Developers to downtown Laurens
The Laurens County Development Corporation is going uptown.
The development group’s Board of Director approved today (July 20) a plan to lease the second floor of The Midtown Building in downtown Laurens for its 3-member staff. That moves it from quarters now shared with the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce in the Professional Park, behind the Laurens County Hospital.
“It is important to showcase quality of life,” LCDC President/CEO Jon Coleman said.
The board was meeting in the training room of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Laurens. The Chamber board was to meet later to hear about LCDC’s move.
LCDC come Jan. 1, 2022 would have had 3 years left on its Chamber building lease. In addition to second floor offices, LCDC will get access to a first floor conference room, where The Coffee Roost now is located.
LCDC will sign a 5-year lease for The Midtown Building.
Keller-Williams Reality is moving out of this space and into a former Century 21 office, also in downtown Laurens. Midtown developers also have acquired a building next door for offices - The Midtown Building is beside the Laurens City Hall.
LCDC’s new headquarters will overlook the Historic Courthouse and the county’s military Monument Square. There also will be easy access to restaurants and amenities in the Laurens Downtown Square area.
The LCDC and the Chamber functions used to be together, but several years ago were split into separate entities, sharing the same building. The Chamber also has a Visitors’ Welcome Center in its lobby.
The space that LCDC moves out of will become a “landing pad” - temporary offices for industries setting up shop in Laurens County and/or people starting their own businesses. Also, the Chamber will need more space - it is hiring a business-membership recruiter and an affiliate coordinator for Keep Laurens County Beautiful/Palmetto Pride.
Coleman said 6 small offices can be developed in the space that LCDC will be leaving by the first of the year, headed for The Midtown Building. LCDC will pay out its lease with a $72,000 payment to the Chamber.
Also, LCDC is buying the Power South industrial park for $3.2 million in the northwestern area of the county near ZF Transmissions. Coleman said it is important to keep this land industrial - now that it is being eyed for residential.
Land for houses and condos is becoming harder to come by for the fast-growing Simpsonville - Mauldin area, fueled at least in part by the new $86 Million Fountain Inn High School.