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Florence Developments

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You would think that Timmonsville would learn from the mistakes that Florence has made in the past regarding destroying their downtown. Timmonsville is a big mess of disfunction. Their schools are among the worst in the state, their police department has been disbanded, their water and sewer system was a health hazard. The city of Florence has taken over management of their water and sewer. Personally, I think the entire little town needs to be annexed into Florence and be done with it.

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It has always had difficulties, due to the lower economic status of it's residence, but it has dissolved into total dysfunction in the last few years.

 

There really needs to be a state agency that audits and watches over all the city and town governments.  There are quite a few dysfunctional ones. 

 

If it weren't for lack of contiguity an annexation to Florence might be a good idea.  

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http://www.scnow.com/news/local/article_debfccaa-6ec2-11e4-a7e4-6f95ee59b2c9.html

 

A significant new project has been undercover for awhile but looks to be coming through. 153 high paying jobs that will be located DOWNTOWN.  This is truly a home run. Just a few years ago it would have been unimaginable that an out of town company would open a significant presence DT. 

 

Wow, that's amazing. Can't wait to see what downtown will look like in 10 years or so.

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http://www.carolinalive.com/news/story.aspx?id=1142231#.VKIYi7hCA

 

Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela said 2015 will be a record year for growth and economic development.

Wukela said the catalyst to it is the continued growth in and around the downtown community.

"We're gonna be very, very busy. And there will be an enormous amount of construction activity. So, there'll be a lot of hard hats come spring," said Wukela.

Several projects are set for construction this spring including Francis Marion University's medical college, restaurants, shops, apartments and a parking deck to accommodate 400 cars.

"This time next year, people will be shocked by the amount of activity that's underway, that's in construction, and that's being completed," explained Wukela.

Downtown is now home to the new Florence County Museum, Art Trail Gallery, Hotel Florence, Francis Marion University's Performing Arts Center, Doctors Bruce and Lee Library, Florence Little Theater, North Dargan Innovation Center and a number of shops and eateries.

Wukela added the city also plans to spend millions redeveloping its lower income neighborhoods to attract economic growth.

He said those neighborhoods haven't received much attention over the years.

"There's no way to talk around the fact that for years, the neighborhoods in the city, Northwest, Northeast have been under served," Wukela said. "Have not had infrastructure, have not had the economic investment. What we hope to be able to do is to take the success with the model we've had of injecting economic activity downtown to do that in the neighborhoods. We've already got in excess of $5 million in road improvement money."

Florence County Council Chairman James Schofield said 2015 looks equally as good for the county, especially as it relates to economic development.

He added this year the county had several number of job announcements, including Ruiz Foods and Med Enroll.

Schofield said in 2015 you'll also see the construction of four new fire stations, an EMS station, veterans administration building, renovation of Florence County Complex and dozens of road improvement projects.

"We just got a very competitive situation. We have such excellent healthcare facilities and educational facilities and they see people investing in their own community, strengthening EMS, Fire and everything else. It's done well to help us attract new industries to Florence County," explained Schofield.

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There has been rumors of apartments in the works, but I don't think anyone imagined a project of this magnitude.  The 2 buildings being razed are pretty nondescript single-level storefronts if memory serves me correctly.

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That same architecture firm designed Greenville's Link West End apartments currently under construction. You can see some similarities in their design rhythm. This will be a quality addition to DT Florence!

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Between work, new computers & other reasons it's been over 5 years since I've posted here. I'll try to update more often.  :D  Took a few low quality pics from my broken phone camera of work being done on the Evans/Dargan storefronts. They're all pretty much gutted inside.


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I was just reading through this topic and I'm amazed how much progress has been made in my hometown since this topic was started.  I am excited for the future of Florence!

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I'm not real familiar w downtown Florence, but the site layout seems odd. The building itself seems like a timeless addition. What are others' thoughts? I'd be interested in knowing what you all who are more familiar have to say about its orientation and setbacks.

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The setback from Irby Street is similar to the setback for the County Complex.  Evans Street is the primary East-West DT street, so it makes sense that the lobby is oriented toward Evans rather than the RR track. 

 

It is a little cookie-cutter but is classic styling, so I can live with the design.  Hopefully something happens soon with the Old Post Office building.  

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The setback from Irby Street is similar to the setback for the County Complex.  Evans Street is the primary East-West DT street, so it makes sense that the lobby is oriented toward Evans rather than the RR track. 

 

It is a little cookie-cutter but is classic styling, so I can live with the design.  Hopefully something happens soon with the Old Post Office building.  

I'm from nearby Hartsville - it's awesome to see everything happening in downtown Flo, and at such a brisk pace as well. Also, vicupstate, the old post office you mentioned has already been preserved and repurposed for offices (before downtown started taking off), and at one time housed a local law firm. However, I think they may have moved. Not entirely sure, but it's not going anywhere :)

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Looks like a large amount of streetscaping is coming to DT. 

 

From the Morning News: 

 

In areas of downtown where things are happening, Griffin re-emphasized the need for cooperation from the public and businesses as work on major downtown projects heats up. Road closures are expected throughout downtown over the next year. Construction is being as coordinated as best as possible, Griffin said.

“We anticipate that the opening of part of the Kress complex as well as 100 West Evans will occur before the new year,” Griffin said. “So downtown is moving very quickly. The downtown area will have a relatively high treatment of streetscaping and landscaping.”

Those projects include the $15 million Francis Marion University Health Sciences Complex, the $18 million parking deck and apartment complex, the $3 million Med-Enroll project in the Rainwater building, the $10 million Kress corner project and $3.5 million 100 West Evans project.

Dargan Street will also undergo a makeover soon and surrounding Irby and Cheves streets thanks to $5.5 million in the second penny and Tax Increment Financing district revenue bond.

The repaving of 59 city roads, funded by the second penny, was awarded and will start shortly.

More detail emerged on the $7 million soccer complex to be built at Young’s Plantation in west Florence. Griffin said current designs will include nine fields and no soccer complex building. The second penny sales tax had $1 million for a road to the soccer complex in it. The city worked with the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation to secure the property and $6 million for the complex where city league soccer will be played.

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