LAURENS, S.C. (WSPA) — Laurens Mayor Nathan Senn said the city council is working to meet the demand for rental housing.
This week, the council had its first reading to approve the sale of a six-acre, city-owned property to a developer.
“Laurens is experiencing a generational level of growth,” Senn said.
As Laurens grows, Senn said it’s important to have a place for everyone in the city.
“There’s a ton of anecdotal evidence that shows that we have tremendous need for this sort of housing, but unfortunately, we just haven’t had a supply to offer,” said Senn.
Now, the city is looking to sell a six-acre property, which Greenville developer Angels Three Development could turn into apartments. Senn said the property has been empty for years and would be a new source of tax revenue for the city.
“It’s essentially an open field that slopes down towards the little river. It’s a minute and a half walk from downtown,” said Senn.
He said new homes are under construction across the area, but not everyone is ready to buy. Senn thinks apartments could appeal to a wider group.
“We think it will provide a great opportunity for young professionals, teachers, folks with good manufacturing jobs, recent college graduates looking to come back home to Laurens,” said Laurens.
He said the sale is in the early stages. Neighbors near the property said they were surprised to hear about the plan.
“We didn’t know this land was for sale,” said Tomeka Craig. “It hadn’t been posted, they don’t have for sale signs out in the field, so we had no clue that they were selling it for an apartment complex.”
While she agrees that Laurens needs more apartments, she said this property isn’t the best fit for the area.
“I’m all for growth, but an apartment complex right here is not good, I don’t think,” said Craig.
She also fears developers could try to buy her home to add to the property.
“I feel like they will approach us. There are four houses on this land and two lots, and I know they’re coming to ask us to take our home,” said Craig.
She plans to attend upcoming council meetings and is encouraging her neighbors to speak up too.
Council will hear a second reading about this sale at a city council meeting later this month. Senn said they plan to sell the land for $200,000. The fund will support a new ‘city barn’ for the streets and sanitation department.