Conway buys downtown land along Waccamaw to revitalize riverfront

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The city is trying to make its riverfront the next major destination for residents and visitors.

Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy says she wants to help bring more businesses to the city’s riverfront.

“It’s a jewel that’s sitting unused,” she said. “I think it can become just a real central place for people to come and enjoy an evening or enjoy an entire day.”

The city recently purchased four riverfront properties for $400,000. The city says buying the vacant lots will make it easier to attract developers for restaurants, shops, hotels or apartments. Three properties are about 15,000 square feet near Bonfire taqueria, a planned restaurant next to Bonfire and the start of the Riverwalk. The other is 10,000 square feet next to Ocean Fish Market on Kingston Street.

A plan for an apartment building there fell apart after the developer died in 2016.

“Since that time, we’ve been very strongly holding on to the hope that one day, an apartment or some other similar good use of that property would come along,” said Blain-Bellamy.

Buying this property next to Ocean Fish Market fits into city administrator Adam Emrick’s goal of extending the Riverwalk up to the Kingston Lake Bridge and South Carolina Highway 905. The Riverwalk was repaired earlier this summer after Hurricane Florence’s flooding and several other projects near Riverfront Park are being planned.

Mayor Blain-Bellamy says like those projects, developers can find ways to prevent flood damage and join what she hopes is the city’s next destination.

“We don’t believe that the potential for flooding is such that there will never be a long-term, very profitable use of that location,” she said.

Conway will also hold two workshops next month where you can discuss what should be in the city’s future land use map. That will include what should go on the riverfront.

The workshops will be on August 7 at 6 p.m. at Whittemore Park Middle School and August 15 at 6 p.m. at the city’s recreation center on Mill Pond Road.

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