HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - The city of Hartsville is knocking down the Lincoln Village Apartments, eight dilapidated buildings that have sat empty for more than 20 years.
Demolition began Wednesday afternoon on the eyesore that has been plaguing the Hartsville community. The Lincoln Village Apartments are at the intersection of South Eighth and Marion streets and will soon be turned into a green space.
The area is considered the historic butler district in south Hartsville and over the past couple years, city officials said the revitalization starts with the apartments' demolition.
The city of Hartsville did asbestos studies with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control first before a bid went out for demolition, along with the grant application process, to the Department of Commerce. The company Trifecta came in with the lowest bid of around $500,000 for total demolition and environmental control of the land.
Debris from the demolition will be taken to a landfill on a daily basis and the land will be maintained as the work continues. Neighbors that live directly across from Lincoln Village have been waiting for this day for a long time.
"It's not good, it's not good or pleasant to look at. It's a real eye sore," said Gracie Smith, who lives on Eighth Street.
Careylee Franklin has lived in the area with his family his entire life and wondered when Lincoln Village would be gone.
"We need something new, something different, different for the people to watch when they come by here and when people come from out of town and stuff, they have something different to look at. Something nice, that's what we need," Franklin said.
Franklin wants the crime rate to go down as well and blames the abandoned buildings.
"If they are going to spend the money for it, then they need to, instead of holding on to it, to help all of us," he said. "A recreation center would be pretty good too here. Keep the hoodlums out and just be for the kids."
Smith said she would like to see something bigger than a green space long-term.
"I would love to see a housing complex and maybe some kind of convenient store or something," she said.
City officials said the next project on the table to help revitalize the area is on the property directly next to Lincoln Village at the African American cemetery at the end of Marion Avenue. It will be cleared and maintained to improve the gravestones.
The demolition of Lincoln Village will take place over the next four weeks, and then seeding and grading will be done to make way for the green space.