Passion before Profit: Developers collaborate to provide high-quality affordable housing for families, seniors at The Sullivan

May 3, 2023

Co-developers open new 180-unit income-restricted community for families and seniors; immediate leasing available

Recognizing the critical need for high-quality, affordable housing across the Palmetto State, three developers have pooled their time, talents and money together to develop what is believed to be one of the largest new affordable housing projects slated to come on line in 2023 in South Carolina as they prepare to open The Sullivan apartment community in Greenville County.

”This is a challenging time to deliver a real estate project of any kind, as the current interest rate environment and post-Covid supply chain issues impact every project,” said Holly Douglas, a principal in and spokesperson for the development team. “And there are always significant financial considerations in such projects that have to be dealt with.”

“But we’ve assembled a strong team and successfully navigated this dynamic building market. For us, this is more than an apartment community. We have a passion and mission to address the critical need for high-quality, affordable housing that faces the entire Palmetto State and the Upstate in particular. This project is a critical step forward in that effort.”

Development of The Sullivan is a combined effort of Schaumber Development, Holliday Development and Douglas Development, three noted Upstate organizations that specialize in multi-family affordable housing. Often working in tandem, the firms have cumulatively developed, rehabbed or repositioned dozens of communities in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Virginia totaling over 10,000 units combined.

Housing at The Sullivan, which will offer floor plans with 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom options, are currently reserved for households making below 60% of the area median income (AMI), or around $51,000. Leaders in Greenville and Spartanburg counties each have estimated that their communities will need to provide more than 10,000 more units of affordable housing than exists currently and priced to be affordable to households earning up to 80% of AMI.

That striking need – and a passion to do more as well as do good – is the genesis behind The Sullivan.

“Throughout our careers, we’ve embraced the basic idea that, no matter how much money you earn, having a quality home to raise a family in or host friends in is critical to one’s sense of self-worth and respect,” said Drew Schaumber, principal with Schaumber Development. “We take a lot of pride in the end product. We challenge ourselves to provide high quality construction, efficient appliances, attractive finishes, and community amenities that help to make residents’ lives complete and enjoyable. That’s what folks are going to find at The Sullivan.”

The community itself, nearing completion and almost ready for its first residents, is striking in its attractiveness, amenities, quality and convenience, both Douglas and Schaumber emphasized, and will provide residents with an extraordinary level of privacy, peacefulness and security.

“The views of the Piedmont are beautiful, and the site is nestled away from the main thoroughfare of Sulphur Springs Road behind mature landscaping,” Ms. Douglas added.

The 180-apartment community is housed in five buildings in a prime location near to Travelers Rest at 6001 Jacks Lookout Road in Greenville County. The Sullivan is just minutes from Berea Elementary, Berea Middle School and Berea High School and the Berea Community Center; Greenville Technical College’s Northwest Campus is only 6 minutes away. For shopping, restaurants and healthcare, Cherrydale Point is but 8 minutes away while downtown Greenville is only a 13-minute drive for commuting workers. The community is located directly on a bus route, further enhancing accessibility.

The Sullivan’s amenities provide a feel more commonly found in higher-end communities as a means of building a sense of community and neighborhood, developers say. A resident clubhouse with coffee bar, business center, onsite laundry facilities and fitness center overlooks a resort-style pool with sundeck, playground and covered picnic and grilling area, while bike racks and an expansive dog park beckon to the outdoor enthusiasts among residents. Free wi-fi internet access will be available to residents in common areas around the clubhouse. The Sullivan is also just a short stroll from tie-ins to the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Units range from approximately 900 square feet to 1600 square feet. Within each unit, residents enjoy high ceilings, hardwood-style flooring as well as carpeting, walk-in closets, quality wooden cabinets, high-quality and laminate countertops among other features. Apartments feature energy efficient appliances, and include refrigerator, stove/oven, microwave, garbage disposal and dishwasher. Windows are energy efficient as are HVAC systems, with lighting, ceiling fans, washer-dryer hookups and prewiring for cable and internet included.

Affordable housing for working class families need not look or feel like many people expect affordable housing to look, adds Ms. Douglas. “We are continuously challenging stereotypes about what affordable housing looks and feels like,” she said.

“The Sullivan is designed to be a quality solution and showplace for how high-quality affordable development can be integrated within a community,” she said. “Wages for many jobs are not keeping pace with housing prices, and supply for rental homes at this price point are greatly lagging demand here. An absence of quality affordable housing solutions impacts everyone, not just those that need a place to live. We’re excited to be part of the solution in developing this neighborhood and working closely with our partners to bring The Sullivan to life.”

The project was financed through investment from RBC Capital Markets, JP Morgan Chase, Stifel, Prudential and Community Works, as well as 4% bonds and low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) administered by the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority. Progress Carolina is serving as general contractor on the community with Progress Design as architects.

Leasing operations are now underway, and information can be obtained by contacting the leasing office at 864-987-8133 or by e-mail at [email protected].

The Sullivan’s property management team, NHE provides professional association management, conventional and affordable apartment management, and service coordination to communities across the Southeast. Visit NHE at