Fort Mill Times

Former downtown Fort Mill theater building getting new look

Lower Main Street is heading back to the future.

At its June 10 meeting, Fort Mill’s historic review board approved a plan for an addition to the EW Process building at 100 Main St. Known by long-time Fort Mill residents by its former use as a movie theater, the building will expand by 620 square feet when its owners add a conference room.

“We just concern ourselves with making sure it blends in,” said review board Vice Chairman Chip Heemsoth, who also writes the This Week in History column for the Fort Mill Times.

“It’s not going to be abstract.”

Heemsoth said the new plan isn’t entirely new. Currently, the side of the building facing the railroad tracks has a notched out open space – but it wasn’t always that way.

“There used to be a storefront there,” Heemsoth said. “There were a variety of businesses.”

The storefront was taken out to improve traffic flow between Academy and Main streets. The addition will leave a smaller notch of open space at the intersection. The sidewalk will remain. Having a historical precedent for a building in the new space helped with the review board’s decision.

“It’s not like there never was anything there before,” Heemsoth said.

Fort Mill’s downtown remains in a state of flux. At the same review board meeting, members heard plans by PuckerButt Pepper Co. to remove the “guns” sign from above the shop and paint red the storefront beside its entrance at 235 Main St. A new company sign and roof apron are planned.

At the top of Main Street, ground has been broken on a new 7,200-square-foot office building by Ferrera-Buist Cos. Three tenants will go in after construction wraps up in late summer or early fall. Hardee’s recently extended its parking lot and a new high-rise Apartment building nearby is set to open soon.

“We are set to open the end of this month,” said Mollie Rogers, manager at The Greens at Fort Mill. “I anticipate us having over one third of our units reserved by the time we open our doors.”