Georgetown leaders want to look forward with plans to redevelop steel mill site
GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCIV) —
It was once the financial cornerstone of the city of Georgetown, but that town's steel mill has been shuttered and now there are only questions about what to do with the property.
The steel mill has been idle since 2015, but city officials are working to come up with a plan to redevelop the property.
They and others think it's a golden opportunity to change the course of the city's economy.
Beyond the squeaky gate of a closed steel mill is a property with promise. That's how city leaders view the land where blue collar jobs were dominant.
Now there's a chance to change the economic landscape.
"Do you wanna go heavy industrial at the same time try to sell this as a beautiful place to live?" asked Adam Hall, who owns Groucho's Deli on Front Street.
His business caters to hungry locals and tourists. He thinks Georgetown has an appetite for a new type of industry.
"The concern is going to be what kind of jobs is this going to bring in," he said. "Are these going to be the same substantial jobs that maybe the steel mill once provided? But I mean, it's worth a shot. We are hoping that we will have an opportunity to really build for the future."
Georgetown's economic developement director understands why some people want to stay with the city's industrial roots, but she says studies reveal the area's once colorful economic force is fading.
"We are looking to attract companies that are growth oriented. But we are also looking for STEM-related science, technology, engineering, and math-related kinds of economic activities," said Gloria Bromell Tinubu.
For people like Adam Hall, it's an opportunity worth unlocking.
"You see Charleston is kind of growing and Myrtle Beach is developing. So why not Georgetown?" Hall asked.
City leaders say there's still a chance the steel mill could reopen, but with uncertainty in the global steel market they're ready to start a new chapter in the city's history.