FLORENCE — A proposed marketplace on South Irby Street is raising issues that it will improve site visitors and bring far more homeless individuals to the region.

Market place – which is positioned in the street S. Irby 711—formerly residence to Orangeland Seafood—is created to improve the availability of fresh, neighborhood generate to the individuals of Florence.

But opponents, seven of whom spoke at public meetings, argue the home does not have sufficient parking to accommodate shoppers, will improve congestion and deliver a gathering space for homeless individuals, all of which will negatively influence neighborhood small business owners.

The Rev. Leo Woodbury, executive director of the New Alpha Neighborhood Improvement Corp., which is behind the project, as effectively as the pastor at Kingdom Living Temple, which is positioned on the adjacent home, stated the issues are unfounded.

“I see totally no basis in truth or reality for something they are saying,” he stated.

The project is on hold soon after Florence’s style overview board requested far more info about the plans prior to approving or denying the marketplace application.

At the April board meeting when the program was presented, Woodbury stated the marketplace would have a comparable style to the East Palmetto Street Flea Market place.

There would be a semi-permanent structure, such as an open shed, and a handful of short-term tents set up when the marketplace is open for common small business hours of Friday by means of Sunday 26 weeks a year. Woodbury stated the native plants will beautify the home.

Beyond these plans, Woodbury stated the organization is prepared to function with the city to align with style recommendations for the Irby Street corridor, a single of the places exactly where the city has focused redevelopment efforts.


The marketplace is component of the broader function of the New Alpha Neighborhood Improvement Corp. on advertising environmental justice, Woodberry stated in an interview. The marketplace would be an chance for smaller neighborhood farmers to sell their generate and a supply of neighborhood, fresh generate for the residents of Florence. There would also be coaching possibilities to teach individuals how to use the meals that is out there.

In addition to meals, the marketplace will also sell branded clothes and household items.

Parking was a important concern for a quantity of individuals who spoke against the project. Street parking is not out there in the region, and small business owners stated they never want excessive site visitors parking in their lots.

Cherie Springs, who owns the Pool’s restaurant across the street, stated events at the Kingdom Living Temple currently overflow at occasions and patrons have ended up making use of the Pool’s parking lot in the previous. It really is not anything she desires to see occur often, she stated.

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The improvement corporation estimates the marketplace will have a peak occupancy of 45 individuals, but opponents say they feel a lot of far more will come. Design and style Assessment Board members also questioned the methodology utilised by the corporation, saying they really should have planned for the occupancy to be greater than 45.

At an occupancy of 45, the city would need the marketplace to have 20 parking spaces, which are incorporated in the web-site program.

Woodbury also stated King Living Temple will be in a position to deliver extra parking spaces as necessary.

Woodbury stated parking issues are overstated and the marketplace will be in a position to deliver sufficient parking spaces.

He pointed out that the property’s earlier occupant was a seafood restaurant and stated he does not feel congestion will be far more of a issue than it was then.

“I cannot have an understanding of why individuals would feel there would be a congestion issue, either with autos or with individuals,” he stated.

Opponents also stated they had been concerned the marketplace would deliver a gathering spot for individuals who are homeless. It would have a adverse influence on their small business, they stated.

Springs stated there are currently a significant quantity of homeless individuals in the region and the marketplace, when it is not operating, would encourage their presence.

“We have a pretty significant quantity of homeless individuals in this region.” We offer you them absolutely free meals. We are pleased to feed them. But I can’t permit them to hang out and ask for dollars from my prospects,” she stated in an interview.

Woodbury stated homelessness currently exists in the region and he does not feel the marketplace will make the issue worse.

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Largely due to issues about congestion and homelessness, opponents also stated they believed the marketplace would come to be an eyesore.

“My understanding is that this redevelopment of Irby Street was meant to boost Irby Street and make it far better.” I feel this is in direct contrast to that. I never feel it is an improvement on Irby Street,” stated Dewey Powers, who owns the State Farm workplace subsequent to the home.

Powers spoke at the Design and style Assessment Board’s April meeting.

Powers declined to answer concerns from The Post and Courier.

A number of individuals pointed out the flea marketplace on East Palmetto Street – which they stated was run down and complete of trash – and they did not want anything like that in their neighborhood.

But Woodbury compared the marketplace to a downtown marketplace and stated he thinks it will boost the high quality of life in the region.

“This is what you want to have so that individuals are drawn to your city,” he stated.

Design and style Assessment Board members stated the plans they received had been as well preliminary to make an informed choice. They suggested at the April meeting, and Woodberry agreed, to delay approving the project till they gathered far more info.

Assistant City Manager Clint Moore stated the city has not received any additional info from New Alpha Improvement.

By Editor

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