Charles Warner Editor
September 17, 2013
UNION COUNTY — The City of Union will soon be the sole owner of the old Super 10 building on Main Street.
At its September meeting last week, Union County Council voted unanimously to approve first reading of an ordinance transferring the county’s interest in the building to the city. The ordinance states that the county has agreed to deed the building to the city and “wishes for the City of Union to take ownership and responsibility of this property.” The ordinance authorizes Supervisor Tommy Sinclair “to execute and deliver” a deed to the city conveying the county’s interest once third and final reading of the ordinance is approved.
Sinclair said the county is transferring its interest to the city because of a change in what the building is going to be used for and to support the city’s plans for the property.
“It is located in the city, it is located in the downtown,” Sinclair said. “It was purchased jointly some years ago for a children’s museum. We just thought we’d give up our interest in it since the museum is apparently off the table. Also, the city wants to market it to bring business to the downtown and we certainly hope they are successful.”
The building, which is is located at 107 E. Main St., Union, was jointly acquired by the city and the county in 2007 at a cost of $38,500 with plans to renovate it so it would remain viable as a site for business and help recruit business to the downtown area. The project is being overseen by the Union County Development Board and control of the building was turned over to the Union County Chamber of Commerce which lists it in a commercial database it developed. The database lists properties suitable for retail establishments, restaurants, professional, automotive and service businesses such as contractors. The purpose of the database is to provide a central listing of properties in order to respond to the needs of entrepreneurs wanting to open a business.
Chamber Executive Director Torance Inman said Monday that the database has already been set up and lists buildings available for businesses in the downtown and adjacent areas.
“The database is in place and interested retailers and/or other types of businesses have access to the database through the chamber and project chair Linda Mitchell,” Inman said. “When we have an inquiry we will go to the database and determine what facilities are available and what their amenities are.”
Inman said the Super 10 building is among those properties listed on the database and is also being marketed by the development board.
Since acquiring the building, the city and the county have both been involved in its renovation with the county using inmate labor to clean it; the city electrical crew removing the lights, suspended ceiling and HVAC system from the building. An engineer was hired to evaluate the building’s structure and stability and an environmental firm hired to evaluate the level of hazardous material in the building that would have to be removed. The environmental firm’s report indicated the presence of hazardous material in the building and recommended their removal. This in turn led to the city seeking bids for the removal of the materials and awarding the bid in 2012 to Mac Environmental, LLC for $13,615. The removal and disposal of the materials was funded with two grants the city received in 2011.
Efforts to stabilize the building continued in May when Union City Council voted unanimously to award the bid for a stabilization project to Kingsmore Construction for $29,193.32. The project included the demolition of the first floor rooms, stairs and wood floor systems and then hauling it to either the landfill in Chester or in Cross Keys with the City of Union to pay the tipping fees; filling the basement will flowable fill and installing block outs and bricking up the door opening in the basement; and providing fill dirt.
The stabilization project is being funded with a Rural Infrastructure Fund grant from the S.C. Department of Commerce ($15,577.24); funds allocated by the City of Union ($7,300); and funds allocated by Union County ($7,300). In its vote to award the bid for the building’s continued stabilization, council also voted to accept full ownership of the building with the county transferring its interest in the property to the city in addition to allocating its share of the cost of the stabilization project.
Mayor Harold Thompson welcomed the county’s decision, and said the city will go forward with its plans to market the building to business. He also thanked the Department of Commerce for its support of the project.
“We did the final paperwork on closing out the grant last week,” Thompson said Monday. “We appreciate the Department of Commerce giving us the money to do a study of the building and its needs and then to shore the building up.”
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org