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Florence Developments

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Yep! That would be the shop! Wow! It's still there. How great.

Pamplico, too, is a handsome little town from what I can recall. One my Aunt's still live there. Most of my family though have passed away or moved to the Northeast and the State of Florida. I have another Aunt, a retired teacher, who lives in Columbia out near Columbia College. She and husband also have property up in Hopkins (where I like to stay when I visit) and more property in the the pretty county north of Columbia in beautiful red hills and on a wide black river.

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Pamplico is cleaner and nicer than a lot of the small towns in SC. I use to live close to Columbia College from '90 - '96. That area is undergoing a renaissance of its own. The county north of Columbia (Ricjland County) is Fairfield.

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First post:

Resident (26 yrs old). I work downtown. Part of the problem with Florence were decisions made that have accumulated over a long period of time. First of all Francis Marion University should have been located downtown instead of the boonies. The technical school has relocated its nursing school downtown and built a parking garage which helps but still most of the commercial activity occurs just west of town and just south. The civic center (10,000 seats) was also located near the interstate instead of downtown. Recently the new library opened up, $20M project I believe. McLeod hospital also continues to expand its workforce and facilities. A lot of the historic older buildings were torn down (Old McLeod hospital, city hall) which is a shame. Downtown continues to have crime issues. There is a movement underway to restorate the downtown and the library was the first phase of this. Hopefully in the next few years downtown can become a cultural and commercial center. There should be a new Fine Arts center downtown soon, they are currently in the process of raising money for that which should be pretty nice. We obviously have a long way to go and things have gotten out of hand over the years making the task very hard.

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Welcome to the forum thebarb20!

I'm glad we're attracting more people who are familiar with the Florence area. When I was there, I noticed what I thought to be gang related activity. But I'm not an expert, so its hard to say. I think DT Florence has alot of potential. Do you have any information on what else is involved with the redevlopment phases?

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Welcome to the forum thebarb20.

In case you didn't know, Francis Marion was originally suppose to be built near Delmae Elementary School. That would have been a better location, and in the city's urban area, instead of the boonies. The location was changed after the Wallace family donated 100 acres and their antebellum home to the state for the college. Of course, they were all too happy to SELL the additional 200+ acres that the school needed.

There is a subdivision off of Third Loop Road called "College Park". It got that name because the developers knew the college was going in that area. But they counted the chickens too soon on that. College Park also has the distinction of being where my parents lived when I was born.

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I went to Francis Marion. They have by-laws that state no football. It is a shame that they didnt locate downtown. When I get my digital camera fixed, I'll try to get some photos of the new mcleod tower under construction on here. i'm afraid on true downtown redevelopment that we may never get over our crime issues.

Edited by thebarb20

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[

There is one non-McLeod seven story building downtown. The City-County Complex is 11 stories. McLeod has two seven story buildings and also a five story building that is currently expanding upward to 12 stories. There is a second hospital in town with 9 stories, but is is 2-3 miles south of Downtown.

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Just wanted to let you know the construction of the McLeod Tower Downtown is moving along fairly well. It is supposed to be at least 12 stories and there are 2 massive cranes that were constructed for the project.

By the way, the tomorrow is the 1st annual pecan festival downtown. Hopefully, it'll become something good, I don't expect much this year though.

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Yep..always liked to go to Young's. This past week I got another company's

Pecan-goods magazine. Someplace from down state. I guess Young's sold

my name.

I know downtown is kind of dead but I love working in Florence. My clients

are located around I95 at I-20, or at the Darlington Hwy. So easy to get

around. And good people to work with.

Hey TheBarb20, is crime really a big problem there? I'd never heard that.

Is the problem just downtown ?

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downtown has a lot of crime. Florence historically has a lot of problems with burglary. I have a friend on the police force and there is a tremendous problem with hard drugs in the inner city. Otherwise the town is fine. Like a lot of towns there's two sides of the railroad track. I live right around the I-20 and I-95 interchange. My soccer team's facility is at the intersection of the I-20 and 340.

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I live right around the I-20 and I-95 interchange.  My soccer team's facility is at the intersection of the I-20 and 340.

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One of my clients is right there. They sell software to churches.

Are you a planner in government down there? I consult with the

COG there for maybe 10 years now.

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Downtown Florence continues move toward revitalization

By TRACI BRIDGES

Morning News

Buildings on Evans Street in Florence are reflected in the window front the new salon founded by Oscar James as Don Walker of Florence Carpet and Tile works on the floor inside the salon, which is set to open in December 2004.

Heidi Heilbrunn (Morning News)

FLORENCE -- With the recent demolition of two of the city’s worst eyesores, revitalization continues to progress throughout downtown Florence.

Though not as visible as the disappearance of the old Downtown Inn and the old Investor’s Savings Bank building, there are more changes on the way in downtown Florence, Downtown Redevelopment Coordinator Roy Adams said.

“We’re working on a lot of different things right now,” Adams said, “and we’re expecting some even bigger things in the months to come.”

One of those big announcements is likely to involve the former site of McLeod Hospital, near Cheves and Dargan streets. The 2.106-acre lot is vacant, but Florence City Council voted last week to allow the city manager to execute an Option to Purchase agreement with Dr. E. Conyers O’Bryan Jr. for private development of the property.

Mayor Frank Willis said no plans have been finalized as to exactly what will be developed on the site.

“All we know is they’re looking at developing some kind of office complex there,” he said. “We don’t know if it will be strictly offices, or some mixed retail. We’ve still got to get them together with our design review committee to talk about the specifics.”

Don Wise of Florence, who is representing O’Bryan, said they hope to have more details about their plans later. One new addition to the downtown area, Oscar’s Salon, is slated to open for business Dec. 14.

In addition to hairstyling, barber, manicure, pedicure and massage services, the salon will feature many unique amenities, such as a juice bar and a computer station customers can use while waiting.

The founder of the salon is Florence native Oscar James, hairstylist to celebrities such as Halle Berry, Tyra Banks, Vanessa Williams and Iman. A grand opening celebration for the salon is planned for January.

In the meantime, Oscar’s will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday to cosmetologists and professionals interested in working at the new salon. Applications will be available both days, and salon representatives will be on hand to answer any questions.

Meanwhile, other projects are in the works including an effort to refurbish and clean up the large parking lot located behind businesses along West Evans Street.

“The asphalt needs to be resurfaced and stripped. The back of the buildings need to be cleaned up, and the back entrances need to be opened,” Adams said. “We want to put in new lighting, new landscaping, and we also want to try to get some help from the federal government to take all those utility wires back there and put them underground.

“But the key to the whole project is that this is private property, so the only way the city can do this work is through long-term lease agreements with the property owners,” he said. “We’ve got to have those leases from the property owners.”

As work continues on downtown’s aesthetics, Adams said officials also are working on providing help and consulting to downtown merchants.

“We’re negotiating with Francis Marion University’s Small Business Institute to have professor Joe Aniello and his students provide technical assistance and work with the merchants at no cost to the merchants,” Adams said.

“Right now, we have a private consultant providing these services at a cost of $500 to the merchants, so a lot of them are not willing to spend that kind of money or don’t have the money to spend,” he said. “I think a lot more merchants would use the services if they didn’t cost what they do now, so we hope to kick off a program with the FMU Small Business Institute by the first quarter of next year.”

This is a good sign, but other projects have been proposed for the old McLeod property, but they never panned out. This might have a better chance since the nearby eyesore buildings have been demolished, but I still have doubts.

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Its good to know that Florence is trying to restore downtown. I would suggest removing the billboard that reads" Welcome to downtown Florence!" That was an eyesore in itself. A simple stone/brick sign would accomplish the smae thing.

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Jan 14, 2005

Downtown Florence redevelopment plans include office, residential space

By TRACI BRIDGES

Morning News

Mayor Frank Willis speaks at the redevelopment town meeting Thursday night held at Poynor.

Ana Pimsler (Morning News)

FLORENCE - Downtown redevelopment consultants un-veiled plans for several specific projects in the downtown area Thursday night, drawing support and questions from area residents.

The plans include several large-scale projects in the Downtown Arts and Cultural District, including an arts complex featuring a performing arts center and a new home for Florence Little Theatre on the site of the old Downtown Inn and the old Investor

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Jan 14, 2005

Former Inn Downtown site chosen as performing arts center location

By JUSTIN BAILEY

Morning News

FLORENCE - The consulting firms responsible for assisting the city of Florence in its downtown revitalization projects announced their recommended location for the proposed performing arts center during a meeting Thursday at Poynor Adult Community/Education Center.

Hunter Interests Inc. and Allison Platt & Associates presented the early recommended guidelines for the major components of the city

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That is great news. Florence has such an unattractive downtown now, and I felt unsafe driving through it. That said- I felt like there was alot of potential there. It seemed like that with some effort, it coudl be a very nice place. I am glad to hear this news that they are making great strides in the revitalization process.

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looks as if the NE corner of downtown area will continue to be a blight. However, they are not really interested in doing any major projects in the North Dargan area. They will continue to do major projects along Palmetto and Irby with the latest being the office building at the old McLeod Hospital site and the Fine Arts Center across the street from Poyner.

Decisions were made a long time ago that affect the city today. They should have built a 76 bypass and kept Palmetto St. the way it was intended. My father tells me about when Palmetto was lined w/ Palmetto trees all the way through town. This would be awesome if that could be done again. City Hall, etc. should have never been torn down.

The McLeod Tower is coming along quite nicely. I'll try to get you guys some pictures one day.

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looks as if the NE corner of downtown area will continue to be a blight.  However, they are not really interested in doing any major projects in the North Dargan area.  They will continue to do major projects along Palmetto and Irby with the latest being the office building at the old McLeod Hospital site and the Fine Arts Center across the street from Poyner.

Decisions were made a long time ago that affect the city today.  They should have built a 76 bypass and kept Palmetto St. the way it was intended.  My father tells me about when Palmetto was lined w/ Palmetto trees all the way through town.  This would be awesome if that could be done again.  City Hall, etc. should have never been torn down.

The McLeod Tower is coming along quite nicely.  I'll try to get you guys some pictures one day.

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Tree-lined streets are great. There are many instances where the trees are taken down in the name of "progress." Thanks for this info! Please keep us updated B)

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Where else can you find three 4-lane roads crossing at the same intersection?

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That is a rather bad setup. Downtown Detroit used to have an intersection where Woodward Avenue (5 lanes), Michigan Avenue (5 lanes), Cadillac Square (A Boulevard), Monroe Street (Another Boulevard), and Fort Street (5 lanes) all intersected. Fortunately, they built a park in the center of the intersection, adding green space to the heart of the city and greatly simplifying the intersection.

How's this for confusing?

Campus%20Martius%20from%20the%20Penobscott%201931.jpg

Fortunately the intersection now looks like this.

site_plan.jpg

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The latest news on Florence - a group of doctors will likely purchase the lot of the Old Mcleod hospital on cheves St and make an office bldg. rumor has it, around 4 stories. not that significant really, wish it would be taller. most of the steel skeleton is up for the McLeod Tower, its massive compared to the original structure. there is a rumor out there for a new city/county govt bldg.

pineneedles rd is has a federal bill being passed to get it widened to 4 lanes (if it goes through) this is a major bottleneck of traffic.

hoffmeyer road widening has been completed to 5 lanes.

senator leatherman is currently trying to get something going about getting the funding for major road upgrades all of town. maybe the old penny sales tax or something.

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The latest news on Florence -  a group of doctors will likely purchase the lot of the Old Mcleod hospital on cheves St and make an office bldg.  rumor has it, around 4 stories. not that significant really, wish it would be taller.    most of the steel skeleton is up for the McLeod Tower,  its massive compared to the original structure.  there is a rumor out there for a new city/county govt bldg.

pineneedles rd is has a federal bill being passed to get it widened to 4 lanes (if it goes through)  this is a major bottleneck of traffic.

hoffmeyer road widening has been completed to 5 lanes.

senator leatherman is currently trying to get something going about getting the funding for major road upgrades all of town.  maybe the old penny sales tax or something.

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Sounds good! Can't wait to see pics of the new McLeod Tower...

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FYI, the Florence City-County building was designed to look like Boston City Hall. Scary stuff, huh?

It amazes me how towns never learn. If Florence wanted to get some life downtown, why didn't it put the civic center down there? Instead it's behind a GE Medical Manufacturing facility.

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