Apartment complex, new restaurant latest developments in downtown Florence

Apartment complex, new restaurant latest developments in downtown Florence
The new Town Hall restaurant will be at the corner of Dargan and Evans streets. (Source: Audrey Biesk)
The new Town Hall restaurant will be at the corner of Dargan and Evans streets. (Source: Audrey Biesk)
Town Hall Restaurant (Source: Audrey Biesk)
Town Hall Restaurant (Source: Audrey Biesk)

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The two newest projects going on in downtown Florence will bring more people, jobs and business to the area.

The Emerson is the first-ever loft and urban-style apartment living to come to downtown. It's right off Irby Street, near Dargan and Evans streets, and will have 83 apartments.

The developer, Lat Purser and Associates, is based out of Charlotte, N.C. They are calling The Emerson the best upscale rental option for Florence. It will consist of one- and two-bedroom units with balconies, ranging from $900 to $1,400.

The Emerson isn't an ordinary apartment complex, as it will have a wrap-around parking structure as well.

Florence City Manager Drew Griffin said that's what makes this project even more dynamic for downtown.  All of the tenants will have convenient parking on the fourth floor  and the entire parking deck will be open for the pubic on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Construction on the apartment complex will go throughout the summer and completion is set for October.

Another project happening not too far away from The Emerson is a brand new Southern-inspired, farm-to-table restaurant, Town Hall.

It sits at the corner of Dargan and Evans streets, in what the what the city wants to be the focal point of downtown. Its grand opening is June 23.

The restaurant is led by chefs from nationally recognized restaurants in Charleston with Southern-inspired dishes.

Bobby Hodge, Town Hall executive chef, spent the past 15 years in Charleston, and is bringing the new farm-to-table influence right to Florence.

"Catching what everyone says and the buzz around town they say this is what needs to be here," Hodge said. "There's a lot of chains here, so they don't actually use a lot of the fresh produce that's coming out of the farms locally. So, we're going to try to show them they have some good local stuff."

Town Hall will serve dinner nightly and brunch on Sundays. The dishes will be served in lodge-iron skillets, with a lot of food coming straight from Carolina Heritage Farms. The local establishment also supplies restaurants in Atlanta, Charleston and Columbia.

Justin Croxall is the General Manager of Town Hall and said, "We're really trying to educate people about the breweries around, the farmers around and really make that connection for people so they know where their food is coming from," said Justin Croxall, general manager of Town Hall.

Town Hall can seat up to 130 people. The décor throughout the restaurant is rustic modern, with all repurposed wood from 200 years ago that came from the Kress Corner building.

The meaning is to keep the history.

"So it's trying to bring this building back to life to what it was in its heyday, hence the name Town Hall," Croxall said. "It was a gathering place and we want this place to be a gathering place again."

The 3,500-square-foot rooftop bar, called Dispensary, is also part of Town Hall. Plans are to open it up just a few weeks after the grand opening of the restaurant.

Town Hall is still hiring for all positions. Those who are interested can apply inside the restaurant click here to apply online.

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