GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Greenville County Council voted Tuesday night to sign off on purchasing new buildings by the Haywood Mall, allowing state offices to relocate there and free up space at County Square.
In a 9-2 vote, county council passed the $33 million dollar acquisition of the buildings on Halton Road.
The deal brings County Council one step closer to beginning their $1 billion dollar County Square project, which would allow for redevelopment of the University Ridge and South Church Street area as soon as state offices move out.
“I think council made a good decision. It’s going to enable us to move forward,” Greenville County Council Chairman Butch Kirven said Wednesday.
“We evaluated the market and decided that this was a good deal for the need, that the county has for the property.”
While the green light was given, not everyone was in favor of the deal.
County Councilman Willis Meadows told 7-News that they’re purchasing the space for about 80% more than what it was sold for 18 months ago.
“It’s indefensible to be for us to pay that much more money than what we ought to be paying,” said Meadows. “I’m not against the project. I’m against wasting taxpayers money.”
Meadows told 7-News that the buildings were sold for only about $18 million dollars last year.
Kirven, however, stood firm on the decision and said that the money will come back into their pockets from sales on the downtown property, as well as increased tax revenue over time.
“We’re moving forward with the project and looking forward to the benefits it’s going to provide the citizens,” said Kirven.