FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — The Florence community has begun addressing what many say is a dire need for housing in the downtown area, and an upcoming streetscape project is expected to help.

“There is a lack of availability,” Assistant City Manager Clint Moore said. “I think if you ask anyone right now, whether it’s rental or home ownership, there’s a deficiency. So, we have a very active single-family construction going on right now throughout the city, and as well as there’s a waiting list on all of our apartment units downtown.” 

The Florence Design Review Board met in November to request the certificates of appropriateness for Project Urban Square, which is estimated to cost $65 million. With current supply-chain issues, the apartment complex is set for completion in the next 18 to 24 months.

The first phase of this project involves building a four-story, five-level parking garage and the private development of a 151-unit apartment complex.

Redevelopment of the site will include single-family housing that will replace an existing warehouse on the site.

Phase 2 of the project will include a new hotel on the corner of Evans and Colt streets and a 30,000-square-foot office building.

Moore explained that the city is taking the next steps to obtain the permits.

“Right after we finalize all the work with our permitting, you’ll start to see macerating, so a lot of the existing grade out here needs to be all brought together,” Moore said.

Moore said the hotel construction should begin within the next five years.