future of the project, which played a role in many businesses choosing Rock Hill to begin with. Contractors hired to work on the facility are concerned by the uncertainty, with workers waiting for the go-ahead to resume construction.

Rock Hill leaders vote to follow York County's new funding plan, which would require the Panthers to pay for the new facility up front before collecting tax incentives to recoup costs. Tepper Sports and Entertainment remains silent on the issue and refuses to comment despite multiple requests.

Panthers owner David Tepper hasn't responded to new offer, SC leaders say

SC state representative condemns Carolina Panthers owner for pausing facility construction in Rock Hill

Panthers announce they are terminating Rock Hill project agreements

The uncertainty concerning the Carolina Panthers Training Facility and Headquarters project in Rock Hill, South Carolina, got a bit clearer Tuesday when Panthers' owner David Tepper's GT Real Estate Holdings told WCNC Charlotte they would be terminating the agreement surrounding the project.

During his first news conference since December of 2020, David Tepper says he will "respect" the city of Rock Hill's request to not have a public back and forth over the training facility and says he stands by his previous statement. Tepper says he's willing to sit back down with city leaders to discuss the project.

“If you see things taken off the site, that’s an indication that it’s gone,” Norman, who’s also a businessman and real estate developer, said. “To my knowledge, that hasn’t happened yet.”

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster addressed the paused facility at a news conference Tuesday. McMaster said he's spoken to Tepper and says he hopes both parties can come to an agreement.

"The state has done its part and we would encourage everyone to resolve whatever differences and let's get moving," McMaster said. "We want the Panthers to do the right thing."

Norman warns preserving the project is in the best interest of all involved, and he’s asking Tepper to speak up if something can be done at the federal level to save the project.

“If the lawyers get involved, it will be a long, drawn-out process -- unless it gets solved," Norman said. "And that’s our hope and our prayer."

A spokesperson for Tepper Sports and Entertainment said the organization did not have a comment.

“I think silent treatment is always bothersome,” Guffey said. “We anticipated to get a positive response right away, and with nothing, that’s automatically a negative sign. And to not get an explanation with it is even more worrisome.”

Panthers terminating Rock Hill project agreements

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The uncertainty concerning the Carolina Panthers Training Facility and Headquarters project in Rock Hill, South Carolina, got a bit clearer Tuesday when Panthers' owner David Tepper's GT Real Estate Holdings told WCNC Charlotte they would be terminating the agreement surrounding the project.The following statemen...

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The uncertainty concerning the Carolina Panthers Training Facility and Headquarters project in Rock Hill, South Carolina, got a bit clearer Tuesday when Panthers' owner David Tepper's GT Real Estate Holdings told WCNC Charlotte they would be terminating the agreement surrounding the project.

The following statement was sent to WCNC Charlotte Tuesday morning:

On February 26, 2021, the City of Rock Hill became delinquent on their obligation to fund the public infrastructure. Despite our persistent efforts throughout 2021, the City of Rock Hill failed to issue the bonds or provide the funding for the public infrastructure for the project.

On March 18, 2022, GTRE issued a default notice and the City did not cure its default within the prescribed 30-day cure period. It is unfortunate that some recently decided to conduct a misguided, destructive public relations campaign to obscure their failures.

We have sent notices to the City to formally terminate the previous agreements. Accordingly, we are prepared to sit down with the City and other interested parties to discuss the significant challenges ahead.”

The project has now been on hold for more than a month, and despite receiving a new funding offer from both the City of Rock Hill and York County, Tepper did not respond to the controversy until now.

York County released the following statement after the announcement which read:

It is disheartening to learn today that the Carolina Panthers have terminated their original agreements with the City of Rock Hill. However, York County remains optimistic that this project can still move forward. The Panthers have expressed a willingness to continue discussions with all parties involved and face the challenges ahead. York County expresses that same willingness.

The major construction site on 240 acres has sat idle for weeks, and hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.

The project was first paused in early March. WCNC Charlotte later learned Rock Hill failed to secure $225 million in bonds to pay for roads, sidewalks and other public infrastructure on the site.

Two weeks later, York County and then Rock Hill passed resolutions saying if the Panthers paid for the public infrastructure, it would get the money back in tax credits.

“Whenever we issued the resolution, we thought we would hear something immediately, and it’s just been nothing,” York County Councilmember Brandon Guffey, who helped pass the alternative financing resolution, said. “I think resentment is growing daily, not just with the officials, but with the community itself.”

The city of Rock Hill responded to the Tuesday announcement, saying,"We are disappointed with the current dispute and with the decision of the Panthers to halt the Rock Hill development, thus undermining the exhaustive efforts of the City of Rock Hill, State of South Carolina, York County, Rock Hill Schools, key landowners, and the entire region. It was and remains our intention to continue negotiating in good faith while protecting the interests of our taxpayers. In fact, in the past few weeks, we have attempted to meet with the Panthers on numerous occasions to no avail."

Rock Hill maintains it met all required obligations set under the agreements.

"The City met all obligations required under the agreements," the city said in a statement. "The City did not commit to provide unlimited City backstop but instead agreed to use its best reasonable efforts to issue bonds to be repaid by the increase in the tax revenues generated from development of the site which protects the City’s taxpayers and the City’s favorable financial position. As set forth in the parties’ finance agreement, the City was not required – to pledge, use or contribute any City funds, revenues or assets to the repayment of the Bonds beyond the Panthers Fund Proceeds, Reserve Funds derived from proceeds of the Bonds, together with capitalized interest, if any, or [municipal improvement district (MID)] assessments imposed in accordance with the MID Governing Documents; and … the City’s reasonable best efforts to issue Bonds shall not be construed as an assurance or guarantee by the City that there will be a buyer for any of the Bonds."

Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys said the city "does not believe in addressing, through a public back-and-forth, its differences with another party."

Gettys said he is encouraged the Panthers may be willing to meet to discuss the process moving forward.

"From our standpoint, we are prepared to meet as early as today," Getty said in a statement. "Accordingly, this will be the last public statement from the City regarding the most recent misleading and erroneous statements from the Panthers."

The construction first broke ground in 2020. It was anticipated that the first phase would be completed in 2023, but even if the project were to resume, it seems unlikely the deadline would be met.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, after hearing the announcement, focused on touting jobs and capital investments.

"Today’s announcement by the Panthers is a disappointment, as we had hoped they would be a part of South Carolina’s record-breaking, booming economy," McMaster said in a statement Tuesday. "And our state government’s finances are in the strongest condition ever, with the largest budget surpluses, the largest rainy-day reserves, and the lowest debt in our history. South Carolina is winning, and we intend to keep winning. The best is yet to come!"

Speaking Wednesday, McMaster said the state held up its end of the deal.

"Our part was done -- that was the interchange, which was needed in any event but it'll be getting there a little earlier than was planned, but that area of the state is growing. But the parties -- the city and the county and the Tepper organization -- seem to have differences that they could not reconcile and that's a disappointment."

McMaster previously addressed the paused facility at a news conference on April 12. McMaster said he's spoken to Tepper and says he hopes both parties can come to an agreement.

"The state has done its part and we would encourage everyone to resolve whatever differences and let's get moving," McMaster said. "We want the Panthers to do the right thing."

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to WCNC Charlotte by emailing money@wcnc.com.

The Panthers-Rock Hill project stalemate: What we now know about the deal

The Panthers halted construction on its headquarters project in Rock Hill more than a month ago. The Charlotte-based NFL team’s owner, David Tepper, has remained silent in what has become a high-profile disagreement, while Rock Hill officials have defended the city’s expertise in successfully executing multi-million dollar projects.Meanwhile, York County has presented an ...

The Panthers halted construction on its headquarters project in Rock Hill more than a month ago. The Charlotte-based NFL team’s owner, David Tepper, has remained silent in what has become a high-profile disagreement, while Rock Hill officials have defended the city’s expertise in successfully executing multi-million dollar projects.

Meanwhile, York County has presented an alternative financial package to salvage the project.

Several state and federal politicians have weighed in. Some are frustrated. Others are hoping a resolution is soon reached.

If you drive along Interstate 77 near the Panthers’ planned site, the only activity you’ll see is work on a new interchange.

It’s not totally clear at what point the deal went wrong, but here’s what The Herald knows:

On March 21, York County Council passed a resolution that would commit the county to enter a fee agreement with the team.

Under the county’s resolution, the Panthers would receive incentives for four decades in exchange for completing $225 million of public infrastructure at the site.

The $225 million in bonds was part of the agreement with Rock Hill.

Rock Hill City Council, on March 28, passed a resolution in support of the county’s alternative agreement.

The city, county and Panthers would need to release one another from the existing incentive deal in order to move forward with a new one.

The city’s resolution gave the county and GT Real Estate Holdings, which represents the Panthers, the go-ahead for all three “to enter into agreements, mutual releases and future approvals as contemplated by the county resolution.” A new plan would be “subject to final approval of city council,” the resolution says.

On April 1, York County said in a statement that it was awaiting word from Tepper and GT Real Estate on the future of the construction, including acceptance, or rejection, of the county’s proposed financial plan.

A spokesperson for the city told The Herald Thursday that Rock Hill has not received any additional information from the Panthers and hasn’t had any further contact with the team.

A spokesperson for York County told The Herald Thursday that the county also has not received an update.

In early March, Tepper Sports, which represents the Panthers, announced a pause in construction on the Rock Hill project due to missed payment deadlines. The first phase of construction was set to be completed in 2023.

“To that end, while GT Real Estate Holdings, LLC has invested more than $170 million into the development in Rock Hill, our partners have been unable to contribute the agreed upon investment to fund the construction of the public infrastructure,” Tepper Sports said in a statement in early March.

In early March, Rock Hill said in a statement that the city has met all obligations required under the agreement and was unaware of a planned pause in construction.

Mayor John Gettys, at a March 14 city council meeting, pushed back on accusations that the city missed payments.

“Any implication by the Panthers that the city did not do its absolute and professional best is simply not true,” he said.

City manager David Vehaun said, at the March 14 meeting, that the Panthers slowed Rock Hill’s ability to issue the $225 million in bonds.

Before Rock Hill could issue the bonds, the city needed specific details from the Panthers, such as development and financial plans, to provide to potential investors, Vehaun said.

“The Panthers were not submitting enough details in the way of development plans and other checklist items that … were going to be necessary to issue the bonds,” Vehaun said.

The city never received sufficient details from the team, a spokesperson told The Herald.

As part of the original agreement, Rock Hill pledged 100% of its tax revenues from the site. The city, in exchange, insisted that it would not “backstop” — or guarantee — the debt.

But the Panthers repeatedly requested that the city do just that, Vehaun said.

“I would tell you from our very first meetings in 2019, we were very clear that the city would not, could not, and should not backstop this debt,” he said.

As a result, Vehaun said the Panthers continued to look at other options to deal with the funding. Other options included the May 2021 attempt by Panthers Chief Operating Mark Hart asking York County for help. In a letter, Hart wrote that the Panthers were concerned that without the county’s assistance, the city would not secure the bonds.

However, by the end of 2021, Vehaun said Rock Hill reached a point with the team that would allow the city to proceed with issuing the bonds.

“We felt that everybody was on the same page, including the Panthers,” he said.

And in early 2022, Vehaun said the city was about two weeks away from issuing the bonds when the Panthers asked the city to stop, and indicated that the team wanted to “try additional things to get the debt issued.”

Vehaun said the team has projected the 240-acre property to be a $500 million investment. And the city’s Riverwalk, a 1,008-acre development, also was a $500-$600 million project, Vehaun said.

“We’re familiar in dealing with these kinds of projects and these sizes of projects, but we need to do it on terms that make sure the city’s financial credit is protected,” he said.

The city agreed to issue more than $10 million in bonds for the Riverwalk development, but Rock Hill required that the developer put the property as security, Vehaun said.

“If the taxes generated from the site were not sufficient to retire the debt, then the developer said, ‘I’ll write a check to cover the difference between the shortfall, and if I fail to do that, I’ll hand over my entire site to the city,’ which we would take and sell to someone … to get enough money to retire the debt and pay the debt off,” Vehaun said.

The city has used that model for several multi-million dollar projects, Vehaun said.

“That model of asking developers to make sure that we’re covered is the same model we did at Fountain Park,” he said. “It’s the same model that we did at University Center. It’s the same model we’re in discussions with other development opportunities.”

As part of the original deal, Rock Hill agreed to put all the tax revenues from the site back into the project for public infrastructure, Vehaun said. He pointed out that the city isn’t missing out on future taxes that Rock Hill “expected to do other things in the community with.”

“That was really the only financial commitment that we’ve made to the Panthers in that respect up until now,” he said. “The city is not financially at risk with anything that happens out there.”

U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman released a statement Sunday urging Tepper to be transparent with taxpayers and local officials. Norman, who’s been a Rock Hill real estate developer for decades, said in the statement he’s not “seen this degree of uncommunicativeness.”

“Each passing day that Tepper Sports declines comment only results in more rumors, more speculation, and more anxiety over catastrophic losses for our community should this venture fall apart,” Norman said.

S.C. Rep. JA Moore, D-Charleston, said in a statement Wednesday that he initially voted against giving millions in state tax incentives to fund the project for fear of a situation like this.

“We need to invest in smart economic development that benefits taxpayers and promoted economic growth, not make billionaires wallet’s bigger,” Moore said.

On Tuesday, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster told reporters in Greenville, S.C., that he’s spoken to Tepper about the situation.

“He explained it as a pause,” McMaster said. “I look forward to that pause being over with and we can get on going.”

This story was originally published April 15, 2022 9:46 AM.

Rock Hill newest development project set to demolish shopping center

ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - New beginnings are in store for a shopping center that’s spent years dilapidated and deserted.The building is on the three points of Rock Hill—the intersection of Albright Road, Heckle Boulevard and Saluda Street. Now, a developer plans to knock it down and build a development that intends to help the Black community.This is a part of the city’s southside Revitalization project known as the Clinton...

ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - New beginnings are in store for a shopping center that’s spent years dilapidated and deserted.

The building is on the three points of Rock Hill—the intersection of Albright Road, Heckle Boulevard and Saluda Street. Now, a developer plans to knock it down and build a development that intends to help the Black community.

This is a part of the city’s southside Revitalization project known as the Clinton Connection Action Plan. The building is supposed to be the anchor for what is to come.

The building used to be a shopping center and grocery store. There are still remnants of businesses inside and on the doors. The building itself is falling apart. It has looked like that for almost 10 years since it closed down in 2014.

But for the last several years, project developer Vincent James worked on a plan. Rock Hill City Council voted Monday to approve the development agreement with James and get this project off the ground.

James worked with the planning commission to figure out a plan for the area and what the community needs most.

The renderings include four different buildings. The smallest two are on Saluda Street. The plans says these would be about 3,200 square feet. There is one building, the biggest, around 19,000 square feet that is on Albright Road. The last building will be on Heckle Boulevard and varies size based on levels.

Rock Hill’s Economic and Urban Development Director Jennifer McAdams says the project could include a grocery store, a career and development center and other community-based infrastructure.

McAdams calls this a key piece of the Clinton Connection plan. The hope is to revitalize this underserved area, which is not growing as fast as other areas of Rock Hill.

She says this place will serve as that first domino.

”Having an announcement at a site that’s this visible, we really think is going to send a clear message to the community—the residents and to the development community—this is real,” McAdams says.

There is no set date when this will start but the developer agreed to demolish the building within 90 days, so we could see some movement here very soon. Then, that demolition has to be completed within 180 days of the start date.

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A blighted shopping center on Rock Hill’s south side is coming down. What this means

A blighted Rock Hill shopping center is a step closer to new life, in an area where new beginnings are the goal.On Monday night the city approved a development agreement with Impact Change for the Three Points project near Heckle Boulevard, Albright Road and Saluda Street. The project will be designed to transform a former grocery store and shopping center.“It’s been a blighted property for quite some time and thankfully we’ve had a person come to the forefront...who believes in the people of the south side, a...

A blighted Rock Hill shopping center is a step closer to new life, in an area where new beginnings are the goal.

On Monday night the city approved a development agreement with Impact Change for the Three Points project near Heckle Boulevard, Albright Road and Saluda Street. The project will be designed to transform a former grocery store and shopping center.

“It’s been a blighted property for quite some time and thankfully we’ve had a person come to the forefront...who believes in the people of the south side, and believes this is the best way we can get started,” said Mayor John Gettys.

Gettys thanked project developer Vincent James, of Charlotte, who received something unusual Monday night for developers in search of decisions at area municipal meetings — applause.

James spent several years on the project.

Almost two years ago James worked through issues with the city planning commission on plans that at the time included apartments and a daycare, and focused on teaching technology and entrepreneurship to serve the Black community.

“This is one area that is needed,” James said two years ago. “What I see that can happen is to improve entrepreneurship from the cradle going forward, and this is a great opportunity. It’s not just a babysitting nursery.”

More work followed from that earlier plan, as James said someone needed to spark community growth on the south side.

“It would be a very positive project for an area that has been overlooked for many years,” James said two years ago. “The rest of Rock Hill is developing while this area has been neglected. We want to be an anchor to spread further growth in the south end area.”

Now the project involves demolition of existing structures on the four acres to start within 90 days, and be completed within 180 days. A sketch plan for the property shows four buildings. One nearest an access point off Albright is about 19,000 square feet. Another on Heckle would have a 10,000-square-foot ground level, almost 5,800-square-foot upper level and 2,000-square-foot roof terrace. Two buildings along Saluda Street would have 3,200 square feet.

“We’re not here just to demolish and build a parking lot,” said Jennifer McAdams, city economic and urban development director. “This is going to facilitate the construction of several commercial structures.”

The agreement between Rock Hill and Impact Change commits the developer to demolish, clear and grade the site, McAdams said. The city will reimburse the developer for public improvements, up to $500,000. That money would come from the city economic development fund, and possibly future tax increment funding sources.

David Vehaun, city manager, said it depends on final investment at full buildout what the impact to the city tax base will be.

“With all the buildings that they talked about,” Vehaun said, “the city taxes alone would be about $85,000.”

Yet there’s another way the project aims to serve the city.

“It is a key project within the Clinton ConNEXTtion Action Plan,” McAdams said.

Clinton ConNEXTtion is an effort to attract jobs, business and housing in the area aroundof Clinton College. It’s been several years in the making, combining public and private partners.

The development agreement approved Monday night doesn’t specify which businesses might come into the new buildings. Yet this far into years of work to redevelop the property at Heckle, Albright and Saluda for new growth, Gettys offered his appreciation for the work James has done.

“I’m not sure I’ve met somebody so determined to get past every road block,” Gettys said.

This story was originally published May 11, 2022 12:19 PM.

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