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July 17, 2014

Rock Hill’s Main Street to reopen soon as Fountain Park construction wraps up

East Main Street could reopen for traffic in about a month if crews building Fountain Park Place and Fountain Park are not delayed, say project officials.

East Main Street could reopen for traffic in about a month if crews building Fountain Park Place and Fountain Park are not delayed, say project officials.

Several blocks of East Main Street and Elizabeth Lane have been closed for months as office building construction started about a year ago. Traffic patterns on East Black Street near Elizabeth Lane also have been affected.

Fountain Park Place and the adjacent park are the first major construction project east of Oakland Avenue since 1976 when the Rock Hill National Bank opened at East Main and Oakland.

The office building and park are part of an ambitious project to transform downtown east of Oakland with more retail development, a hotel and a performing arts center.

A recent market study supports construction of a hotel but no date for construction has been set.

Comporium invested about $9 million in the 48,000-square-foot Fountain Park Place office building. The project includes a 194-space parking deck which the city built for about $3.4 million.

Warren Norman, of the Warren Norman Co., said Fountain Park Place is about 60 percent leased.

The first tenant, the Rock Hill law firm of Morton & Gettys, is expected to occupy offices on the building’s third floor by September.

The second floor has been leased to an out-of-town company, Norman said. He declined to release the company’s name.

The first floor is expected to include a bank and two restaurants, Norman said. No restaurant leases have been signed, he said, but he expects there will be interest in the corner locations after Fountain Park is complete.

Space on the third and fourth floor remains to be leased, he said.

There is a courtyard between the parking deck and Fountain Park Place. Norman and Comporium officials said a significant public art piece will be displayed there.

Completion of Fountain Park is expected by October, said Stephen Turner, the city’s economic development director. Most of the work on the fountain, the park’s signature element, is complete. Workers are now installing pavers and other stones around the fountain.

Landscaping of the park won’t happen until the weather cools, Turner said.

No date has been set for the grand opening of the park, Turner said.

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