Fort Mill developer set to bring “new life” to downtown Chester

CHESTER, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – Changes are in store in downtown Chester as a commercial real estate company, known for its historical renovations in Fort Mill and other communities has plans to revitalize two buildings in Chester.

From a coffee shop, to apartments, life long residents are excited to see change.

For business owner in downtown Chester, Buddy Grant, He remembers the days downtown Chester was booming with growth.

“Downtown was a big deal back when I grew up. All the buildings including the upstairs, every part of the downtown was used, you couldn’t find parking on the Saturdays”, says Grant.

But like many mill towns, after those industries closed, life on main street also seemed to dwindle away.

That is changing according to Chester City Mayor, Carlos Williams as Kuester Commercial Real Estate out of Fort Mill announced its plans to purchased two historic buildings in downtown.

Chester County Council recently approved the final reading of an ordinance that will give tax incentives to the projects. Councilman Pete Wilsons says, “the incentive basically locks in the property value for 10 years based on the 2022 taxes.  The credits offered by the County basically mirrors the Bailey Bill and encourages the rehabilitation of historic buildings.  The credits expire in 10 years and the local governments will have property on their tax rolls with a much higher value and hopefully thriving businesses and upgraded living space. ”

The first project that we are working on right now is the Schloburg building. Its 11,000 square feet, will be 3.3 million development investment, and we are looking to do 2 retail tenants on the first floor and 10 apartments on the second floor. We are looking to close the building late this year and then start construction which will take 12 months, coming online about January 2025″, says Shaw Kuester.

Shaw Kuester spoke with CN2 News by phone to share the plans. There are plans for a coffee shop within the restored space that will be ran by those with the non-profit WorkAbility for individuals living with special needs.

Kuester says as part of the project, they plan to revitalize the Kimbrell’s building at 113 Main Street as well.

Kuester says, “its fun, its a challenge, we love what we do but when you put historic buildings back into production and you get the local communities buy in, that’s a great experience.”

Chester City Mayor, Carlos Williams says he also has plans to make downtown more walkable by creating an “entertainment corridor”. He also says around four more new businesses are in the works of coming to downtown.

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