Florence moves forward with downtown redevelopment

Florence, SC - By Brandon Herring - bio | email

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – The Florence Downtown Development Corporation (FDDC) is working to create a new plan for development in the downtown area. The new phase of planning began at a recent public input session on the topic.

Now members of the corporation say they are considering ideas from the session and others as they plan future downtown development. Ideas include making a better connection between downtown Florence and McLeod Medical Center.

"The hospital has hundreds of visitors a day, hundreds of staff members a day," said FDDC Vice Chair Ed Love. "There's no reason that downtown Florence shouldn't be able to provide any need that those individuals may have."

Love said the corporation is likely to plan for a new judicial building across the street from the Florence City/County Complex. Another major development may be planned for the corner of Lucas Street and N. Irby Street. Love said revitalizing that area would create an inviting gateway into downtown for people traveling from the Interstate 95 area.

Love said large developments in downtown will attract attention and people. Therefore, large-scale developments will be a major focus of efforts moving forward. He said large developments will complement existing small businesses in downtown and attract more to the area.

The previous plan has been in use for about a decade, and it has helped promote development in downtown. However, development efforts are not finished, so it is time to move forward with new projects Love said.

"It's now time to move into the phase of development and having developers come in and asses the property and come up with ideas to help us bring downtown to where it should be," Love explained.

The FDDC members have scheduled monthly meetings with consultants to work on the new downtown plan. They are also working on bringing more events to downtown Florence. The Florence After Five concert series will continue this year on the last Friday of every month from April to October.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.