FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The possible expansion of a local mall could mean more jobs and lower taxes for Florence residents.
There is still a little work needed on the state's end, but the plan is to make more space for more retailers and restaurants to move in.
“It sits pretty far off and you have a lot people that can't really see past the trees and see what's over there,” said Niesha Miller, Manager on Duty for the Red Roof Inn.
The hotel sits directly across from Florence's Magnolia Mall, which recently asked the City of Florence for permission to expand its property.
“There are three parcels around the perimeter of Magnolia Mall that they asked us to bring in and include in their plan development district,” Councilman Buddy Brand, City of Florence said. Brand said those parcels include the property which sits in front of current fast food restaurants like Burger King and Chick Fil-A.
“What these parcels are, are out parcels that are larger than what they are now, and are going to allow retail and restaurant businesses to go into those spots,” Brand said.
The mall first approached the city last year, asking for the permission to expand, and after passing different arms of the city and being vetted to the public, Florence City council gave the plan final approval.
“It's probably one of the highest areas of traffic in our city and the money that we receive from the accommodations tax and hospitality is phenomenal there so we want to encourage everything we can to make that area grow,” Brand said.
A spokesperson for Magnolia Mall didn't want to say much on the possible expansion, and would only say this move is in early development.
But even so, the economic stimulation a move like this could bring to Florentines, neighboring businesses and the economy is sparking excitement.
“We would get a lot of business, we are busy now but it would actually be a little bit better,” Miller said.
And with the future growth here, as well as other areas of the City of Florence, city leaders say you can expect to see benefits from all the developments taking place.
Councilman Buddy Brand, City of Florence says “Job creations are just going to help increase the tax base to do more at the same time reduce to the taxes for those who live in the city it's a win-win.”
Councilman Brand added that all the growth taking shape within City limits is attributed to the City, County and Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation working together – and the plan is to continue that momentum.