ANDERSON, SC (WSPA) — A multi-million dollar revitalization project is in the works for downtown Anderson.
Developers and the city are transforming an area with dilapidated buildings into a destination location.
Buildings, which sit at the corner of North Main Street and Calhoun Street, will soon change.
“The really exciting thing is, as you can see kind of around us right now, there’s a little bit of construction going on,” said Anderson City Council member Kyle Newton. “A lot of these buildings have been abandoned for quite some time, but in the next several months, the community is really going to see a lot of growth in this area.”
The area will now transform into the new A & P Plaza. What used to be the old A & P Grocery Store will now be the home of Magnetic South Brewery.
“This is going to be a very exciting addition to our town,” Newton said.
The brewery will be a 10,000-square-foot facility, housing craft beers and new brews.
“Doing a lot of craft beer, new brews which, as you know, that’s a huge economic factor nowadays” said Newton. “You know people travel from all around to get a good beer which is great. Any reason to bring people into downtown is a great reason. And then we have retail space that can supplement that.”
Right outside its doors, the city is investing an estimated $1.5 million into new streetscape, parking, and a new pedestrian plaza.
The pedestrian plaza will have greenspace for family fun and events. Newton said the work for the pedestrian plaza has to be bid out.
“The city is partnering to do streetscaping and to do the pedestrian plaza where we’re standing right now,” Newton explained. “So the fountain and the parking and the trees and all that, that’s something that the city is going to do, while Mr. Wright is handling the development and bringing in the brewery, and the retail spots.”
McCoy Wright Commercial Real Estate is the developer for the brewery, and a second old building that will have retail and dining space.
“So it’s a public-private partnership, which is a great way to get business done,” Newton said.
“We’re in negotiations with people in all kind of industries from beverages to candies and sweeties and stuff like that,” said Richard Bennett, Vice President of Sales & Marketing with McCoy Wright Commercial Real Estate.
“We think this is going to be a good project because one thing it will give people a destination to come down and have a nice – be in a hotel. Be able to go and see a show, and or eat dinner, and to be able to go down and have a brew, have a beer, have a cocktail afterwards. Have park in between with shops around it,” Bennett added.
“The whole idea is that this being the kind of focal point of the whole development. And like Rich has said, you can go get a beer, go shopping, do whatever you can do. Bring your kids down here and be able to walk around the park. Kind of an area, an environment that is currently not downtown or really anywhere in Anderson for that matter,” said McCoy Wright, Inc. owner and president John Wright, Jr.
Newton said instead of having everything centralized around the courthouse, which is in the heart of downtown, the city’s goal is to expand attraction throughout the whole street.
“I think you will see a lot of events here. I think you will see also a reason for people to come up Main Street. I mean everybody knows the corner of Whitner and Main, and Market and that little area, you have Sullivan’s, you have restaurants, you have reasons to be down there. It’s harder to get people to come up North Main right now, and I think you will see growth kind of slowly creep up more and more this way,” Newton said.
The city also wants to make the first place people see as they enter into downtown, a beautiful gateway into the Electric City.
“Any time you can replace a dilapidated building with a thriving business, I think that’s a good day,” Newton said.
Developers also hope this will help other businesses blossom.
“Hopefully all of this will help each other. We totally expect us, the neighbors behind us, at the Bee Hive, as well as the hotels and the other projects to all help each other,” Bennett said.
Newton said an old taxicab stand, next to the A & P Plaza, also has a new owner. Newton said he believes it will be turned into a small restaurant.
Developers said Magnetic South Brewery is expected to be ready by the fall. Newton said the streetscape project should be complete sometime next year.