New phase in downtown Hartsville improvements begins

New phase in downtown Hartsville improvements begins
One of three intersection along Fifth Street included in the next improvement phase. (Source: Audrey Biesk)
One of three intersection along Fifth Street included in the next improvement phase. (Source: Audrey Biesk)

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – The city of Hartsville is seeing more growth in its downtown area.

Within the past four years, Hartsville has seen 40 new businesses open up with the help of multiple partnerships between the city and the state.

Now, city officials agree the new development is not going anywhere.

"We are a city dedicated to making change and seeing improvements everywhere," said Suzy Moyd, executive director of Main Street Hartsville.

The improvements happening around downtown is not going unnoticed in South Carolina.

"We've seen so many improvements," Moyd said. "We are actually receiving awards for all the downtown improvements we are doing. The city of Hartsville was recognized the municipal association and also Main Street was recognized by Main Street South Carolina for all the downtown development we've seen."

The Municipal Award was given to Hartsville in the 5 to 10,000 population category. Moyd added that public and private partnerships have played a huge role in the success of downtown.

"You have developers developing real estate and then entrepreneurs that came in that wanted to see their new businesses thrive in a newly-developing area that is close to a college," Moyd said.

Amy Owen is one of the new business owners along Fifth Street. She relocated her boutique store, Mahala Reese Boutique, in Cheraw to come to downtown Hartsville less than one year ago.

"It felt like home," Owen said. "I wanted it to be small-town downtown. I looked at a lot of other towns before I came to Hartsville and all those other towns did not feel like home and this one did. I just felt like it was a good hub also to draw from the other surrounding areas."

With more growth, the city of Hartsville has to keep up with higher pedestrian and traffic flows in downtown.

A streetscape improvement project will begin and is set to last eight weeks. Weather may delay the project, but city officials said the streets will not shut down. A construction crew member will direct traffic to accommodate school starting and bus routes.

The street improvements are to continue the work completed on West College Avenue within the year. The bricks overlaying the intersection are nearly 25 years old and will be torn up, with asphalt being laid instead. New parking spaces will be added as well.

"I feel like I am going to get maybe more walking traffic now, where before I would get a lot of drive-by traffic, and I am going to get some more parking spaces and that's always great," Owen said.

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