UNION — What does a $1.5 million multi-purpose facility look like? It looks like Main Street Junction which had its formal opening this past Saturday.
Main Street Junction opened its doors to the public during a 1 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked the completion of an effort that began nearly a decade ago with a study that determined the City of Union needed a multi-purpose facility on Main Street in the downtown area.
An important step in the implementation of the study’s recommendations came in 2011 and 2012 when the SC 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 selected the building at 107 East Main St. for the project. The building had previously housed a Super 10 store and before that a Rose’s 5 and 10 store. The money provided by the SC Department of Commerce was spent on a new roof, removing asbestos and lead-based paint.
Main Street Junction was selected as the name of the facility because of its proximity to 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.
Over time, the project evolved into renovating the building into a multi-purpose facility that could accommodate events and activities such as weddings, receptions, family reunions, corporate meetings, dances, comedy shows and fashion shows.
Construction on the $1.5 million project got under way in the fall of 2015 and on Saturday the public got its first look at what those funds had been spent on.
Joined by the members of Union City Council and the members of the Main Street Junction Marketing Committee, City of Union Mayor Harold Thompson cut the ribbon to formally open the facility. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed by guided tours of the interior of the building, its veranda, and the park behind it.
In helping open the facility, Thompson spoke about the 2005 study that pointed out the community’s need for a multi-purpose facility and how Main Street Junction will meet that need.
“The study indicated a need for a multi-purpose facility in Union County and that is what Main Street Junction is,” Thompson said. “Hopefully our citizens will use this facility and the ornamental park for family events, weddings, luncheons, business meetings, as well as attend performances.
“As you will see when you take the tour this is a premiere multi-functional venue, a venue that resulted from the redevelopment of a historical vacant building,” he said. “A venue that will bring everyone together for the good of the community. I believe that Main Street Junction will offer a place and sense of space for diverse gatherings that will help breathe new life into downtown Union and bring economic prosperity back to the core asset of our community which is Main Street.”
Following Thompson’s remarks and the ribbon-cutting, the more than 300 people attending the event were taken on guided tours of the facility.
On the first floor of Main Street Junction they got to see the catering kitchen and the banquet area which can be rented for events such as weddings, receptions, family reunions, corporate meetings, dances, comedy shows, and fashion shows. The banquet room includes tables and chairs, a stage, and the original walls and ceiling which have been restored.
At the end of the banquet room are accordion glass doors which open onto the covered veranda which provides access to the fenced-in ornamental park behind Main Street Junction.
When you enter Main Street Junction from Main Street and before you get to the banquet room, you find yourself in the reception area which has chairs, sofas, tables, and two flat screen TVs.
Upstairs you have a flex room, two offices, a conference room with a flat screen TV, a kitchenette, and a bridal parlor.
Main Street Junction will also be equipped with an elevator which will be able to move people back and forth between the first and second floors. For those renting office space on the second floor, the facility provides direct access from Main Street.
While Main Street Junction itself and the ornamental park are complete, work is continuing next to the facility on a patio that will provide handicapped access to the park and to the restroom facilities within the junction.
Meals on Wheels
This Saturday will see Main Street Junction host its first event with the Union County Meals on Wheels Charity Gala from 6-10 p.m.
The goal of the gala will be to raise funds for the Miracle League’s efforts to provide meals to needy residents in Union and Buffalo. The gala will provide those attending with the opportunity to dress up and enjoy a night of dancing, music, food, and a silent auction while supporting Meals on Wheels.
Anyone interested in renting all or part of Main Street Junction may call Debbie Woodard at the City of Union at 864-429-1700.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.