FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - For the first time, Downtown Florence has its own five-level parking deck wrapped around an urban living apartment complex, called The Emerson.
The building opened recently on South Irby Street heading into downtown. There are 343 spaces totally free and open to the public with elevator access on all five levels.
City Manager Drew Griffin said a parking study was done to show developers where adequate parking needs to be available at the same time as new construction. With the 150 spaces now open on North Dargan street as well, he said that's nearly 500 new spaces that were not downtown before. Griffin hopes for people to get accustomed to using the parking deck in order to alleviate congestion.
Marlon Fedd is a leasing consultant with The Emerson and talked about the benefit of the wraparound parking deck.
"It allows them flexibility as far as going out and enjoying the town, and not be restricted and say, 'Oh my gosh, I'm having dinner and have to plan things.' So it's a lot easier for them. Also it adds to that modern feel and city feel. So you get to enjoy a night and not worry about anyone towing your car or parking fines, things like that," said Marlon Fedd.
More growth in Downtown Florence means more redevelopment, such as apartment living. The developer based out of Charlotte, North Carolina is calling The Emerson the best upscale rental option for Florence. The Emerson is an 83-unit apartment community, and currently 32 of those are already taken.
The property manager, Rebecca Simmons gave WMBF News an exclusive look inside an apartment.
"It's a very modern apartment, but very luxury still, you have granite counter tops, stainless steel fronted appliances, even though its only 700 square feet, it looks so much bigger," said Rebecca Simmons.
One-bedroom apartments start at $925 a month and two-bedroom apartments range up to $1,425 a month, depending on the floor plan and level.
Fedd talked about the feeling he has when he helps people sign the lease.
"I get the most joy when someone walks into the model unit or complex itself and sees the amenities. Or, the first reaction on their face when they walk into the nice open space," Fedd said.
The property is all controlled-access for residents coming from the new parking garage with indoor corridors.
"Everybody is extremely excited about this because they see downtown just transforming and its been really awesome to give an option to people in Florence, because this is unlike anything Florence has ever seen," Simmons said.
The leasing office on South Irby Street is open six days a week to speak with an agent.