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The Food, Artisan, and Warehouse District: A Unique Approach to Cultivate Entrepreneurship and Catalyze Redevelopment

Aiming to connect its revitalizing downtown with surrounding neighborhoods, Florence’s Food, Artisan and Warehouse District spurs new development in a struggling corridor, reduces food insecurity in the area, preserves the area’s historic warehouse architecture and promotes unique land uses not previously allowed. 
The overlay district, created to fulfill numerous comprehensive plan action items, has led to projects involving a wide array of partners. It bolstered access to healthy food in what has been a food desert, and now offers a downtown Save-A-Lot grocery store that’s operated by a local entrepreneur. The city developed its health and wellness campus in the area, which includes the Barnes Street Community Center and an inclusive playground. It also transformed a former warehouse into the City Center Market, a city-owned and operated farmers market facility with rentable commercial kitchen space for entrepreneurs scaling up their businesses.
Development efforts in the district have led to the establishment of a locally-owned artisan sauce plant.  
The city invested $3.7 million of tax increment financing district funding for the City Center Market and improved infrastructure in the district. It contributed $625,000 in conditional grant funds for the grocery store, joining the Palmetto Housing Authority’s $1.8 million investment in the business. The store also received grants from Save-A-Lot and the SC Community Loan Fund.
Perceived barriers to development in the district are now falling rapidly. The city entered a conditional grant agreement with a private developer for a $65 million mixed-use investment in the district.  
Contact Clint Moore at or 843.665.2047.