Conway riverfront businesses hope Burroughs Company future plans - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Conway riverfront businesses hope Burroughs Company future plans add to historic area

Ocean Fish Market in downtown Conway Ocean Fish Market in downtown Conway
Raymond Handy, Ocean Fish Market Raymond Handy, Ocean Fish Market

CONWAY, SC (WMBF)- The look of many of the historic riverfront properties in downtown Conway could change. The Burroughs Company, which owns a several of the riverfront properties, told the city of Conway they are facing financial hardship and looking to sell.

One business owner, whose building has been part of the historic setting, hopes the idea of selling the properties will bring in more business. 

Raymond Handy, has owned the Ocean Fish Market, tucked away in the historic downtown riverfront area for over 18 years.  The building itself is almost 80 years old. 

Handy says learning the news about the Burroughs Company's plan to sell the properties near him, is inviting news, because he feels it will help his business and bring life to a fading area. 

"This part of town to the edge of the river has actually gone down hill a little bit, because of the high rates of rent that the Burroughs Company, is putting on a lot of the other tenants," explained Handy. 

Handy said after years of leasing he finally purchased his property about six months ago, but says others nearby businesses were not so lucky.

Monday night, at Conway City Council meeting, The President of  Burroughs Company, Egerton Burroughs, announced plans to sell the riverfront properties its own. The company was upfront -- saying they were not in good financial shape and selling many of the century-old buildings like The Peanut Warehouse and other properties would be best. 

The company is looking for different options for the properties, it can includes selling the property, and looking for potential investors. 

Handy said, it is time for the historic district to see more business and feels if selling the properties would give way to new life in the area it could be a good thing. 

"Anything, any type of investors that we can get in here would be good," said Handy. "They had talked about putting apartments here on the river with shops below, that would help."

Part of the the company's presented plans to council did include retail for the property, it also said it would like to add a hotel, and  a small convention center.

Handy said he has seen several business come and go and he hopes whatever the plans for the future hold, it will still include the historic feel, which the town holds dear. He adds, it is important for growth to happen but history is just as important, after all, that's what  has helped him stay afloat. 

"The history, the older people bringing the young people here to eat," said Handy. 

But he says he will even look at how he can add to his business, to help preserve the area. Handy said, "If anything I would add on to the back of it (the fish market), maybe a different type of business like an oyster raw bar."

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