Big new development in the works for downtown Florence

Big new development in the works for downtown Florence
(Source: WMBF News)
(Source: WMBF News)

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A major development is in the works and it will help to remove labels and improve the quality of life in downtown Florence.

Ray Reich, the Downtown Florence Development Manager said the first full-scale grocery store is in the final steps of becoming a reality on the north end of Dargan Street.

Earlier this year, Florence City Council changed the zoning of the area where the store is slated to be built into a Food, Artisan and Warehouse District.

If the store becomes a reality, it would help to remove the "Food Desert" label the United States Department of Agriculture gave to the area, after it found there was little to no access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

The new grocery store would also make living in downtown a little easier for the people who have just recently moved in."I think it's going to be amazing. Right now, they don't have anywhere they can walk to. You have to go to Harris Teeter or Walmart or somewhere that's a little further out, so I think it will be great for the downtown living area," Emerson Apartments Property Manager Rebecca Simmons said.

City leaders said the grocery store will help aid in furthering the growth of downtown.

An official with the city said people move to downtowns because they like the walkability factor.

The addition of the grocery store will contribute to what people expect when they move into the city.

"They really expect to have shopping. They expect to have the grocery stores they really expect to have the restaurants and the businesses. We have King Jefe, we've got Solue' Café. We've got Wholly Smokin'. We've got all these great restaurants, to be able to have something really close like that's kind of close to what the Box Car Market already is would be perfect," Simmons said.

When everything is finalized, leaders said it will take a year before the store is up and running.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.