Florence Downtown Development submits proposal to redevelop Carolina Theatre

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) – The historic 750 seat theatre that sits next to the Water’s Building in Downtown Florence was last used in the late eighties for church services.

In 2009 the City of Florence donated the building to the Downtown Florence Corporation and since then it’s been vacant.

But city leaders say it’s now time to put the space to use.

“We’d like to see if there are some people of interest that would have an interest in investing in the property downtown,” said Tom Ewart, Chairman of Florence Downtown Development.

Ewart says that now the time is right to take action with the abandoned theatre, as economic development grows throughout the downtown area.

“The more people you have down there, the more revenue you’ll have, the more traffic you’ll have and it’ll give you more sustainable income and that’s what investors are looking for,” mentioned Ewart.

“If they come down here to eat and there are other options I’m pretty sure that they’re going to be willing to spend some of their money on entertainment options,” added John Coyler, Florence resident.

The building was painted two years ago to keep it in compliance with downtown appearance codes.

City leaders say the request for proposals allows the corporation more flexibility, since it’s a nonprofit, compared to the city.

“With the historic tax credits and those things that are available, hopefully we’ll have some significant interest in the theatre being developed shortly,” says Ewart.

Ewart says the board of directors will know in the next 30 to 60 days if there is an investor interested in the building.

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