GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WBTW) — Georgetown wants to redevelop the old steel mill. The mill closed nearly a year ago and city leaders say it will probably never re-open.
“It put a lot of people through college and put a lot of meals on the table,” said Big Tuna Owner Bucky Watkins.
Now, Watkins say the steel mill sits as a rusty eyesore on the beautiful Georgetown waterfront.
“The steel mill has run its course over a number of years and its not really competitive in the world market today,” he said.
Watkins says it’s time for something new.
“You got all kinds of things that could go in there, but it takes someone far smarter than myself to figure out what would work and how to pay for it,” said Watkins.
That’s where the Urban Land Institute comes in. The group will conduct a study of the area, looking at data, job trends and housing.
“We realized real quickly that we needed a plan to figure out what was in the best interest of the whole community,” said Georgetown Economic Development Director Tee Miller.
Miller says the steel mill and port combined is 100 acres. He says the possibilities are endless.
“Obviously I think there’s a mixed use, we want to make sure it has some of the things that could leverage the waterfront,” explained Miller.
He says the city would also benefit from some type of technology business park.
“This could mean 100’s of millions of dollars, create thousands of jobs and change the direction for future generations,” said Miller.
City officials hope the Urban Land Institute will point them in the right direction. The study costs $150,000, according to Miller.
Myrtle Beach paid the same group $110,000 to bring more business downtown.