Business View Magazine | May 2019

291 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE MAY 2019 general fund. It’s a highly popular resource.” Another example of savvy business creativity was the Steel Hands Brewing project – a significant economic development revitalization project with intentional recruitment of the largest production brewery in the midlands region. The Mayor reports, “This was a site where we had a recycling plant burning wooden pallets, illegally. The fire got out of control and raged for three days. Eventually, through a series of events, we gained the rights to the property. So, we sold it to Steel Hands Brewing and they have embraced that area. There is a steel facility across the street that donated a fair amount of rebar for artists to create with. The result is some amazing sculptures made out of rebar on the property now.” Breweries are known to be traffic generators, and Steel Hands Brewing is always packed with customers. It has also raised the profile of other businesses and restaurants because people are now travelling to the brew destination from out of town. Most of the traffic goes through the old heart of the City, and Cayce has taken a unique approach to revitalize that original downtown. “We’re doing ‘previtalization,’” says the Mayor. “It’s about helping people to see what’s possible. So, we asked owners to clean out their vacant buildings and we hosted artists inside while we threw one heck of a street party – music, food, drinks. When people went in to see the art, they also saw the buildings and their potential. Between the first and the second such event, we already had one business decide to locate on State Street and redevelop an existing building – Swatch Graphics – and it’s thriving. We also have an artists’ gallery and a coffee shop underway, and more are starting to follow.” “We also purchased a property in the same area that had a rundown home, a lot of crime, and which detracted from the whole street,” adds Hegler. “We demolished the building and, instantly, saw investment in that corridor. Recently, we were awarded a Connected Communities grant from Central Carolina Community Foundation for that property to develop what we’re going to call the “Art Lot.” The front half will provide free public parking, which is vitally important to a revitalizing street, with art space in the back. It will be a gathering place with a variety of grass and gravel, places to sit, a covered area, and a memorial to fallen police canines. We’ll also host a competition for local artists to create permanent art features for placement on this lot. The whole downtown area has been designated an Opportunity Zone, so we’re looking forward to what that means for development in that part of town.” CAYCE , SOUTH CAROL INA