Downtown Conway seeing growth

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The new Conway Public Safety Building isn't the only site under construction right now. Several businesses have their own construction zones set up within Conway city limits.

Kelli James with the Conway Chamber of Commerce says it's all part of the vision for the future of Conway. "We're so proud to see that," said James, the Executive Vice President of the Chamber. "It is the result of all the plans that have happened of all the community efforts over the years."

Conway is seeing big results according to the chamber. Just down the street from the new public safety building site on Ninth Avenue, the Wendy's has been torn down and is being built from the ground up, in a new design. On Highway 501, a new Dunkin Donuts looks to be almost done with construction.

But the biggest change seems to be happening at the Bay Village shopping center across from Conway High School. Bay Village has had vacant storefronts for years, but now Planet Fitness is doing the work to open a new location there to anchor the shopping center.

The building boom is not limited only to known chains, but small local businesses are opening up too. Local business owner Sandi Shackelford, who owns Mad Hatter and Company, and her business partner opened up their business six months ago. She says all the activity shows the focus isn't just on downtown anymore.

"We're, you know, spreading out," said Shackelford. "We're a few blocks away from that. So out of the mainstream, but you can't all be blocks off Main Street downtown."

Since there's plenty of construction underway, this means there will be a number of openings next year.   Planet fitness could be the first, since owners say they want to get it up and running as soon as possible, at the beginning of 2014. The Conway Public Safety Building is expected to be finished by mid-summer 2014.

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