AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — Aiken city leaders have announced possible plans for the former Project Pascalis properties. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming task and a small manageable task,” Mayor Rick Osbon said.
Former Project Pascalis properties may become a high-tech office and collaboration space for Savannah River National Laboratory. “This will provide for a 40 to 45,000 square foot office and exhibition space requested by SRNL between B Lane, Newberry Street, and Richland Avenue.” Mayor Pro Tempore Ed Woltz said.
Some businesses initially impacted by the former plan will no longer be. Other businesses will relocate to a newly created retail space. “The only anticipated demolition that would be would be the dry cleaning building, the motel strip along B lane that was built in 1981, and perhaps the old gun shop or finance company on Richmond Avenue,” Woltz added. “Taj Aiken would remain on Richland Avenue. The proposal will allow for the Johnson Drug Store here on the corner of Richland and Newberry to undergo historic renovation and preserve it and return the exterior to more of its original look.”
City leaders have already planned for parking, possibly adding more spaces near the new municipal building. “Through creating a surface parking lot across from St. John’s Church on Newberry, and that would provide dedicated workday parking for SRNL employees that would be available to the public and the churchgoers nights and weekends,” he shared.
There will be a request for proposals to purchase the hotel. “There will be no pre preconceived ideas about what needs to be done with it, just a list of the parcels or description of the buildings as they stand and call for interested parties to make an offer to tell us their plan for it,” Mayor Osbon said.
The old municipal building, which would have been a conference center, could be the new solicitor’s office. “we hope to have an agreement drafted between the city and county for both councils to review and consider.” he said.
The plans are tentative. “The plan is for the private sector to pay for creating a profitable business at that site. In my opinion, no proposal that asked the city to foot the bill for the actual renovations or construction should seriously be considered,” he added.