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Historic Camden building preparing for a new life

1113 Broad Street is the former home to Blake & Ford, but thanks to its owners, it will welcome new businesses for the first time in four years.

CAMDEN, S.C. — The City of Camden has continued to revitalize several historic buildings in the city and now another historic building is seeing a new life. 

"I think the biggest thing that drew me to it was the architecture," said Rob Brown, new owner of the building located at 1113 Broad Street.

The building has been vacant for almost four years now since Blake & Ford's previous occupants closed, and now several shops are preparing to move in. 

"We've already got two businesses coming in and two different kinds of businesses and it helps bring diversity to the area, we have additional space in the back that could welcome someone else in," Brown said. 

City council member Jefferey Graham said it's good for the area.

"Anytime you can get a historic business to come back to life, obviously the business to the community, and when they decided it was time to retire, it made a vacant building, and so now it's got a new life, and it's being restored and brought back to life." 

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It's a part of a concept to bring businesses further up Broad Street as the former bank building next door is currently under renovation. 

"The idea is to draw more people this way so you're kinda just expanding the downtown to just beyond the immediate downtown. It's a little bit bigger and there are a lot of good things going on." 

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As for when it will be completed, "the goal is to be done by the end of the year. On the outside, they are taking the paint off the building to expose the old brick, and we have to redo the front so it's looking like it did in the 1920s." 

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