Walterboro residents hope state program will revitalize historic downtown

The City of Walterboro has been accepted into a state program to revitalize their historic downtown area in hopes of bringing economic success to the community.
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 4:54 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 9, 2023 at 7:55 PM EST
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WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Walterboro has been accepted into a state program to revitalize their historic downtown area in hopes of bringing economic success to the community.

Walterboro joins over 30 other communities like Beaufort, Kingstree, and Orangeburg in the Main Street South Carolina network, which aims to address issues that challenge historic commercial districts.

“People who have grown up in this town have seen it gone from a very vibrant, bustling downtown that had pharmacies, restaurants, banks,” Scott Grooms, director of tourism and downtown development for the City of Walterboro said. “I’d love to see downtown just totally populated again with that to where people come downtown to shop and do day to day business.”

Business owners downtown say they love the area’s southern charm and small town feel but agree that some updates would bring in more business.

“I think we have incredible potential I just think we need some help in realizing what all we have,” Jessica Burdick, owner of Twig Boutique, said.

In the coming weeks, Main Street SC will come to Walterboro and bring in a research crew to find out what the city is doing right, and what they could do better, holding meetings with stakeholders, residents, and public officials to find out their vision for downtown. Then, they will assist Walterboro in coming up with strategies to achieve that vision.

“I think it’s gonna bring new business, a lot of potential for a lot of our local people for things different to do, and hopefully some beautification and some buildings that are currently empty, to fill those as well,” Heather Larson, co-owner of Colleton Day Spa, said.

Before the team arrives, the city has posted a survey asking people who live, work, and spend time in Walterboro to share what they think the most pressing issues facing downtown are, what types of businesses they would like to see, and more.

You can find that survey here. You’re encouraged to submit honest feedback about what you would like to see downtown until Jan. 25.