New hotel, entertainment venue coming to downtown Florence

New hotel, entertainment venue coming to downtown Florence

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - A third hotel is coming to downtown Florence as part of an estimated $65 million mix-use development.

“Dining and entertainment are really where downtowns are seeing the most growth,” Ray Reich, director of Downtown Development, said.

Reich said the demolition of the old Florentine Building on the corner of West Evans and Coit streets made way for the new hotel. Condos, an office complex and parking garage are also planned for the development.

"If you have more hotels and you have more people living downtown, that's more people that are going to walk out their door and eat and shop and go to different activities," Reich said.

Larry Johnson, the owner of Allie’s Flowers and Gifts, said he’s been in business at the West Evans Street location for more than 30 years. He’s hoping the new development will bring more traffic to the west side of downtown.

“That’s got to help all the businesses involved and there being more of a reason for someone to come downtown,” Johnson said.

The community will also expect to see the old Carolina Theatre on Dargan Street renovated into a multi-purpose venue for concerts, movies and other events.

“The people who live here... they deserve a vibrant downtown,” Reich said.

"If we can get places where our young adults can come raise their families in a nice town and have great entertainment and so forth it would help," Johnson said

With retirement set for the end of this year, Reich said he’s happy with the progress they’ve made so far.

"It’s really rewarding to see that we’ve not only made the vision that I and others had come to reality, but we’ve done it faster than I think any of us thought we could do,” he said.

Reich said renovations to the Carolina Theatre are expected to be completed by the end of 2020. They hope to start construction on the new hotel the same year.

Copyright 2019 WMBF. All rights reserved.