Conway Opportunity Zones 702 & 703
Founded in 1732, Conway is one of the oldest municipalities in South Carolina. The City's historic charm permeates growth today, providing a unique blend of tradition and trend manifested in the development of the business community. Currently, the City of Conway is experiencing a period of exciting development in the downtown and outlying areas.
Opportunity Zones 702 & 703 comprise the core of this area of growth, encompassing Downtown Conway as well as areas to the north of downtown. With a population of 22,761 and a rapidly growing housing sector, the City of Conway anticipates commercial and industrial development to continue at a strong pace for many years to come.
Public investment in infrastructure is anticipated to spur growth throughout the region and to enhance the connectivity of Conway. The City of Conway is situated at the crossroads of US-378 (14,900 AADT), US-501 (36,600 AADT), and US-701 (13,000 AADT), rendering it an essential through point for travel to Myrtle Beach, an optimal location for linkage with regional distribution networks, and a natural tourism destination.
Moreover, the Federal Railroad Administration ($9,765,620), with additional cost share provided by South Carolina Department of Commerce and R.J. Corman ($7,800,000), will rehabilitate and operationalize the R.J. Corman rail line. This short line railroad begins in Conway, South Carolina, passes through Loris, South Carolina and Tabor City, North Carolina, and ends in Chadbourn, North Carolina, providing a connection to several area markets for the distribution of goods.
Opportunities For Growth
Several exciting investments are planned for the areas within the opportunity zones in the near future. Recent and upcoming projects include an extension of the city's Riverwalk, construction along the downtown riverfront, as well as a number of new businesses throughout town. A new family entertainment center will open just south of the opportunity zones in the coming months. The city features several core areas targeted for redevelopment and growth including Downtown Conway, the Waccamaw Riverwalk and more.
Downtown Conway features a plethora of restaurants, cafes, boutique retailers, and specialty stores. Unique items including art, antiques, gifts, jewelry, and clothing are available year round. The city features an inventory of vacant warehouses and stores which are available for occupancy. Coupled with development incentives and a strong business support network, downtown Conway is an ideal location for commercial investment. Established in 1986, Conway boasts one of the longest continuous downtown revitalization programs in the nation, Conway Downtown Alive. Since its inception, downtown building vacancies have been reduced, property and business owner reinvestment has topped $19 million, and over 200 new businesses have been established.
Conway is home to the Waccamaw Riverwalk, which is progressing rapidly into a tourist destination. Nestled among the live oak trees, the picturesque Riverwalk provides a scenic venue for relaxation and exploration as it winds along the black water Waccamaw River. Historically, many of the parcels in this area were privately owned and remained vacant. In 2016, private developers agreed to partner with the City of Conway to redevelop along the waterfront and downtown. In May 2017, a Riverfront and Downtown Masterplan was drafted to help guide this process in a cohesive direction.
The former Grainger Electrical Generation Station was demolished in 2016. This property, encompassing 18 developable acres, is strategically located along US Highway 501 (36,600 AADT) and has the potential for redevelopment for a variety of applications. Connections to Marina Drive through extensions of Powell Street and Lewis Street are planned, integrating the future redeveloped site into the fabric of downtown. A redevelopment plan was completed for the site through funding from Santee Cooper and Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation
Redevelopment Enhancement Incentive
In order to encourage growth, there are a number of economic incentives available to Conway entrepreneurs. The City offers a Redevelopment Enhancement Incentive that provides reimbursement for capital recovery fees for any business locating in the Central Business District (CBD), Core Commercial (CC), or commercial property fronting Highway 378 (Wright Boulevard) or Highway 701 (Main Street/4th Avenue). These locations shall be defined as any property in the Central Business District zone, Core Commercial zone or any property with a commercial zoning designation with frontage on Highway 378 (Wright Blvd) or Highway 701 (Main Street/4th Avenue) as shown on the city's official zoning map.
Vacant Building Incentives
An incentive exists to encourage businesses to locate in a previously vacant building in the City's central business district. Any person, firm, or corporation locating in a previously vacant building is eligible for the reimbursement of City building permit fees and business license fees for the first two years.
Additionally, the City offers an incentive for locating in any vacant building greater than 25,000 square feet within the City limits. In such instances, the City Council may elect to offer:
- The applicable water and sewer capital recovery fees up to one-half (1/2) of the toal required fee paid.
- The required building permit fee paid
- The business license fees collected by the City of Conway for as many as five (5) years
- The hospitality fees collected by the City of Conway for as many as five (5) years
- The property taxes collected by the City of Conway for as many as five (5) years
Targeted Business Incentives
The City of Conway is committed to the expansion of entertainment options for its residents and visitors. As such, an incentive exists for any person, firm, or corporation establishing a cinema, bowling center, or other family entertainment facility within the city limits of Conway through annexation, redevelopment, or new construction.