FOREST ACRES, S.C. — In the City of Forest Acres, business is green and growing according to Mayor Frank Brunson.
"I think people are realizing what we've always had here," Brunson said. "We are a city that has a neighborhood feel."
Mayor Brunson says the new developments have been a part of his plans for the city for a long time. Forest Acres is hoping to take empty buildings and turn them into thriving business districts.
"In the next 10 years I hope to see us making smart and sustainable growth and welcoming businesses that will build up this community," Brunson said.
One of the new business owners investing in the city, is Moltó Vino owner Tony Carbone, who opened his wine bar in Cardinal Crossing recently.
"Forest Acres has been great so far, everyone here has been so supportive and so welcoming, and it has been a great place to be a business owner," Carbone said.
Lexi Schreiffer has lived in Forest Acres for a few years now and says she has loved to see it expanding.
"We have so many cool things coming here and it's really nice because I graduated from USC and I feel like Forest Acres and the Columbia area have grown with us. Forest Acres has been a great place to live as a young professional," Schreiffer said.
As the city looks at more potential business projects, they are hoping to tackle the Richland Mall next.
"While we are still early in the process of our goal to redevelop the Richland Mall, we can say we remain very hopeful," Brunson said of the mall. "The property owners are still under contract with a developer that has a proven track record. That developer is currently in the due diligence phase of the contract."
He added that there are still "a lot of pieces to this redevelopment puzzle" that will still need to fall into place.