Summerville business owners concerned about Hutchinson Square renovations

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – Renovations for Hutchinson Square in Downtown Summerville are in the works but some business owners are concerned about the project.

The project calls for a redesign of the park, repaving of Little Main, realigning parking spaces and more.

Business owners are concerned about the changes in parking because some parking spaces are set to be removed.

“Businesses down the street aren’t always destination businesses,” said Barabara Dunning, owner of Guerin’s Pharmacy “They are walk-through traffic businesses, a lot of them. And if you don’t have that parking and you don’t have that ability to get here then you won’t have those customers.”

After residents raised concerns to the Town Council, plans for the renovation were changed. Now, six parking spots will be lost on West Doty Ave. after the square is renovated, less than originally planned.

Some are also concerned about how their stores will be affected while construction happens on Little Main and in Hutchinson Square.

Doyle Best, the manager for Summerville Parks and Recreation, said the town will do everything it can to minimize the disruption to businesses and others affected.

“Can I say that it will not have some difficulties? I can’t guarantee that,” said Best. “But we’re going to do everything in our power to minimize that as much as possible.”

The funding recently became available for the estimated $1.8 project and town council authorized the solicitation of bids for construction on January 11.
Business owners said they were frustrated about the amount of information they were getting from the town about the project. Best said the town will have more information and a timeline as soon as they have a contractor.

Best said the Hutchinson Square renovations project is a very important for the town and added that the last time it was renovated was in the 1970s.

“It hasn’t had any changes to accommodate all the events that place here now. In the past five years Hutchinson Square has seen a drastic increase in the number of special events that are hosted here,” said Best.

The Parks and Recreation department expects to present the project for approval to Town Council in March.

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