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Greenville-based Grace Church wants to spend upward of $2 million to create a campus near Carolina Wren Park in downtown Anderson.

The church has reached an agreement to buy the Alverson Center Theatre, which would serve as a worship hall with 400 to 500 seats, according to its business manager, Jeff Randolph. But the plans to create a downtown campus may hinge on the church's efforts to acquire the city's now-vacant Grey Building, which would house offices, children's classes and a lobby.

The two buildings on East Whitner Street would become a permanent home for nearly 500 congregation members who are now meeting weekly at North Pointe Elementary School on S.C. 81 North.

Anderson City Council members who serve on the city's economic development committee met privately Monday to hear presentations from the church and Rogue Holdings LLC, which also is interested in the Grey Building.

"They are both great proposals," said Councilman Kyle Newton. "It is great to see that interest in the downtown."

John Wright Jr., who formed Rogue Holdings last month, declined to discuss details about his plans for the Grey Building. Wright is the board chairman for the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Anderson School District 5 Board of Trustees.

Grace Church officials have not said how much they are willing to pay for the Grey Building or the Alverson Center Theatre.

According to county property records, the Grey Building has a market value of $150,900.

The theater has a market value of $244,000, according to county property records. The 1910 building originally was a furniture store that was later known as the State Theatre for more than three decades before it was acquired by the Anderson Community Theatre in the early 1970's. The Anderson Community Theatre dissolved in 2000 and was reorganized by its executive artistic director Robb Alverson as the Alverson Center Theatre.

If the church buys the theater, Alverson said he would still be able to stage multiple productions there each year.

Alverson said he is excited about the prospect of the church renovating "that old movie palace into a state-of-the-art building."

Pastor says church would provide economic benefits

Pastor Matt Williams founded the non-denominational Grace Church in 1995 and seven people attended its first service in the living room of a home. A total of about 9,000 people attended Easter Sunday services last month at the church's eight Upstate campuses.

The church's attendance in Anderson has doubled since it began leasing space at North Pointe Elementary in August 2015.

Williams said the time has come for the church to establish "an anchor" in Anderson.

He said a campus near Carolina Wren Park would provide a boost to Anderson's downtown.

"We can bring more commerce to the area than a restaurant or condos can do," Williams said.

Randolph said the church would bring 1,800 people downtown each week once its campus is finished in a few years.

He said the church's campuses in Greer, Simpsonville and downtown Greenville have aided nearby businesses.

Aldi opens second Anderson store Thursday

by Abe Hardesty

Anderson residents will get yet another grocery choice this week, when no-frills discount chain Aldi opens a new store on the S.C. 28 Bypass.

A grand opening is scheduled for Thursday at the new location, the second in Anderson for the fast-growing retailer known for its European-style, cost-cutting policies.

The official opening is scheduled for 8:25 a.m. Thursday.  Following a ceremony, the first 100 customers will receive a golden ticket, each containing Aldi gift cards of various amounts.

Customers can also tour the store, sample Aldi exclusive brand products and enter an on-site sweepstakes for a chance to win a year's supply of Aldi produce.

Anderson residents will get yet another grocery choice this week, when no-frills discount chain Aldi opens a new store on the S.C. 28 Bypass.

A grand opening is scheduled for Thursday at the new location, the second in Anderson for the fast-growing retailer known for its European-style, cost-cutting policies.

The official opening is scheduled for 8:25 a.m. Thursday.  Following a ceremony, the first 100 customers will receive a golden ticket, each containing Aldi gift cards of various amounts.

Customers can also tour the store, sample Aldi exclusive brand products and enter an on-site sweepstakes for a chance to win a year's supply of Aldi produce.

Careful...Don't Get Caught in the Rental Trap

by The KCM Crew

There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top benefits is being able to protect yourself from rising rents by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

Don’t Become Trapped 

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.comreported on what he calls a “Rental Affordability Crisis.” He warns that,

“Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that they’ll outpace home price appreciation in the year ahead.”

In the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University's 2016 State of the Nation’s Housing Report, they revealed that The number of cost-burdened households roseto 21.3 million. Even more troubling, the number with severe burdens (paying more than 50% of income for housing) jumped to a record 11.4 million. These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, such as food and healthcare.

It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent 

In Smoke’s article, he went on to say,

“Housing is central to the health and well-being of our country and our local communities. In addition, this (rental affordability) crisis threatens the future value of owned housing, as the burdensome level of rents will trap more aspiring owners into a vicious financial cycle in which they cannot save and build a solid credit record to eventually buy a home.”

“While more than 85% of markets have burdensome rents today, it’s perplexing that in more than 75% of the counties across the country, it is actually cheaper to buy than rent a home. So why aren’t those unhappy renters choosing to buy?”

Know Your Options

Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your first home. HousingWire reportedthat analysts at Nomura believe:

"It’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment. 

It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.” (emphasis added)

Many first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream home. As we have reported before, in many areas of the country, a first-time home buyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough!

Bottom Line

Don’t get caught in the trap so many renters are currently in. If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. Have a professional help you determine if you are eligible for a mortgage.

A developer has purchased the historic Palmetto Building in downtown Anderson and plans to put loft apartments in the space.

John Ferguson, who has spent three decades in the insurance business, said the building on South Murray Avenue is part of his "retirement plan," and represents his first major project as a property developer.

Ferguson, who now lives in Williamston. said he looked all over the Upstate for the right property before he studied the Palmetto Building and decided it was the right fit.

"When you don't know exactly what you want to do, as I didn't, the best thing you can do is talk to as many developers and experts as possible," he said. "I consistently heard from developers and officials that residential development in a downtown drives retail growth and office growth and the right kind of growth.

"A spot in Anderson was a good fit for me because I grew up near the city on Shackleburg Road. It also matters to me, because I see the empty storefronts downtown and maybe a residential project would help fill some of those."

The 33,000-square-foot Palmetto Building was built near the turn of the 20th century. For much of its existence, the building served as a warehouse for the former Sullivan Hardware Company.

More recently, the building space was divided into multiple parcels with different owners. Part of it was used as office space for a time. But in recent months, it has sat vacant, its grand windows dirty and its door padlocked.

Ferguson said he bought the building a little at a time, starting in 2015. The third floor was bank owned and was the first section he bought. He bought the remaining space as his finances allowed, completing the purchase about four months ago.

Ferguson said he plans to have 20 to 30 apartments in the building. The exact number will depend on whether he makes the whole structure residential space or whether he leaves some of it for some other type of development, he said. He plans to have one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, ranging from 800 square feet to 1,200 square feet.

He is targeting three types of customers: young singles or couples with no children, empty nesters who don't want a large space to maintain, and people who are in the Anderson area for six to 12 months on business. He said he is not yet sure what the price point on the apartments will be, or when major work will be underway.

Green Pond lands another major fishing event

by Abe Hardesty


Another major fishing tournament plans to arrive in Anderson in October.

The 2017 Academy Sports B.A.S.S Nation Championship, an event that offers three berths in the Bassmasters Classic tournament in early 2018, is scheduled for Oct. 19-21 at Green Pond Landing.

The international tournament features qualifiers from 50 states and 10 foreign countries, a formula that will bring 118 fishermen to town that week.

It will be the first appearance at Green Pond Landing for the B.A.S.S. Nation series, one of seven trails sanctioned by BASS. In a release, B.A.S.S. Nation Director Jon Stewart called Green Pond "a great fishery, and ... a fantastic launch and weigh-in area. We are excited to be going to Anderson."

“Anderson County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did a great job renovating the ramp area for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic a few years ago, and they have improved it even more since then," Stewart said. "We are expecting the weather and the fishing to be excellent that time of year.”

The latest addition to the Green Pond schedule raises the total of major events there to 18 in 2017.

Forty-seven states and one Canadian province (Ontario) will send 20-person teams (10 boaters and 10 non-boaters) to one of three regional tournaments. The top boater and non-boater from each state will then advance to the Nation Championship on Hartwell. The top boater and non-boater from nine other foreign countries and the Paralyzed Veterans of America champion and the defending B.A.S.S. Nation champion are also invited.

Visit Anderson Director Neil Paul said the tournament is significant because it is part of the B.A.S.S. circuit and because it will bring fishing enthusiasts to Anderson more than once. Besides the three-day event, which begins on a Thursday, the tournament will entice pro fishermen to visit the area all summer.

"Most of the anglers who qualify will know by the end of June that they'll be coming here for the championship," Paul said Monday, "and that means they'll be coming here in July, August or September to practice."

The chance to fish in the Bassmaster Classic five months later boosts the interest in the event, one of the few three-day tournaments on the series. The champion will receive a Bassmaster Elite Series berth, paid entry into the division of their choice in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens, a prize boat, and the use of a fully-rigged, tournament-ready boat for one year.

Second- and third-place finishers will also earn the use of a fully-rigged boat for one year, as well as paid entry into their division of choice in the Bassmaster Open.

In 2016, Ryan Lavigne of Gonzales, Louisiana, won the tournament as an unlikely candidate — a non-boater — and won it by an enormous margin of 16.5 pounds on Lake Conroe outside of Houston. He also earned a chance to compete in the 2017 Bassmaster Classic, where he finished 16th among 52 of the world’s best bass anglers.

The countdown to RED Day, Keller Williams’ global day of service, has begun!

On May 11, 2017, more than 150,000 Keller Williams associates from around the world will celebrate Mo Anderson’s birthday by closing their businesses for the day and pouring thousands of hours into their local communities through volunteer projects. Introduced in 2009, RED Day, which stands for Renew, Energize and Donate, embodies the generous spirit and commitment associates have to “giving back” to the cities and towns they live and work in.

A look at RED Day throughout the years

For nearly a decade, market centers have diligently planned and executed service projects of all kinds on this special day.

RED Day 2015

In 2015, KW Bodrum Turkey dedicated their time to working on projects for elementary children with disabilities. Associates from the Keller Williams Realty San Diego North Inland office teamed up with Poway Veterans Organization (PVO) and hosted a “Bring a Vet, Write a Check” All-American Breakfast to raise funds for veterans in their families. Keller Williams Realty - Points East in Greenville, N.C., spent RED Day picking up litter, planting flowers, and helping a Vietnam veteran undergoing cancer treatment with home projects.

RED Day 2016

In 2016, associates from the international office (KWRI) in Austin, Texas, donated their time to BookSpring, a local charity aimed at increasing literacy in underserved schools. Activities included visiting schools, helping organize and decorate school libraries, and reading to children at 11 area locations. KWRI staff also collected over 4,000 books, which were given to students to take home for the summer to continue their reading progress.

RED Day 2017

This year, Keller Williams Realty Northern Colorado has a goal of raising $17,000 to donate to Harvest Farm, a farm and rehabilitation program that is breaking the cycles of addiction and homelessness. The office will also spend the day helping the Fort Collins Rescue Mission as well as Harvest Farm plant their summer garden.

Keller Williams Arizona Realty will be hard at work painting, planting trees and flowers, as well as building a new deck and wheelchair ramp to help a S.T.A.R. center transition to a new location. S.T.A.R., which stands for Stand Together and Recover, is an organization that offers peer-run support services to assist adults diagnosed with mental illness journey toward personal recovery through socialization, education and self-advocacy.

Help us make this year’s RED Day the most successful day of service yet! Download RED Day marketing and promotional materials to help spread the word about your market center’s projects.


The Importance of Using a Professional to Sell Your Home

by The KCM Crew


When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price for it with the least amount of hassles along the way. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is actually getting their homes sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the percentage of buyers who used the internet in their home search increased to 94%.

However, the report also revealed that 96% of buyers who used the internet when searching for homes purchased their homes through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their homes directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the home they will buy (50%), to negotiate the terms of the sale (47%) & price (36%), or to help understand the process (61%).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.” This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who have used agents to buy their homes has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.

Anderson Shred Event - April 22nd 9am

by Better Business Bureau

Gather unneeded and outdated personal documents, old cellular phones and computer equipment for Better Business Bureau’s biannual BBB Secure Your ID Day! Take advantage of free document shredding and cell phone recycling at two locations in the Upstate. 


On Saturday, April 22, 2017, the Better Business Bureau of the Upstate will host Shred Day, a national event created to promote awareness about identity theft and protection, in Anderson and Greenville. During the event, individuals and businesses will be provided with FREE commercial shredding services, and will also be able to recycle computers and cell phones. Additionally, BBB staff and representatives from partnering organizations will be available to answer questions about preventing identity theft and provide resources for victims.

View the suggested Records Retention Schedule to see how long to keep personal information before shredding.

Anderson Event

Sponsored By Chick-Fil-A and Goodwill

Anderson Mall
3131 North Main Street
Anderson, SC 29621
9 a.m. – noon 


Sushi restaurant planned for downtown Anderson

by Kirk Brown


Something fishy is happening with the restaurant scene in downtown Anderson.

Jon Angell said Monday that he hopes to open a sushi restaurant on Federal Street later this year. The yet-unnamed restaurant would be around the corner from the recently opened Shucks Oyster Bar.

"It will be first class," said Angell, whose 14 existing restaurants in South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina include two in downtown Anderson — the original J. Peters Grill & Bar and Catfish Johnny's, which opened in October.

Besides sushi, Angell said, the new restaurant's menu will include two or three "high-end" steaks and burgers.

Angell said the new restaurant will likely include seating for about 100 customers. It will be housed in a building at 101 Federal St. that is owned by Anamaid LLC. The registered agent of Anamaid LLC is John Glenn, who is a prominent landowner in downtown Anderson. Glenn could not be reached for comment Monday morning.

The inside of the building will be completely gutted to make room for the restaurant, Angell said.

Two residential lofts also will be added to the building, said Stephen Taylor, the city of Anderson's economic development director.

After a brief closed session Monday night, the Anderson City Council approved a $68,500 incentive package for the project. The incentive money will be allocated in five payments spread over six years, Taylor said.

The project is projected to generate more than $70,000 in new revenue for the city over the next five years, and the taxable value of the property is expected to increase by $700,000, City Manager Linda McConnell said.

Last July, council members approved a $37,400 grant to help pay for interior improvements at Shucks Oyster Bar. The city previously provided financial incentives for the Mellow Mushroom restaurant in downtown Anderson.

Angell said he would appreciate the financial assistant for his new restaurant.


Lake Hartwell residents get say in shoreline plan

by Abe Hardesty


Just a few miles from a lake that is 10 feet lower than it stood a year ago, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Project Manager Ken Bedenbaugh anticipated a flood of questions on that subject Tuesday.

A workshop on shoreline management brought more than 70 Lake Hartwell residents to the Civic Center of Anderson, where the lake level was among a wide range of concerns.

The meeting was the first step in an 18-month process to revise Hartwell's shoreline management plan, a subject in an informal, drop-in meeting that also prompted questions about docks, zoning changes and the cutting of underbrush near the shoreline.

The corps will continue to take comments through June 11.

Lake Hartwell Association Director Herb Burnham, a frequent lake visitor since coming to the area in 1974 and a lake resident since 1998, said most of the topics are well-worn. Citing a law-change process that involves federal officials, two states and several counties, Burnham doesn't expect the workshop to trigger any major changes.

"The states make the rules. The Corps of Engineers enforce the rules. Most people on the lake don't realize that," said Burnham, who is among those often frustrated by lake laws "that involve a lot of detail, with not enough leeway."

"Local people need to have more authority, and more ability to do some things based on common sense, " Burnham said. "The rules, over the years, have evolved into too much detail, too much minutia."

Bedenbaugh's staff will collect data and comments from Tuesday's meeting, and others Wednesday in Hartwell, Georgia, and Thursday in Seneca, into a draft of a revised plan that is expected to be completed in September 2018. The Hartwell meeting is scheduled for 4-7 p.m. at the Adult Learning Center on Benson Street. The Seneca meeting is scheduled for 4-7 p.m. at the Gignilliat Community Center.

"We don't foresee any huge changes, but you never know what comments we'll get from the public that could change that," said Bedenbaugh, who listed cutting underbrush as the topic which generates the most questions on a regular basis.

Underbrush is a long-running issue. Property owners typically seek permission to cut trees blocking a view of the lake, Bedenbaugh said, while engineers prefer keeping a "vegetative buffer" between the property owner and the lake.

"Those roots hold the soil. If you take them out, you'd have erosion," Bedenbaugh said. "The trees also provide thermal moderation, giving fish some needed shade, and the roots protect the water source by taking the junk out of the soil."

Shoreline Natural Resources Manager Sandy Campbell anticipated "a wide range" of suggestions. "We'll get a wish list of things, many of them we can't do. But we'll also get some good ideas."

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 154

Terri’s Team is licensed in SC & GA and located in SC