Sunday, December 18, 2016

Is Investing in the Tryon-Landrum Area a Good Idea?

Tryon, North Carolina and Landrum, South Carolina are equestrian hubs for horse enthusiasts all over the world, in addition to being a national hotspot for retirees. Tryon-Landrum are situated conveniently between Asheville and Spartanburg, about a 30-35 minute drive.  Both towns are greatly benefitted by their location and mild weather.

Tryon International Equestrian Center
Photo courtesy of  Tryon International Equestrian Center website

The world-renowned 1,400 acre Tryon International Equestrian Center opened in the summer of 2014.  Read below for some of its most well known traits:
  • 18-hole golf course
  • Hotel ($995/week)
  • RV spots ($300/week) 
  • Log cabin cottages ($1,395/week)   
  • Home rentals ($3,850 -5,850/week)
  • They have also purchased the Lodge on Lake Lure ($180-$298 / night)
  • Retail space and restaurants
As I understand it, the center is also expanding by building a small condominium building (a $450,000 to $1.3 million purchase per condo).

There have also been rumors that Carowinds has purchased land next to the center to build their next venture.

All this great news would make me believe that the area provides a perfect opportunity to invest in CRE right now!


Population: 1,625
Population growth rate: -.21%
Median age: 56
Median home listing price: $329,000 (

There are lots of great CRE deals out there!  Office space is abundant!  If you want to buy or lease office space, you won't have a problem finding a spot in Tryon.  Retail isn't too hard to find either.  Tryon does lack multi-family properties, however.  In addition, other than the equestrian center, I haven't seen any new construction.  Industrial space is zilch.

Residential and land prices have steadily increased over the last few years, but nothing to write home about.  Where land has boomed is, of course, the immediate area around the equestrian center.

The problem that I find is that the retirees living in Tryon have an anti-growth mentality.  They moved here because it's quiet and they want to keep it that way.  Outside the equestrian center, Tryon struggles with keeping retail space full.  Restaurants open and then close six months later.  Tryon's Facebook page has many stories of failed businesses that have since given up or moved to Landrum to give themselves a second shot.

Tryon is a wonderful town, don't get me wrong!  It's a lovely place to live, but I want to see more progress before investing in Tryon's CRE.


Population: 2,502
Population growth rate: +.86%
Median age: 42
Median home listing price: $459,000 (

I recently spoke to the head of a large brokerage located in Landrum who was adamant about letting me know how she despised commercial real estate.  I think the retiree anti-growth mentality lives in Landrum as much as it does in Tryon, but regardless, Landrum seems to have more visibility, traffic and activity.  Landrum has a more visible and easier route from Highway 26 than Tryon does. I'm more comfortable investing in Landrum than Tryon.  Real estate seems to move faster.

I recently bought an old church in Landrum, just a few blocks away from downtown.  In order to hold the property, I decided to make it an affordable event center (much cheaper than the equestrian center).  Before closing, I did my due diligence and contacted the city to make sure that I could indeed offer the property as an event center.  I was more than surprised when the city of Landrum called me and not only said yes, but offered to promote the facility.  This is a good sign!  I like a city who likes entrepreneurship, revitalization and progress.  Maybe the residents want to keep Landrum a secret, but the city government knows better.

Like Tryon, Landrum lacks multifamily properties for its permanent and seasonal residents who don't want to pay the equestrian center's absorbent fees.  There are some industrial spaces outside the town, but no visible vacant retail that I know of.


As the equestrian center continues to develop, Landrum will benefit more than Tryon, making Landum a safer place to invest in CRE.

What do you think?  Will Tryon-Landrum boom or bust over the next few years?  Leave your comments below.


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