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By: Bob Montgomery, Staff Writer Staff writer Alyssa Mulliger contributed to this story
The economic impact of the $60 million Drayton Mills project will be huge by stimulating job growth and boosting the tax base for Spartanburg and School District 7, officials say.
“The Drayton Mills project has already had a huge impact on the east side of Spartanburg economically,” said Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt. “When all the shops and restaurants open there this year, it will help catapult the Drayton Mills project as a destination not only for the east side of Spartanburg but for all of the Upstate.”
The 250-acre mixed use community at the 115-year-old former mill’s spinning and weaving buildings feature 289 loft apartment units, a commercial marketplace featuring a Rick Erwin restaurant, a coffee roasting business and shop, a microbrewery, a local fare market, a 60-foot lap pool, fitness studio, and a three-mile walking trail.
John Montgomery, CEO of Montgomery Development Group, said construction of the development has employed hundreds of workers over the past three years.
“Once the Drayton Mills Marketplace is open for business, depending on the users, there will be hundreds of new employees working there,” Montgomery said. “Rick Erwin’s restaurant will employ over 100 employees alone. The project will continue to bring investment and employment to the Spartanburg community.”
Gov. Henry McMaster attended a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, at Drayton Mills Marketplace.
He touted the multimillion-dollar housing and commercial complex and its role in local economic growth.
“This has all developed right here with the spirit and the innovation and the ideas of people right here in the community,” McMaster said. “You can look out the window and see the great potential that this has.”
Allen Smith, the president and CEO of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, said projects like Drayton Mills Marketplace demonstrate the momentum of growth.
“We have people that believe in Spartanburg, that have taken a chance on Spartanburg, that have invested in Spartanburg and they are winning because of it,” he said.
Britt said the project will be a big boost to Spartanburg’s east side.
“Their commitment to excellence in their rebuilding of the historic mill is like a super shot of adrenaline for the east side,” Britt said. “John Montgomery and his team are to be commended for their investment in the ‘New Spartanburg.’ ”
Spartanburg developer Geordy Johnson of Johnson Development Associates also praised the project.
“It is great to see continued investment in Spartanburg, and we hope the positive momentum and energy continues to propel the city,” Johnson said.