UNION — It’s the most talked about place in Union and it’s not even finished.
When it opens this summer, Main Street Junction will be the location for weddings, receptions, family reunions, corporate meetings and other special events, such as dances, comedy shows and fashion shows.
Located at 107 East Main St., the building once housed a Rose’s 5 and 10 store and later a Super 10 store. Between 2011 and 2012, the South Carolina Department of Commerce provided the City of Union with nearly $100,000 in seed money to convert an existing downtown building for use as a business. A committee comprised of members from the development board, tourism commission, Chamber of Commerce and Union City Council chose the building for renovation. The money was spent on a new roof, removing asbestos and lead-based paint.
“Main Street Junction” was chosen for the name, playing off a mural painted on a nearby building depicting the Buffalo, Union-Carolina railroad. At one time, the committee looked into developing the building with a restaurant and small retail shops on the first floor.
The Main Street Junction project has evolved into what is now the completion of a charette plan approved more than a decade ago, which involved converting the old Union High School auditorium into a performing arts center. Fire destroyed the building, but the City had a $1 million insurance policy, that could be used for an events center project, along with a $1 million bond that could only be used for a multi-purpose facility.
When the Events Center project died, city council chose to use the remaining $1.5 million to develop an existing Main Street building to help spur downtown development and keep money in Union that was being spent out of town. The site at 107 East Main St. was chosen because it was in the best condition and money had already been invested in it. Council wanted a meeting/banquet area on main floor, offices upstairs and garden area out back. A new, expanded committee was formed maintaining the original Main Street Junction committee but adding members of city council and city managers who work in utilities and operations.
The project was put out for bid and two firms submitted proposals, with the Montgomery Company from Lexington being the low bidder. The committee also liked their concept for developing the building.
Several locals have been hired as sub-contractors, including P&C Mechanical, Boulware Plumbing, Williford Electrical, Union Awning and Iron, local carpenters and Mike Kershaw handling the brickwork in the garden. David Gregory of Union is the project supervisor.
Construction began in the fall of 2015.
Downstairs will feature a catering kitchen, restrooms, and a banquet area. Accordion glass doors at back of building will open onto a covered veranda. Stairs on both ends of the deck will allow access to the fenced-in garden area.
A reception area in front of building will have two flat screen TVs, chairs, sofa and tables. An elevator inside the reception area will take people to second floor. There is also a stairway beside the building allowing entry from the sidewalk to upstairs.
Upstairs are two offices, a kitchenette, a conference room with a flat-screen TV, restrooms, bridal dressing room and large meeting area in back.
The Main Street Junction Committee is working on rental prices for the downstairs “Great Room,” the veranda, the ornamental park, the upstairs conference room and the two offices.
Anyone interested in renting all or part of Main Street Junction may call Debbie Woodard at the City of Union, 429-1700.
(Licensed, professional caterers are needed for a preferred catering list being drawn up for Main Street Junction. For more information call Curtiss Hunter at 466-4711.)
This story was submitted by The Main Street Junction Marketing Committee.