Rock Hill, SC

Riverwalk

A Grand Vision for Catawba’s Waterfront

status

Completed 2009

client

Assured Group of Companies

expertise

Master Planned Communities

services

Landscape Architecture, Master Planning

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From Chemical Plant to Thriving Community

Riverwalk marks a new chapter for Rock Hill, creating a new way to live, work, and play along the banks of the Catawba River.

Located along the banks of the Catawba River in Rock Hill, SC, the former site of the Celanese Chemical Plant sat dormant with no clear future. Due to contamination, many would not dare take on the ambitious task of developing the brownfield site, but Assured Group of Companies saw an opportunity that would ultimately become the catalyst for growth in Rock Hill. With the land secured and brownfield testing underway, the client sought help in finding the path to realize their vision. LandDesign was engaged to establish a master plan for Riverwalk with the goal of creating the next great place to live, work, and play, and build on the ambition for Rock Hill to become a regional recreation and hospitality destination.

Spanning 1,000 acres, Riverwalk includes over 3,000 residential units, a boutique retail district, and business park that is anchored by a unique recreation and open space experience. The master plan orients the community towards the Catawba River, a perceived risk at the time, given that over three miles of the riverfront would remain accessible to the public. We embraced these access points and strategically located the retail and dining district along the water’s edge, further generating value for the community. Today, the retail district at Riverwalk is an attractor for trendy businesses and a popular destination for visitors. We further enhanced the pedestrian experience by creating new access points to the City’s existing and planned regional trail and greenway network so that the public amenity could be enjoyed by the Riverwalk community.

Our Vision

World-Class Recreation Experience

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The City of Rock Hill set its sights on becoming a regional hospitality and recreation destination with the goal of setting the City apart from other communities in the greater Charlotte region. Riverwalk presented a unique opportunity to advance the City’s goals by creating a recreation experience that would accommodate private residents as well as public visitors. Rather than isolating the community, we merged the public and private open space amenities, including a public greenway and multi-use trails, to promote an active lifestyle and unify the community. Both planned and spontaneous recreation amenities allow residents and visitors to explore Riverwalk by walking, cycling, or even canoeing. The recreation experience is amplified through the on-site velodrome and BMX facility, which positioned the City of Rock Hill as a world-class recreation and hospitality destination. By balancing the needs of the public and private realms, Riverwalk increased connections to the greater region and has been a catalyst for growth and development in Rock Hill.

The Challenge

Remediate Contaminated Land for Valuable Community Open Space

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As a result of contamination from the former chemical plant, Riverwalk was deemed a brownfield development, which came with a unique set of complexities and constraints. Before we put pen to paper, brownfield experts conducted extensive testing and identified areas that were unsuitable for new development, which left vast areas of open space. While traditionally this space would go unused and be positioned as back-of-house green space, we sought to create new value for the community and activate these areas as part of Riverwalk’s open space experience. We formed new connections to planned trails and programmed pocket parks to form community gathering places. By creating a second life for these open spaces and integrating them into the fabric of the Riverwalk, we generated immense value for homeowners and the greater community.

Our Approach

A Community Accessible for All

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Physical

Create a competitive live-work-play destination by orienting boutique retail toward an activated waterfront

Functional

Open the community to a diverse set of residents by offering various housing types

Social

Boost the City's recreation destination vision by developing 3+ miles of accessible riverfront, a trail and greenway network, and state-of-the-art cycling facilities

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Physical

Create a competitive live-work-play destination by orienting boutique retail toward an activated waterfront

Homepage Header

Functional

Open the community to a diverse set of residents by offering various housing types

Homepage Header

Social

Boost the City's recreation destination vision by developing 3+ miles of accessible riverfront, a trail and greenway network, and state-of-the-art cycling facilities