Pools, tennis courts, and golf course are a few amenities that may sway prospective home buyers, but in Riverwalk, South Carolina cyclists looking for new homes will be wooed by the 1,500 residence Rock Hill Outdoor Center development, which will come complete with a Velodrome.
The development is currently under construction, as is the Girodana Velodrome, a 250 meters concrete track by Shuermann Architects. The community’s velodrome will be complemented by a permanent cyclo-cross and criterium course, plus 13 kilometres of mountain bike trails and a BMX track integrated into a supercross course.
The 1,000 acre development looks to woo international cyclists of all levels with its crown jewel, the Girodana Velodrome, and plans to host local, regional, national and international competition.
The rock hill outdoor center is currently under construction: Mike Cowan
The Rock Hill Outdoor Center is currently under construction
Rock Hill carries a $600 million price tag, which includes their array of cycling-friendly and sporting facilities as its focal point; the cycling amenities are not private, however, as they are funded and will be run by the city. “The property has 750 single family homes and 750 town homes, condos and apartments along with a movie theatre, YMCA, baseball fields and tons of retail along the river,” Spencer Lueders, Co-Founder of the project and Board Chairman for the Cycling Center Partners told BikeRadar. “This is unique because you can be at a restaurant located on the back stretch of the velodrome, it is not a stand alone facility, it is literally right in the middle of the community where things are happening all around.”
Lueders is currently discussing the potential of hosting national-level events and national championship events at the facility with USA Cycling. The sport governing body’s Chief Executive Officer, Steve Johnson went on a tour of the grounds and responded with a possible event schedule. “All of our facilities are capable of hosting national championship,” Lueders said. “USA Cycling sent us a letter about having national championships across all five cycling venues as long as they are constructed to the specifications by the sport governing body.
“We will also have housing nearby and the Winthrop University is just down the road so we want to partner with their sport scientists,” he said. “We have good weather all year round and I expect that athletes will move down here and live here full-time or come for months at a time to train. He will have high-level athletes using this facility all year.”
The project is ten years in the making and overseen by the community along co-founders Lueders and Mike Cowan, among others dignitaries who make up the board. It was approved by Rock Hill City Council last October when the Riverwalk development jumped on board. Construction began several months later and the facility will be complete at the end of this year.
“The city is paying for the venues and they will operate them through their parks and recreation committee,” Lueders said. “Rock Hill has done a phenomenal job at creating and maintaining facilities. We took them to Trexlertown, Pennsylvania and other sites where there are velodromes and they saw what it could be and jumped on board. They are progressive and care about the finer details. Our board is an advisory board to help them understand the cycling pieces.”