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Developer buys 286-acre tract near Richburg

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Land will be ‘primarily residential’

By Brian Garner

A Canadian-based real estate developer, the Walton International Group, has purchased a 286-acre tract of land off of S.C. Highway 9 near Richburg.

According to a deed filed at the Chester County Courthouse this week, G and G Real Estate of Chester, LLC deeded the land to Walton South Carolina, LLC by warranty deed for $1 and other valuable considerations.

The land is described as a tract of land ‘south of S.C. Highway 9, bounded on the north by S.C. 9, lots of Gaston Park Subdivision, the “Gaston Home House” tract; on the east by the lots of the Cherry Hills Subdivision and residential lots along Lizzie Melton Road; on the south by lots of Springland Associates’ and on the west by the lots of Grady Bolton Jr.’

The actual land transfer is for a total of 446 acres, except for other pieces of land totaling 160 acres, for an actual piece of property totaling 286 acres.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based Walton International Group, Inc. is the parent company of Walton South Carolina, LLC.

According to their website, this group of real estate companies ‘is a multinational, privately-owned real estate investment and development group concentrating on the research, acquisition, administration, planning and development of strategically located land in major North American growth corridors. With more than 35 years of experience, Walton has a proven track record of administering land investment projects, including 23 development projects currently underway.

‘Walton takes a long-term approach to land development, building communities for today and tomorrow. Our developments are comprehensively designed in collaboration with local residents for the benefit of all community stakeholders. Our goal is to build communities that will stand the test of time: hometowns for present and future generations.’

The group of companies has previously built in the Carolinas, developing Bonterra Village, an equestrian themed subdivision in Indian Trail, N.C. in Union County.

Anthony Sparrow, general manager for the Walton Group properties in North and South Carolina and Tennessee, said his company has a desire to purchase properties in “the path of growth” and they seek to find the “highest and best use” of the properties they develop and manage.

“Chester County is experiencing growth along the I-77 corridor and we’ve been looking for properties in that area,” Sparrow said. “It’s a very active area from an economic development standpoint.

“There’s growth coming out of Charlotte, in the Fort Mill and Rock Hill area, and we see that continuing down I-77. Chester County has been very active from an economic development standpoint, and we like that. We have been looking for some property in the area, and we found a couple of pieces,” he said.

Sparrow said the Walton Group is a large company and over the last seven to 10 years, has bought over 78,000 acres of land in the United States. They manage the land as well.

He said at this time, the company does not know what the plans will be for this property, but it will be “primarily residential”.

“We’ll be working with the local municipalities and the county to try to determine what the best use of the property will be. It will be primarily residential; there will be some potential for mixed use, but that’s all going to depend on working with the municipalities and the county as we work through the zoning process and figure out what the highest and best use for the property is,” Sparrow said.

He said since the actual uses the land will be put to have not been determined, he could not say how many houses a potential subdivision would have, nor what the value of any development, or how much investment there would be.

Sparrow said part of what drove the decision for the Walton Group to purchase the land was the major industrial development, including Giti Tire, located nearby.

“That (Giti being built) absolutely had an effect on our decision; we think the economic development environment down there is good, we think it’s active, and having a manufacturer the size of Giti Tire just proves that point. The fact there are already there and building the plant substantiates the fact of the robust economic development in Chester County,” he said.

He said the company plans to push forward as soon as they can with getting plans and discussions going with the city and Chester County, so that they can figure out what they will be designing for that property.

He said Chester County residents should know “Walton is very methodical and responsible entity. We always try to plan the properties we acquire for the highest and best use, that fits the economic and growth environment of the areas that we buy in. We like to be involved in the communities, we like to understand the communities and we like to make sure the properties we buy are done responsibly and with the right uses on them,” he said.