City says development on the upswing
Rick Martin, the planner for the City of Georgetown, is optimistic about what he sees happening in his office.
On the wall is a board that, for the first time in years, is full of building activity that has started or will soon take place.
That, he says, means more jobs, more choices for residents and visitors and more revenue for the city.
“We have issued more than $7 million in permits so far this year,” Martin said. “Things are looking up.”
The biggest permits have been issued to Georgetown Hospital System for the first phases of a $22 million renovation project.
Martin said the hospital currently has two permits. One is for a second-floor nursing unit renovation.
The other is to “re-skin” the exterior of the Black River Road facility.
He said the hospital plans to renovate the entire outer area of the building and he expects to issue two additional permits later this year.
The work will also include relocating the hospital’s main entrance from Black River Road to Memorial Lane.
The first floor “mall” area also will be reoriented, providing a new traffic flow pattern which will improve patient access and convenience for outpatient services.
Care Pharmacy to move
Because of the expansions of the hospital, Care Pharmacy, located at 1111 Black River Road, will be relocating next to Grimes Century 21 near the intersection of U.S. Highway 701 and Black River Road.
A storage unit facility currently on the property will be removed, Martin said, adding the new store will be a two-story structure with the pharmacy downstairs and a doctor’s office upstairs.
Another health facility relocating
The St. James-Santee Family Health Center at 2020 Highmarket Street outgrew its facility not long after it opened in 2007, said CEO Sandra Gilliard.
So, the center has purchased the empty building between Tony’s Famous Pizza and the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office and plans to relocate this summer.
Gilliard said the move will mean more services can be offered because the new building is more than twice the size of the Highmarket Street location.
She said the work on the building is already underway and she expects the new facility to be open in early July.
Martin said there are several other projects taking place that have received permits recently. They include:
• Renovations to the exterior and kitchen of Burger King.
• The Georgetown Housing Authority continues the renovations at the apartments on Merriman Road and North Street.
• Carolina Title Loans will locate in what was once the Anchor Bank at 1187 North Fraser Street in front of Fred’s Department Store.
“We have gone through some tough times but, with just four of us in this department, I think we are doing good,” Martin said.
He said his co-workers Debra Grant, Janet Grant and Matthew Millwood have been working hard and he expects to make more positive economic announcements in the near future.
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