Spartanburg City Council approves agreement for apartment development along Rail Trail
$22 million Union Street development to be located adjacent to Rail Yard Park
At their meeting on Monday, Spartanburg City Council voted unanimously to approve a development agreement with Lat Pursur and Associates for construction a $22 million, 160-unit apartment development overlooking the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail on the corner of Forest Ave. and Union Street. As part of the agreement, 10 percent of the development's units will be set aside for affordable housing.
Under terms of development agreement the developer will pay a fee-in-lieu of taxes that will escalate from approximately $130,000 annually initially to over $750,000 annually over a 20-year period. The development is Lat Purser's second project in Spartanburg, following the Fitzgerald, which is currently under construction at the corner of Union and Kennedy streets.
Located adjacent to the Rail Yard Park and near the Vic Bailey Subaru Bike Park, the new development highlights the effectiveness City outdoor amenities have had in helping to stimulate economic development, with new outdoor gathering space, Fretwell opening earlier this month and Lat Pursur's other multifamily development, The Fitzgerald nearing completion along the Rail Trail's extension, currently under construction. Additionally, City staff is hopeful that this new investment, the first of its size along the Union Street corridor in many years, will serve to foster continued investment in the area.
In other action, Council passed the final reading of the upcoming fiscal year 2022-2023 budget in a 7-0 vote. In a memo to Council, City Manager Chris Story said that the budget includes "no significant operational changes" and no increases to City taxes or commonly applied fees. While Spartanburg continues to see record growth and economic development, Story said that staff projections account for a relatively modest 4 percent revenue growth, citing that it often takes a number of years to see such economic growth reflected in some large City revenue sources such as property taxes.
Expenditure increases this year include $1.5 million set aside for increases to City employee compensation, representing most of projected revenue growth. The budget includes a three percent cost-of-living adjustment for all City staff, with an additional two percent allocated for the City's Public Works department. In his presentation to Council, Story said the additional increase is needed to bring department salaries into alignment with the overall job market. Additionally, the budget includes mandatory increases to the state retirement and health care systems covering City employees.
Also included is budget funding this year is a new "senior management position," according to Story, along with a potential administrative position. The budget also includes an increase of around $80,000 for the Mayor and City Council office.
For more from Monday's Spartanburg City Council meeting, see the full video below.