Verdae has repurposed its first big-box retail space as part of its refreshed vision for 90 acres of Laurens Road.
West End Baseball, which has been located off of Dunbar Street near Greenville High School since 2010, is in the process of moving into a 12,000-square-foot space at 20 Haywood Road, which is part of the shopping center at the corner of Haywood and Laurens roads, said Bill Henderson, a co-owner with West End Baseball.
“We are very appreciative and excited about this window of opportunity with Verdae,” Henderson said. “Their vision of keeping the existing space active while planning the Verdae master plan fits perfectly with our business and clientele. We think this is a win-win.”
The new site for West End Baseball is interesting because it was the location for Verdae’s May announcement of its bold new strategy and outlook for the Laurens Road corridor as Greenville’s next-generation destination.
The refreshed vision aims to create a vibrant and inclusive mixed-use district that reflects Greenville’s cultural and social diversity while acting as a platform for economic innovation with office, residential, recreation, and retail in a new urban setting.
Dan Klausner, the CEO of Verdae Development, said West End Baseball is an important tenant in what he calls an “incubator space” for the project. Many people think of incubator space as an office market phrase, but Klausner said the term works across all real estate sectors.
Much of Laurens Road was developed in the 1970s and 1980s by a predecessor company of Verdae and like many developments of the era focused on big-box retailers as major tenants.
As Verdae transitions the property to a more mixed-used and modern design, it is imperative to activate those big-box spaces with new tenants who can bring life to the larger overall vision in the short term, and build exciting relationships with users that possess strong possibilities in future development, he said. Discussions with other tenants are ongoing.
“We’ve recognized an opportunity to activate existing structures and space ahead of the phased buildout,” Klausner said. “We remain very excited about the dynamic vision that we released for Laurens Road last May, and believe these types of transactions are a critical step in getting us there.”
West End Baseball is led by Henderson and Tod Frick, who both were drafted by Major League Baseball teams, and focuses on developing player development and teaching the intricacies of the game. Known as the region’s premier facility for one-on-one instruction, West End Baseball features travel ball, private education, strength training, and camp experience for developing baseball players. The site on Laurens Road will be almost twice as large as their former facility.
“We really needed a bigger space for a while, but the pandemic delayed our plans,” Henderson said. “Now, it was time to move and we are thankful to be part of what is happening at Verdae.”
Klausner said the goal is for West End Baseball to keep growing and evolving so when it comes time to look for its next space it may be in one of the future phases for Laurens Road that promote accessibility, sustainability, connectivity, and affordability.
“In the master planning world, we need to think seven steps ahead,” Klausner said. “Our goal is to find the right partners to grow with us. We wanted West End Baseball on our team.”
About Verdae Development
Verdae Development Inc. serves as the master developer for the 1,100-acre planned development. The real estate subsidiary of Hollingsworth Funds has assembled a dedicated team of professionals committed to creating and maintaining a community whose reach will extend far beyond the Verdae boundary for many years to come. In addition to encouraging responsible residential and business growth, the broader mission is to build a community whose impact on Greenville County will be lasting and profound. Visit www.verdae.com for more.