CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – It's easy to see the city of Conway is trying to unite downtown with the riverfront.
The initiative is something city council has been pushing for and some believe a proposed riverfront apartment complex at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Kingston Street could be another shove in that direction. The initial plans were unanimously approved at Wednesday's meeting of the Conway Community Appearance Board. They will now be up for technical review before going back to the Conway City Council for final approval.
"I think it's a wonderful location. Right now there is nothing there; it's a big empty parking lot," Matt Varnadore, the owner of Waccamaw Outfitters, said.
Though city council members are aware some are concerned over the building taking over parking spaces, Councilman William Goldfinch said there is a plan to ease those minds.
Varnadore, who has two locations in downtown Conway, isn't one who needs to be convinced.
"It's right along the river, right there close to the Kingston Lake. It's a beautiful area and I think those condos will fill up quick," he said.
Goldfinch reminded the public that the CAB's role on Wednesday was to look at the design of the building and make recommendations. He said council will make the final call on the apartment building.
As for Varnadore, he hopes it goes all the way through.
"I do think that it's a unique opportunity to live downtown," he said. "It seems to be a growing trend and everything is within walking distance."
Those who may be filling those units could add to that foot traffic.
"I think that is what you are going to see. I think it's going to bring the younger group to downtown and it will bring a new energy," Varnadore said.
As Waccamaw Outfitters continues to expand in downtown Conway, Varnadore finds it important to keep up with the direction the city is moving.
"I just think that if you can stay hip to what's going on downtown, you can help yourself too," he said.
Varnadore added that it's important to help growth and not hinder it, especially with everything the area has to offer.
"There's a lot of activities here and there are a lot of things that have been untapped," he said.