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Development in the Midlands starts to sprout (803) 771-8308March 6, 2014 

Two years after workers began preparing land for development at Killian’s Crossing in Northeast Richland, the first building is poised to spring from the ground at the 400-acre lifestyle center.

A Hardee’s restaurant is planned for a less-than-an-acre parcel at the entrance to the commercial and residential development, according to a press release from NAI Avant, which brokered the deal.

Killian’s Crossing developer Matthew Congdon says he believes the Hardee’s will be the first in a series of announcements this year about new developments at the site. Congdon began working on the $750 million development just out of college more than a decade ago with his family’s DCG Development Co. based in Clifton Park, N.Y.

Early on, Congdon pleaded guilty to breaking federal clean-water laws for filling in low-lying areas on the property and removing trees without getting the proper permits. He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and received probation, and the company agreed to pay a $1.1 million fine.

Two years ago, Congdon received final permits for developing the property and moved 750,000 yards of dirt to prepare the development to move forward. It is approved for 1.3 million square feet of shopping and dining space.

“Retailers have been moving slow,” Congdon said, as the economy makes a lukewarm recovery.

The biggest challenge he said he has faced is that retailers new to the Midlands or to South Carolina often want to enter the market around Harbison Boulevard – the longest standing retail corridor in the area. Once they have a presence, they often will expand to other parts of town, such as Northeast, he said.

Congdon said he tried to get Costco to look at the site, for example, but the mega-membership retailer wanted to start on the other side of town. A deal on Costco’s chosen site on Piney Grove Road recently fell through.

However, Congdon said he has several contracts pending with retailers, including a big box store and he hopes to make some announcements in the coming months.

Congdon said he is focusing on the retail development first and then will start trying to fill out the development with homes. Killian’s Crossing is approved for up to 550,000 square feet of office space, as well as up to 800 apartments, nearly 900 town homes, around 50 single-family homes and more than 360 independent living units. A town center is planned. And more than 100 acres have been set aside as green space for walking trails and small parks, Congdon has said.

Sandwiches and shopping

A new antiques and lunch spot is opening Saturday in Pontiac – and it will have a familiar feel.

Kimberly Gagliardi is opening Ivy Leaf & Lunch Bag at 10509 Two Notch Road in the Shoppes at Pontiac shopping center. It’s next door to her Ivy House antiques mall.

“We’re sprouting a new leaf,” she said.

The new store will offer a similar range of antiques and crafts as Ivy House, but it will feature more handcrafted and gift items, Gagliardi said. The French-style café will sell sandwiches and desserts from Crossings Deli on Farrow Road, as well as other snacks, she said.

This marks the fourth time the store has expanded in two years. The current store is 8,500 square feet, and the new store – which will have its own entrance and own manager – will be 4,500 square feet.

Gagliardi said she decided to open the new store when the space became available because she had 125 vendors on a waiting list for Ivy House. The new store allowed her to add about 60 of them, she said.

New vendors range from a children’s jewelry maker to a woman who makes beach home décor to antiques and vintage dealers.

The store will open Saturday at 10 a.m. with the Size Matters BBQ Bus selling meals in the parking lot. A grand opening celebration with door prizes, music and the BBQ bus is set for March 29.

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