Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A new business that could be replacing the former local hotspot Harpers in Columbia's Five Points is causing a discussion on whether it's a business that could affect the community.
When Harper's closed their doors several months ago without much warning, it left lots of people wondering what would take its place.
It looks like a new restaurant has been proposed to take over the location and they're asking the city to approve a Zaxby's Drive-Thru at the same spot.
Some people like William Christiansen like the idea of having another drive-thru spot in Five Points.
"As a graduate student, Harper's was a little out of my price range and I think a little bit out of some undergraduates’ price range in some ways. So I think Zaxby's would be beneficial to a lot of people who want an alternative fast food restaurant around here," explained Christiansen.
While there's some fast-food chains in the upper part of the area, like Cookout and Chick-Fil-A, Five Points is mostly made up of local businesses.
The Five Points Association doesn't support having a drive-thru restaurant in the lower part of the area. The group released the following statement:
"The Five Points Association is opposed to the recent application made requesting a special exception for a fast food drive-thru in lower Five Points. This possibility will lead to a tipping point in the history of Five Points - a significant head nod to how Five Points will develop in the future. A fast food drive-thru, and the traffic it creates, would have a major import on the context and feel of this historic, neighborhood village. By introducing a fast food drive-thru in lower Five Points, Five Points would be moving away from the Future Five Master Plan and Design Overlay, which was endorsed and implement by City Council in August 2006."
Christiansen says he can get their concern.
“At the same time, I can get why some people are concerned about Five Points becoming less of a localized place. It may detract people who feel that there is this local element in Five Points that needs to be captured and retained,” said Christiansen.
He believes at the end of the day, it's better to have a business there than nothing at all.
"I love Zaxby's. I'm a huge fan. If it’s Zaxby’s or nothing there, I think it’s their right to purchase that property and open up a business there. I would say I’m more for it though than against it right now since I don’t know other businesses that are trying to compete for it," said Christiansen.
The city's board of zoning appeals plans on discussing the proposal Tuesday.
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