Fort Mill Times

Main St. maneuvers could signal revival

In recent months some downtown properties in Fort Mill have changed hands.

On Tuesday, Jan. 22, Southern Management Group closed on a half-million dollar purchase of 205 Main Street, a building that formerly housed Fort Mill Community Church. The company intends to open a satellite office in the second floor of the building, and lease out the bottom floor to a retail or restaurant tenant, according to Jim Britton of Southern Management.

"We had been looking for office space for a while," Britton said. "We've been working in Fort Mill since 1998-99 using construction trailers and space at the school district office."

With a growing school district staff, Britton has moved offices in the school district's Elliott Street headquarters three times, and he doesn't expect the trend to change any time soon. His company bought the Main Street location for $520,000, according to York County tax records. The company has been renovating the top floor since January, and Britton hopes to move in by May.

The satellite office will be Southern Management's second in the state. It is headquartered in Columbia and runs another satellite office in Charleston, Britton said. The 2,500-square-foot office will be home to up to six employees. Once the upstairs renovation is complete, the company will begin looking for a tenant downstairs to lease 2,500 square feet.

"It will be an excellent opportunity for us to be a part of revitalizing downtown," he said.

At the top of Main Street, local attorney and property owner Bayles Mack sold the old post office building and adjacent land, stretching back behind Hardee's to Elliott Street and the Fort Mill School District office, to a company called Olson Development last December for $515,000, according to tax records.

Developer Kent Olson did not immediately return calls for comment.

Fort Mill Planning Director Andy Merriman said he has not received any development plans from Olson for the site, which falls inside the town's Tom Hall corridor overlay zoning district, created late last year. The zoning district carries more restrictive zoning standards compared to land zoned local commercial. Olson would not need the Fort Mill Town Council's approval to develop the property under those standards, but he would need approval if he decided to seek a planned development.

SE Miller Construction bought the large open lot across Springs Street from the old post office building and tore down the old pink house there after the town council condemned it. Owner Shannon Miller said he still plans to develop the property similar to the local commercial retail along Main Street.

There is also renewed interest in the old East Shore Plaza property on Academy Street.

The plaza is split between two owners, but a potential buyer has had the far left side of the plaza inspected, and may decide whether to make an offer on it by the end of this week, according to RE/MAX agent Tracy Richardson. She declined to name the buyer. The property is listed at $345,000. The other half of the plaza, including The Cleaners, owned by Bob Cullen, is not for sale, Richardson said.