Conway downtown development noticing growth entering new era


CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – A downtown vision is becoming a reality for the City of Conway after years of planning and executing growth and development.

From Main Street’s long-time businesses experiencing sudden growth to vacant properties being sold, change is evident in the downtown district with development shifting to align with the new work, life, and play vision.

A new era for Downtown Conway brings new business, opportunity, and vision for the future.

“Conway’s growth is unprecedented recently so we really want to target businesses that will benefit the residence more so than anything else,” Chamber of Commerce, Devin Parks said.

Next on the agenda fulfills the need for residential space bringing apartment and condo lifestyles bringing more life downtown.

“People are taking their exteriors to the next level. They want to keep up with those new renovations, they want to stay current and if they do have a space available they want to draw those potential tenants just to those new renovations but to their spaces as well,” Hillary Howard, Executive Director of Downtown Alive tells News13.

Papa’s General Store has sat on the corner of Fourth and Main for over a decade and has jumped on board with new plans.

“Recently we got approval from the city to do a mural on the side of the building, when I saw the train down there I said man that’s something,” Craig Smith, Owner of Papa’s General Store.

Smith got the idea from the train mural painted in Kingston Park just down the block months ago, “I remember as a kid, I was born here. And I remember there was a big Cocoa Cola sign just like the one that’s painted out here now,” Craig Smith, owner of Papa’s General Store said.

Fresh coats of paint represent new life with a touch of tradition and past.

“When we see improvements in the downtown district our businesses are responding with better merchandising, better displays, adding employees, just upping their game to be quite honest because they are realizing they are becoming a destination,” Hillary Howard, Downtown Alive Exective Director said.

New business benefits the entire downtown, even long-time owners who now renovate to keep up with new neighbors as they compete for business.

“The next ten years will be some of the most exciting that conway has ever seen as far as not only just growth general but regulated growth, bringing what you need,” Parks said.

City leaders expect 2020 to be another big year.

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