GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A building expansion which would give seniors more affordable housing has been approved.

The City of Greenville design review board has approved JE Properties to expand Greenville Summit, an affordable housing option for seniors in the heart of downtown.

“When you are really talking about opportunities for people to be in the city in the downtown, near the downtown that is a harder thing to do because this is such a popular place but the fact is we are able to create these areas of downtown Greenville where surprise surprise we have affordable housing in the middle of the city.” Greenville Mayor Knox White said.

The existing Greenville Summit building, located at the corner of W. Washington St. and Richardson St. was originally constructed in 1912 as the Imperial Hotel. It is on the national register of historic places and is a local landmark in the city of Greenville. 

Currently, Greenville Summit offers 102 units for seniors who are charged 30% of their income for rent, averaging out to $338 dollars a month.

“It’s pretty cool, yeah,” Greenville Summit resident Charles Kilpatrick said. “I couldn’t afford any more. I am just drawing about $1,400 a month, that’s no money.”

Kilpatrick said he has lived in Greenville Summit for almost 20 years. He said he and other residents are thrilled that the once condemned building was brought back to life with extensive rehabilitation efforts and will now offer more seniors an opportunity to enjoy the city while local leaders continue to address the issue of affordable housing.

“I heard they were going to build back there now I believe it,” Kilpatrick said. “I said I would believe it when I see it but I’m seeing it.”

“It is really good because we are taking some people who perhaps lived close to downtown in years past and now, they can live close to their old neighborhood in the heart of downtown within walking distance of restaurants and shops,” White said. “It is a good quality of life for seniors for sure.”

The company who owns Greenville Summit, JE Properties said the project will be built on the existing site, in the parking lot, adjacent to 201 W. Washington St. with a new single-story hallway and courtyard connecting the two buildings.

“We were looking for creative solutions to create affordable housing in Greenville and we said let’s see if we can do it on our own property,” Joe Eddy, JE Properties president, said. “It is a very difficult site to fit 50 properties in there. It has a large city kind of feel. We are a Boston-based company. It has a Boston or a New York kind of feel trying to fit this building in it. In a relatively small area, but I think it is what is needed.”

Construction of the eight story addition is expected to begin in September of 2024 with 50 new units available by 2025. 

According to the city, seniors in the new addition will continue to pay 30% of their income as rent.