Appeal in the works to stop Trust Building from coming down

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) Within eight days, an appeal will be filed to try and stop Florence's Trust Building from being demolished. This effort is being spearheaded by the Historic Florence Foundation.

"I think, yes it's important to have the medical school downtown, but it should not be at the expense of something… once it is torn down, it's gone forever," said  Agnes Willcox, Historic Florence Foundation.

Agnes Willcox, is trying to stop the demolition of Florence's Trust Building.

"All of the hoopla about what bad shape the building is in is very contrived," said Willcox.

Willcox is the Chairman of the Historic Florence Foundation, the group now working with an attorney to appeal the demolition of the Trust Building.

"I feel that the whole process itself is fundamentally flawed. And given that, given the unfair nature of the process to start with, I got a good feeling that ultimately we are going to prevail," said Mark Buyck.

Attorney, Mark Buyck said, he's currently looking over documents from the past several months, and he said an appeal will be filed before January 10.

"The ordinance itself says that appeal would be to the city council. And the city council says no they don't want to hear it. So, I assume the city council is suggesting through this letter and their actions that they want us to appeal directly to the Circuit Court," said Buyck.

Both Wilcox and Buyck said the appeal is not a sign of mal intent toward revitalization in Downtown Florence. The group said the building can be updated for less than the 8 million dollars the city predicts.

Willcox said she's working with an investor who said the Trust building would be a perfect place for apartments –and renovations would only cost around 115 dollars per square foot.

"So that's nothing that should not be a problem for them. They're putting millions of millions of dollars into projects on the other end of West Evans, which is wonderful, and I applaud that," said Willcox.

After the appeal is filed a judge will have to decide to hear the case.

We did reach out to the City of Florence and we are told city leaders are standing by their previous data and decisions, and at this time they have no comment.

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