$10M investment coming to Downtown Florence

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - One development group is spending ten million dollars to make changes that will create jobs in Downtown Florence.

"One of them was a lawyer's office, and Kress was a five and dime store," said Hazel Jackson.

Hazel Jackson has kept her North Dargan women's store open for 17 years. She's been waiting for someone to do something about the Kress, Guaranty bank and Kuker buildings for more than a decade.

"I'm glad to see something's being done about the Kress building," said Jackson.

"The newest development we announced for downtown Florence is an incredible opportunity for future developers to come in unaided by the city," said Robby Hill, Florence City Councilman

Developments,which include a restaurant, apartments and a small factory - and will be paid for privately.

"They're going to show that these 60,000 square feet of multi use properties is going to be very successful it's going to be a lot of different businesses," said Hill.

City leaders said once those three properties on North Dargan are renovated, The developer will move a small sauce manufacturer currently located in California, onto North Dargan.

That's expected to create 25 of the 250 jobs promised once all the developments are complete.

"Just an incredible diversity of businesses, people living, people working, people going out to eat and a new roof top bar and terrace," said Hill.

But it's the 15 new apartments going inside of the old Kress building that has business owner Hazel Jackson excited.

"I'll probably make good money," said Jackson.

City leaders said they chose to allow the renovation of the Kress, Guaranty and Kuker buildings after one developer submitted his proposal a few months ago.

In addition to those developments being made here on North Dargan, the Royall Knight building will also see some improvements.

City leaders said the same people responsible for Hotel Florence will develop the space and put more shopping on the bottom floor and possibly more hotel space along the top floors.

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