Archive for Florence
N & R, made up of John R. Etheridge, Kevin Etheridge and Victor Webster, recently closed on the three-story, nearly 17,000-square-foot building at 142 N. Dargan St. The unoccupied building, formerly the Rainwater Furniture store, is zoned for mixed use and the group has plans to utilize it as such, but right now Webster said they’re focused on the ground floor space.
“Our short-term goal is to renovate and attract a tenant downstairs, to have an anchor tenant,” Webster said. “Then the upstairs we’ve kicked around maybe doing an antique mall on the second and third floor. I think our long-term goal would be putting apartments up here on the second and third floor. We have room for four apartments on each floor.”
In July the Florence market saw homes sit on the market for about a month longer than in June but listings surged to 157 listings as inventory reached 799 — the highest level of the year for both numbers.
Despite the activity, closings and the median sales price shrank to 67 closed sales and $138,500 in July, a 9.5 percent and 16.6 percent decrease over July 2012 numbers, respectively. Days on the market until sale moved to 103, but the year average is at 99, down 18 percent from 2012.
In the first seven months of the year, 521 homes were sold, a 13.5 percent jump over the same period last year. That increase is similar to the 12 percent increase the Greater Pee Dee saw with 964 homes sold.
If you have an idea for a major building – especially if it’s for the old Kress building — in downtown Florence, now’s your chance to be heard.
This week, the Florence City Council approved what’s known as a “status quo period” of 60 days for the old Kress store building at the corner of Evans and South Dargan streets. It’s the building with the yellow brick exterior.
The special time window will give interested developers time to submit plans for the Kress building, without worrying about it being sold from under their feet.
Ray Reich, the city’s downtown director, said the “status quo” was necessary after several developers approached Florence about working on the city-owned building. Any interested party will be able to submit plans to the city for the next 60 days thanks to Council’s action.
Several new projects are in the works in the area around Magnolia Mall and the Florence Civic Center, and others are set to begin shortly.
Area leaders say the current wave of development, and re-development, in the area that stretches from David H. McLeod Boulevard and North Beltline Drive to the interstates, is likely just the tip of the iceberg.
More activity is expected in the next few years as the state and nation move out of the Great Recession.
Florence City Councilman Buddy Brand Jr. said improvements to the area, including pedestrian connectivity, traffic flow studies and signage, will compliment the continued development of the western gateway into the city.
Hotel Florence is in the final stages of completion. The plan for the hotel, located on West Evans Street, has been in the works since 2010. Hotel Florence is a three-story building featuring a restaurant on the first floor.
Victor’s Bistro will be moving into the first floor of Hotel Florence. According to Florence Downtown Development Manager Ray Reich, Victors Bistro and Hotel Florence will have a soft open at the end of the month.
“You get a hotel down here which, their activities really begin about six o’clock in the evening when people check in and you start getting that vibrancy,” said Reich.
Florence County Council moved one step closer to acquiring land for the site of a new judicial complex, but one county official is crying foul, saying the government grossly over paid for the recently purchased property.
Florence County Treasurer Dean Fowler said that according to tax documents and other county records, the county council authorized spending more than $1.9 million on six properties located along Irby Street and N.B. Baroody Street in Florence valued at just under $130,000.
Fowler claims county council wasted tax payer dollars purchasing the land, pointing to the latest transaction where council shelled out $541,443 for a parcel on N.B. Baroody Street that tax documents value at $45,600; however County Councilman James Schofield said the county has actually saved tax payer dollars by negotiating for properties like the N.B. Baroody parcel and that Fowler’s argument is fueled by misleading figures.
The former DuPont Teijin Films site in Florence has been bought by a Wisconsin-based firm for $4.5 million. The site includes 32 buildings that comprise about 1.2 million square feet of space with the largest facility totaling 550,000 square feet on the first floor, according to Columbia-headquartered NAI Avant, which reported the sale. The purchaser, Florence Development LLC, of Niagara, Wis., plans to use a part of the existing buildings for PET warehousing and other ancillary work, said Nick Stomski and Tom Milliken of NAI Avant.
Florence Development also has under contract about 900 acres of land that’s yet to close.
DuPont Teijin Films closed the facility, which manufactured Mylar polyester film, in September 2010. About 200 workers were laid off. The company cited declining sales for closing the plant and it consolidated operations at another facility in Hopewell, Va. DuPont opened the Florence plant in 1961.
Hackman Capital, a private-held real estate investment firm located in Los Angeles, California, announced today that Otis Elevator of Farmington, Connecticut purchased the property owned by its affiliate at 1500 Range Way, in Florence, South Carolina. Florence Industrial Center, a 423,581 square-foot, class-A industrial facility, once occupied by Maytag, is situated on 49 acres and also includes 35 acres of vacant, interstate frontage land.
John Ticon and Edward Kercher of Cushman Wakefield in Charleston, South Carolina represented Otis Elevator in the recent transaction, while Randy Stump of The Stump Corporation, represented the Hackman affiliate.
“Adjacent to Interstate 95 and in close proximity to deep-water seaports, Florence Industrial Center offers Otis a prime Southeastern location and first-rate building amenities for manufacturing and distribution,” said Michael Hackman, founder and CEO of Hackman Capital.
Florence County Council Chairman K.G. “Rusty” Smith said there are no major hurdles to Florence County signing off on its part of the proposal that would bring a 53-room, upscale boutique hotel to downtown Florence in the near future.
Although discussion of the proposal and the tangled knot of steps the county must take to bring it to fruition are not on the council’s official agenda for its meeting Thursday, Smith said he and his colleagues may take up the matter anyway. And even if they don’t address it this week, Smith said, the plan likely will gain county approval eventually.
“I don’t want to speak for the council,” Smith said, ‘but I would foresee us moving forward on this. I know I’m supportive of it. There are just a lot of legal details to work out. It’s pretty complicated from our end.”
The business park will be located and Florence and is slated to be the home of Otis Elevator, a 158-year-old company that is based in Connecticut and aims to bring 360 jobs to Florence.
Williamsburg County will make off with one percent of the revenue Florence County brings in yearly, which is allowed by a law that allows for the incorporation of tax breaks for businesses along with the sharing of revenues with poorer counties.
Although the county will not have any jobs created directly from the agreement, Williamsburg County officials say they believe the help they are receiving from Florence County will allow them to not only ride out a difficult economic time, but come out stronger.
The former Maytag facility in Florence has changed its name to help lure a new tenant to the building, said the building’s owner, a Hackman Capital Partners affiliate.
The private real estate investment firm announced the new name, Florence Industrial Center. The renaming is part of an aggressive marketing plan designed to reach prospective tenants, or buyers, nationwide.
The 422,000-square-foot, class “A” industrial building, which could house a distributer or manufacturer, is located adjacent to Interstate 95 and approximately four miles from Interstate 20.
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August 23, 2008
The arrivals of Heinz, Monster and a new Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Florence have all been announced, but here are some things that haven’t.
Driving down Hoffmeyer Road, you’ll not only see the signs for the new supercenter, but also a new retail center right next door to West Florence High School called the Village At Windsor.
Todd Walker — president of Walker Industry, the construction company on the project — also is the owner of the retail space.
“It’s a retail shopping center,” he said. “There are seven stores total, including Bravo Event Solutions and Firehouse Subs.”
Walker said the construction slowdown across the nation hasn’t hit Florence, and he said this project should be complete in six weeks.
“The economic hardships had scared some people away, but for the most part, people are continuing on,” he said. “Some other projects we are working on include adding onto the Greek Orthodox church along with CHOiCES Charter School and the (Florence) Boys & Girls Club.”
Radio Drive near Florence Civic Center has changed dramatically during the past few years as many hotels, restaurants and department stores popped up on the scene and the growths seems to continue.
A new AT&T store next door to Chili’s soon will be opening with additional space for another retail area.
There’s also construction going on at the site of another Marriott hotel — Residence Inn — that will be beside Springhill Suites by Marriott.
ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….
August 06, 2008
The Associated Press
A section of a planned $2 billion expressway in South Carolina has gained key approval.
State and federal officials signed the final environmental impact statement for the northern leg of the proposed Interstate-73 on Wednesday. The southern leg of the highway has already gained final approval.
State Transportation Department spokesman Pete Poore says Wednesday’s approval locks in the planned route for the northern section of I-73. Poore says officials expect to clear a final step in October.
The entire expressway will run about 90 miles in South Carolina and eventually link Myrtle Beach with Michigan.