Apartments fuel downtown Rock Hill revitalization

Apartments fuel downtown Rock Hill revitalization

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by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 3 at 6:41 PM

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- The city of Rock Hill wants to attract more people to Main Street. It already has new restaurants and shops. Now, a new apartment complex in the downtown area is adding fuel to the effort.

"We want to see this area grow and prosper," said Keith Fields.

Fields invested in downtown Rock Hill less than a year ago when he opened his store, Moments in Time, on Main Street.

"They're revitalizing it now and it's coming back. I like to say it's akin to being about 80-percent back," said Fields.

Fields says he's thrilled over the plan to building a 46 -unit apartment complex on the site of the old Woolworth's building.

"It had gone past the point of repair, so yeah let's demolish it, let's get rid of the eyesore and bring something that will bring people to live downtown," said Fields.

Just a few doors down is Antonio Barnes who owns Barnes Hair and Spa Salon. He's been a staple on Main Street for 30 years and seen many changes.

"I was here when the roof was on, and I was in the building when they was taking it down, so I think people actually living downtown is an excellent idea; I'm excited about it, no doubt," said Barnes.

And so is Stephen Turner with the City of Rock Hill Economic Development; he says it's been years in the making in partnership with Nova Capital Partners to bring more residential living to downtown, and now they received HUD approval for $5 to $6 million in funding.

"We've got places to work down here, we've got places to eat down here, we've got places to have fun down here, we don't really have places for people to live right now," said Turner.

With new additions like a farmers market constantly enhancing downtown, business owners say this will only attract more.

"We want to see it revitalized; we want to see it come back to its heyday-- its glory it once had," said Fields.

The city says they estimate construction starting at the beginning of 2014 and taking between nine and 12 months to complete.

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