FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — The Downtown Florence Development Corporation has adopted a new master plan that could bring 1,000 residential units downtown by 2030.

Downtown Florence has garnered a lot of attention since receiving the “Great American Main Street Award” at the 2023 Main Street Now Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

The award recognizes extraordinary Main Street communities and a community can only win it once. Winners are selected by a group of Main Street professionals who are experts in the fields of community, economic development and historic preservation.

Hannah Davis, a development manager with the city of Florence, said the award is only a benchmark for the progress to come.

The downtown master plan for the next 10 years emphasizes high-quality and diverse housing; corridor and gateway development; and beautification efforts.

For housing, the plan is to use vacant space to build homes and use historic two-story buildings with underutilized second-floor space and turn them into living spaces.

“That’s us working with local developers, working with statewide developers, national developers,” Davis said. “To come in and bring in high-quality housing for the downtown area because we love to have additional residents here. If we have additional residents, that attracts retailers and restaurants and things to do, which attracts a better quality of life for our entire community.”

Davis said over the next three to five years, the downtown is estimated to see an additional $50 million in investments.

According to Davis, downtown Florence is one of the most diverse main streets in the state. More than 40% of the businesses are either minority-owned or women-owned.

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Taylor Ford is a digital journalist for News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2023. Taylor is a Florence native and covers the Pee Dee out of News13’s Florence Bureau. Read more of Taylor’s work here.