YORK — A 15-acre retail center in a key commercial corridor on the S.C. 5 Bypass near York Comprehensive High School is getting ready to have its first occupant.
York Dental Group, a local dental practice, has purchased an office under construction in Creekside Plaza, a commercial project next to the high school. The project is being developed by Albert Oliphant and Piedmont Partners.
The Creekside Plaza project, first approved by the York City Council five years ago, calls for a 48,000-square-foot anchor tenant with 15,000 square feet of attached space for “shadow retail” shops, said Bryan Tuttle with The Tuttle Co., which is representing Oliphant.
The anchor tenant will be surrounded by six commercial outparcels for restaurants, banks, consumer services such as the dentist office or other uses, he said.
“It’s a great corner, a strategic part of York’s natural evolution from a commercial and retail point of view,” Tuttle said. “It’s a really good location, it was just a bit premature with the development of Walmart and those other positions.”
Dr. Robert Renner, a dentist in York Dental Group with Dr. Greg Greiner, said they expect the new office be ready to move into in early March.
“We needed a bigger building,” Renner said of the move from the practice’s current Liberty Street location. “We’re growing and we don’t have enough space in our current office.”
He added: “We love the location right there.” The office, with two dentists, four hygienists and six other office staff, might be adding another employee or two, he said.
Tuttle said the main tenant for Creekside Plaza will most likely be a grocery store, although it could be something else. “We’re kind of waiting on a grocery-based anchor, maybe something else, but traditionally you would expect it to be grocery.”
The York council in December extended the development’s 2008 approval for two more years, nothing that most development at that time was slowed for several years by the economic downturn.
“That’s a key corner parcel,” said York Mayor Eddie Lee. “It’s an important development, because it’s indicated the economy is roaring back.”
Tuttle said the developer likely will sell several more of the outparcels before it nails down an anchor tenant.
“The point is to have a good road map for what it looks like,” he said.
Tuttle said the project was planned and approved before the high school opened in the fall of 2010 and the S.C. 5 Bypass widening was completed in late 2012.
“We knew what the location was, and how good it would be eventually,” he said. “It just needed to be planned properly, so we set that up.”
Now that the road work is finished and the high school is open, Tuttle said the area is ready for commercial development.
“It’s kind of becoming close to the head of the line, in terms of the next most likely opportunity to develop in York,” he said. “We’ve got the synergies with the high school and the road widened.”
Tuttle said plans for the development originally included a multi-family component, but that was later changed to include only retail and commercial space.
“Retail is always a function of rooftops, and York has slowed down its residential development over the past few years,” he said. “As that continues to improve and new developments come into York, that will really be the catalyst for a destination retail opportunity,” he said.
Jennifer Becknell • 803-329-4077