Camden, SC (WLTX) - Camden's old Burndale Plaza was a first for the area, but time took its toll on the once vibrant city center that has sat empty for years.

"The stores were scattered uptown. There was nothing big. When this building was built here it was a cow pasture," Julius Gause said.

It quickly became the top spot for a one stop shop. Gause said he's seen a variety of shops and stores come in and out of the plaza. He operated the Piggly Wiggly from 1967 until 1984.

"They could come to one place," Gause said. "They could get a drink. They could get their clothes cleaned or if you wanted to bowl or if they wanted to go to the drug store, but the most prominent was to buy groceries."

It was also home to the Elizabeth Thomas Restaurant, Burndale Drug Store and the Rowlarena bowling alley.

Recently the area has been vacant.

"The Burndale Plaza came into our possession with the transition with Regional Healthcare Partners," Sallie Harrell said.

Harrell is the Executive Director of the Health Services District of Kershaw County. They bought the property in 2015.

"We are abating the asbestos that have been in the building for several years. And then we are in the demolition stages at this point. We are demolishing the entire Burndale Plaza," she said.

No word yet on what exactly will be put in, but Harrell said it will be within the health services field.

"I hate to see it leave. It's part of Camden, but we're living in times that we have to move with the times," Gause said.

Harrell said the demolition phase should be complete by Memorial Day.