ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Residents in some rural communities like Orangeburg want to see more development and revitalization in their community.
Orangeburg resident Kimberly Sanchez say the many vacant spaces in downtown Orangeburg makes the city look empty.
“It breaks my heart to see them go into such disrepair," Sanchez said. “It looks like a dead place, like not an exciting place to go. And it’s unfortunate because these buildings, the architectural personalities with these buildings in downtown are absolutely stunning."
Sanchez says the city has a lot of potential to be great.
"We as a city could so so much better when it comes to our economic growth, especially revitalizing downtown," Sanchez said. "It's a beautiful city. Salt of the earth people; you will not find finer people than right here in Orangeburg. Wonderful people, wonderful people. But we as a city could do so much better when it comes to our economic growth, especially revitalizing downtown. That needs to happen, and it needs to be done."
Other residents in Orangeburg say they also want to see more business growth, but have only seen parking lots being built.
Orangeburg city administrator Sydney Evering told News 19 city leaders are working to revitalize the downtown area.
"The city has purchased quite a few buildings downtown with the purpose of revitalizing those in hopes to attract developers," Evering said.
He explained the city has several plans in the works, including their $20M railroad project.
"It's the first thing people go through when they enter Orangeburg," Evering said. "That’s going to be a retail, commercial, mix use development."
Evering said this is an exciting time for the City, but urges residents to be patient.
"I know residents have this pent up demand and pent up frustration because they want to see Orangeburg grow and prosper, as do we all," Evering said. "But these things take time. But, we certainly have have planted the seeds and we look forward to a bountiful harvest."
Evering says residents will see changes in the coming months.
Other communities we reached out to, including the Town of Winnsboro in Fairfield County and St. Matthews in Calhoun County said they are working on a development plan to help their communities grow.