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Greenville Business Magazine

BridgeWay Station: Trying to Keep Ahead of Demand

Apr 04, 2022 02:29PM ● By David Dykes

(Image Credit: McMillan Pazdan Smith) 

By L. C. Leach III

After a year of turning, moving, and replacing tons of dirt, construction crews are reshaping part of the city of Mauldin into an Upstate town center known as BridgeWay Station.

Buildings, rental spaces, drives, parking areas, and a special trail-bridge connecting BridgeWay Station to both Mauldin and other parts of the Upstate are not only progressing, but drawing growing numbers of tenants and elevating the same sense of excitement that came with the project’s groundbreaking in April 2021.

“So much of this project is already exceeding our own expectations,” said Rivers Hughes, principal with site-developer Hughes Investments Inc. “And once the different phases begin nearing completion, we believe BridgeWay Station is going to offer a premium living experience and heightened sense of community.”

 Phase I construction of the multi-year, 170-acre project is expected to be completed by late autumn of 2022 or early 2023. It will encompass over 451,000 square feet, and to date, has secured eight new business tenants, including:

• Poogan’s Southern Kitchen. Originally named after a fluffy little dog and launched in Summerville, South Carolina, in 2020, Poogan’s presence at BridgeWay Station will mark its third restaurant in the state and first in the Upstate.

From fluffy biscuits and shrimp and grits to its famous buttermilk fried chicken, Poogan’s brings a signature Charleston-style dining experience to a modern setting. Guests will soon enjoy spacious, 6,000 square feet of private indoor dining and bar seating, plus a 500-square-foot outdoor eating area that is pet-friendly. 

 • Belladina’s. Renowned for its authentic Italian pizza and cuisine, Belladina’s has been serving the Greenville community for over 10 years with its unique atmosphere, freshly imported Italian ingredients, and original recipes.

Now looking to expand upon the success of its first location in downtown Greenville, owner Joseph Leccese brings 50 years of family restaurant business experience to Mauldin at BridgeWay Station.

“It has been on our radar for a while,” Leccese said, “but just haven’t found the right location until now.”

Name-inspired after his two children, Belladina’s Italian Market will occupy just over 6,000 square feet of ground floor space in a six-story building, part of BridgeWay Station’s Phase 1 development.

• Cohesive Coffee. One of the newer additions to sign on for BridgeWay Station, Cohesive Coffee will also occupy a prime retail spot, in the main corner of a Phase I building currently under construction.

Building on its customer philosophy of “A Place To Belong,” Cohesive Coffee will bring its premium choices of coffee and teas and pastries from Sovereign Bakehouse in nearby Simpsonville, and incorporate them into a setting for meetings and social events. 

• GREEN Charter School. Now with five state campuses that focus on renewable energy education, sustainability, and conservation efforts, GREEN Charter School plans to open a new high school at BridgeWay Station in August 2022.

The new high school will begin with an expected enrollment of about 300-350 students and will offer a personalized high school experience for grades 9-12.

 "Currently the Greenville campus that serves our middle and high school students combines grades 7-12,” said Melanie Hammack, director of operations for GREEN Charter Schools.  “Moving the high school to BridgeWay Station will give our students the opportunity to have a rich high school experience tailored to the needs of those entering college or the workforce."

 • The Junkyard. The fitness center targets varied muscle groups in 45- to 50-minute instructor-led workouts. Its high-intensity interval training workout method blends music and personal coaching, using treadmills, cycles, rowers, and a functional lifting station. The Junkyard’s presence at BridgeWay Station will be its fourth location in the Upstate, and occupy 3,976 square feet on the ground floor of Block A building.

• Cinergy. This $23 million endeavor will not only occupy 70,000 square feet of retail space, but is expected to create resident jobs. Touted in 2019 by The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) as the Top Family Entertainment Center of the World, Cinergy Entertainment Group is bringing its first location to Greenville County (and ninth overall) with an immersive Virtual Reality Universe, boutique bowling lanes, fully themed escape rooms, luxury dine-in theaters, a chef-inspired menu, and a sports-themed bar.  

• Dodge Bearings and Power Transmission. A division of global technology company ABB, Dodge announced in June 2021 that it would move its headquarters to BridgeWay Station to create a more customer-focused innovation center.

This relocation came after the 143-year old company had spent 35 years on Pelham Road, and the move involved relocating more than 250 employees to a 75,000 square foot state-of-the-art building to accommodate Dodge offices, and an Innovation Center for developing and testing Dodge products.

Other businesses relocating to BridgeWay Station include Spectrum, Samsung, and Jackson Marketing & Motorsports.

As of early March, an additional six tenants had also signed on – and with other potentials already lining up to come to BridgeWay Station, Rivers Hughes said that construction is trying to keep up with interest as almost all of the commercial leasing for Phase I is completed.

“Harper Construction recently finished topping out 6 floors of exterior walls on the project’s largest single building so far, at more than 200,000 square feet,” Hughes said. “And we expect this building to be completed around the end of this year.”

Meanwhile, the next four buildings in Phase I are underway – one which will carry the distinct feature of a private rooftop pool with a waterfall flowing down to a public, open-air piazza with a performance stage for community events and activities.

“This portion of Phase I is expected to be complete in approximately one year,” Hughes said. “And the community as a whole will also benefit from additional commercial spaces for lease in this portion of the project. And with the bridge’s construction and subsequent connection to the Swamp Rabbit Trail, we are planning to begin construction of our park amenities near the bridge shortly, including pickleball and outdoor pet and picnic areas.”

Complementing Phase I is construction of a new pedestrian bridge, which will cross over Interstate 385 and connect BridgeWay Station to both Mauldin and other parts of the Upstate.

Upon completion, this $5 million endeavor will become part of the 22-mile, multiuse Swamp Rabbit Trail that is utilized each year by more than 500,000 walkers, runners, and cyclists.

And by the end of 2022, BridgeWay Station will likely be seeing its first residents.

“We hope to begin pre-leasing our 190 luxury apartment units in the next couple months,” Hughes said. 

Once fully completed, BridgeWay Station will carry a total build-out cost of more than $150 million, create thousands of jobs – including more than 1,000 in Phase I alone – and allow for office, retail, restaurant, multifamily residential, a stage for performing arts, different kinds of entertainment, and hotels to all exist on one site.

“BridgeWay Station is going to be like an entire town within the city of Mauldin,” said developer Phil Hughes at the groundbreaking on April 8, 2021.

And in its entirety, BridgeWay Station will carry not only its own signature look and function, it will establish a unique building model in the Upstate, and likely set a new standard for development and growth for cities all across South Carolina.

“We are excited to see Phase I of the project reach completion over the next year,” Rivers Hughes said. “And we can’t wait to open our doors and build the BridgeWay community.”