GEORGETOWN, SC (WMBF) - The Urban Land Institute has gotten a panel together and will be visiting Georgetown September 19 to September 23 to help strategize what to do at the ArcelorMittal mill site. Monday, September 19 at 4:00 p.m. ULI is holding a public reception at Howard Auditorium 1610 Hawkins St. in Georgetown. A public town hall will be held afterwards at 5:00 p.m.
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ULI will tour the steel mill site and according to their website, ULI is a research organization specializing in responsible use of land and creating sustainable communities. The organization has transformed cities and neighborhoods across the country. If you've been to Point Park University in Pittsburgh, or downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fl., you've seen their work. ULI also reviewed part of Downtown Myrtle Beach a couple years back.
Locals who spoke with WMBF News had mixed ideas on what they'd like to see be done to the site, but they all agreed wishes to bring more good paying jobs and growth to the area. When ArcelorMittal mill closed, more than 200 jobs were lost at the end of the summer in 2015.
Some residents said they'd like to see the mill re-opened. But, Georgetown mayor Jack Scoville told WMBF News a number of factors make steel an non-viable industry for Georgetown now. Reasons include decreasing steel prices, increasing steel imports and the inability for large ships to get into the city's waterway.
One worry of Georgetown resident Mack Nesmith was the possible effects of demolition on the water. The mill has a waterfront location, and Georgetown is known for it's waterfront shops, restaurants and walkway.
ULI will look at data trends like job growth and infrastructure to come up with a strategy to report to the public Friday. The panel's recommendations will be presented at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 23 at the Winyah Auditorium located at 1200 Highmarket St. in Georgetown.