ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – A project in downtown Anderson that’s been in the works for two years is almost complete.

The city said an old building on North Main Street next to Magnetic South Brewery has undergone a complete 180, from an abandoned eyesore to a soon-to-be retail space.

It will be home to eight new retail shops.

“We do have an ice cream concept we’re working with, a coffee-type user that we have in play, a hair salon, just some different types of business that I think people will really enjoy,” said John Wright, the owner of building.

Wright said the idea for the project started with his family.

“We wanted to go somewhere with green space, somewhere to eat and drink and just kind of enjoy the nice weather that day, and there wasn’t anywhere for us to go, so we went over to Greenville,” Wright said.

The heart behind it is that people like him in Anderson don’t have to travel far to find a unique outdoor commercial and retail space. Also, it brings the community together.

“People have to come down here to experience. Not online transactional, but more we want people to come down here and shop, go to the brewery, get something to eat or drink,” Wright said.

The city said it’s important for them to put a lot of thought into the space, since its one of the first things people see when they drive into downtown.

“It was important for city council, it was important for the businesses downtown to have an anchor, something really attractive on this end of downtown,” said Assistant City Manager Andrew Strickland.

The businesses that will occupy the building are expected to open in the fall.

The city said its long-term goal is to turn all of the old, abandoned buildings downtown Anderson into something useful.