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Florence Developments


Spartan

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Here are my recent pics of the newest addition to the McLeod Health Medical Center. The medical community has been the biggest growth industry in Florence for many years now. This hospital is the largest employer in 10 counties with around 4,700 or so employees. Not all of those are in Florence, but most are. McLeod also operates hospitals in nearby Darlington and Dillon as well as numerous satelite doctor's offices throughout the region. Carolinas is the other hospital in Florence, with 424 beds.

Since the current tallest building in Florence is the 11 story City-County Complex, and this building will be 12 stories with a gable roof, I assume it will be Florence's new tallest. This project is adding 7 stories to an existing 5 story building.

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Edited by vicupstate
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Look at the pics closer. No power lines, trees and juniper, antique streetlights, brick sidewalks. That's pretty much a streetscaping. When the streetscaping was done, there were some fasace improvements as well. About a dozen or so stores added a canvas awning. A few others did more substantial changes. If you look close at some of the pics, you can see the awnings have worned through from the elements and ultraviolet rays.

OK, I can see it somewhat now. It's just that I'm used to seeing a streetscaping complete with repaved streets, and the streets look somewhat worn. It was also kinda hard to see the brickwork in the sidewalks.

Do you think that a BID may be in order at this point?

And those are some pretty sharp pics of McLeod. I'm glad that there is at least one bright spot in the economy of the Pee Dee area.

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A streetscaping and facade improvments would do wonders for downtown. After that, the city could consider a BID or a design review board type of thing that Orangeburg is pursuing.

Does DT Florence have a square? As a matter of fact, I wonder what other cities in SC beside Spartanburg and Orangeburg have a downtown square?

The downtown square seems more prevalent in the smaller towns from my experience. Off the top of my head, Barnwell, Edgefield, and Abbeville all have one (all complete with small Washington monument-style statues).

The squares are indeed more prevelant in smaller towns, but usually becuase they were planned, and thus square. Spartanburg's 'square' which is more triangular in nature, evolved naturally.

The only other towns in SC that I know of right off hand are Pendleton, Newberry, and I think Seneca may have one too.

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OK, I can see it somewhat now. It's just that I'm used to seeing a streetscaping complete with repaved streets, and the streets look somewhat worn. It was also kinda hard to see the brickwork in the sidewalks.

Do you think that a BID may be in order at this point?

And those are some pretty sharp pics of McLeod. I'm glad that there is at least one bright spot in the economy of the Pee Dee area.

You're right about the streets. And it's kind of like the same thing with the awnings, they polished things up and then just kind of let it go. This latest effort seems to realize that revitialization is an ongoing thing.

As for a BID, that would be an excellent idea and is much needed. Unfortunately, a BID in that area wouldn't produce much tax revenue because values are down so much. No new construction, other than McLeod (a tax exempt non-profit) has been occurring. The newly planned projects are all government projects. A special tax district that would add additional taxes would put the area at further disadvantage.

A BID was called for in the last '80's "Wade Burns" plan. Too bad it wasn't implemented. Things weren't as bad then.

It will take a substantial investment by the public sector before the private sector is going to jump in, IMO. If the local government will pony up the money, it can still happen.

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Heres the thing.

There has been almost ZERO developement done to DT in years (excluding the new library). Even though the new projjects are Government. It still adds to the people downtown. With these comes higher paying jobs DT. Which can result in an increase in commercial developement and spending DT. It may be gevernemtn, but its a good thing no matter how you paint it.

Cheers

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Heres the thing.

There has been almost ZERO developement done to DT in years (excluding the new library). Even though the new projjects are Government. It still adds to the people downtown. With these comes higher paying jobs DT. Which can result in an increase in commercial developement and spending DT. It may be gevernemtn, but its a good thing no matter how you paint it.

Cheers

Government does indeed have to lead to way. It was no different for Columbia's Vista or Downtown Greenville. Florence will have to do the same.

Krazeeboi found an interesting blog site that has a lot of insight from a Greensboro resident that reviews that city's excursion to Greenville.

I particular like the items regarding public spaces and the placement of parking garages.

Blog on Greensboro Urban Isuues

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In regards to "squares", Darlington is a town beside Florence - there is a downtown square there. Darlington is also trying to boost the downtown economy with monthly downtown shopping events, such as "ladies night out", etc.

Florence has no square. More like a "promenade" - straight shot.

Cool, thanks for that info. Promenades work just as well though. Just look at Greenville.

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Sad news to report. Herb Adams, the Downtown Redevelopment leader for the city of Florence died on Thursday. I tried to post a link, but it is not working for some reason. I hope this is not Waccamatt's friend. Regardless, my sympathy goes out to his family and friends.

This will be an undeniable set back for the area, he had already accomplished the removal of a lot of eyesores in the DT area. One of the worst was a junk yard. He also was the driving force behind the newly enacted design guidelines/districts. He was only getting started, but had already made a lot of progress.

you can cut and paste the url below to read the article.

http://www.morningnewsonline.com

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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.

Florence is finished, a dying town. And let it die. A dreary, awful place. It's few antebellum buildings were demolished to make way for the few dollars paid by "Urban Renewal" programs of the 1070's. Florence isn't worth the bother.

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And would there be any Greenville in SC worth boasting about had city leaders taken that same attitude in the '70's? I think not.

The city is not finished. The city just needs some dynamic, energetic leadership and fresh blood that can lay the foundation for some really good things to happen there.

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You don't need history to make a downtown something exciting. Yeah it helps, but it doesn't mean the end of everything. All it takes is a vision and some forward thinking leaders, and a positive attitude of the citizens who hopfuloly would like to see their city center thrive. If you don't have that, then there is no hope for Florence.

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I Strongly disagree that florence is finished.

1) Land values are on the rise.

2) Medical Environment is increasing at a good pace

3) Big name stores are moving TO florence, not away

4) Florence is being considered for Washington Mutual Expansion (why expland there if it is dying)

5) Many many efforts through out the city to make it cleaner and more attractive

6) Roads are being rebuilt and widened

7) Decent sized Rail industry

8) Two major highway

9) Suprisingly busy airport for its size

I could keep going, but you get the point. I Wish i still lived in Florence and could get on there Economic Devleopment Commitee, sadly, I dont, and thush cant, but all they need are good people on tstaff with vision. All it takes is one guy to start, sadly he passed away, but the bug is in everyones ear there now too... Florence is not a dying blight. It is a town finally starting to emerge from Puburty. (did any of us realy look all that great at puberty? )

She has some things to clean up. She has areas that need mroe support She ahs a downtown that needs revitalie. But the She knwos this, and is trying.

If a true developer came in , you would see some serious and positive changes to the Landscape because the potential IS there...

Anyway, I digress

Peace

Edited by jjoshjl
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I Strongly disagree that florence is finished.

1) Land values are on the rise.

2) Medical Environment is increasing at a good pace

3) Big name stores are moving TO florence, not away

4) Florence is being considered for Washington Mutual Expansion (why expland there if it is dying)

5) Many many efforts through out the city to make it cleaner and more attractive

6) Roads are being rebuilt and widened

7) Decent sized Rail industry

8) Two major highway

9) Suprisingly busy airport for its size

I could keep going, but you get the point. I Wish i still lived in Florence and could get on there Economic Devleopment Commitee, sadly, I dont, and thush cant, but all they need are good people on tstaff with vision. All it takes is one guy to start, sadly he passed away, but the bug is in everyones ear there now too... Florence is not a dying blight. It is a town finally starting to emerge from Puburty. (did any of us realy look all that great at puberty? )

She has some things to clean up. She has areas that need mroe support She ahs a downtown that needs revitalie. But the She knwos this, and is trying.

If a true developer came in , you would see some serious and positive changes to the Landscape because the potential IS there...

Anyway, I digress

Peace

The demographics of Florence have sealed it's fate. It's the 800 pound gorilla in the living room that no one is allowed to discuss, as in many other urban areas.

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I think if you look at anyc city, you will find large clusters of mostly white and large clusters of mostly black. I dont know if you are trying to say that to support the claim the florence is dead. but if it is being used, it realy doesnt help. Keep in mind, flornece is still a small city, arent too many areas for people to 'move' to.

Im here in Jacksovnille Fl, I bet if you looked at a similar map, you woudl the North Side looking very heavily black, the west side being a mix, mandrin area be mostly white, so on and so forth. But you would definitly see a 'split' in the city where a majority of white people live, and a majority of black people live.

Is this bad, in my opinion, yeh, but it is a problem in EVERY city. trying to say florece is a segregated city realy isnt true.

I reiterate...

this is a problem in EVERY city in EVERY state.

Peace

Edited by jjoshjl
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Yeh, sorry spartan, didnt mean to jump down your throat...

I guess that while it appears to be shaprly divided, the thng about florence is ther are 3 areas realy. Southside, westside and eastside...

I know they work hard at trying to keep the schools balanced. Wilson High is still a little off, but i believe that is also where the Magnet program is.

The city is trying to keep racial equity and it is getting better.

Anyway.. jsut my thoughts

Cheers

Edited by jjoshjl
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