Work could begin soon on the transformation of a Downtown Conway building, home of the Mustard Seed, into a short-term rental facility.

At Monday’s Conway City Council meeting, Columbia developer Robert Lewis asked for and received permission to take two parking spaces at the corner of Laurel Street and Third Avenue to place a large dumpster to be used for rubbish from the building.

Lewis said the building’s renovation will include brickwork, painting and the replacement of 51 windows that have been bricked up for most of his life.

The renovation is in line with restoring historic buildings, which will entitle the owners to some breaks on costs. To get the special rates he needed council to verify that most of the building set for renovation has been abandoned for five years or more.

Lewis said taking the parking spaces shouldn’t be a problem because he plans to form some type of tunnel over the sidewalk beside them so pedestrians can pass through.

He doesn’t think a dumpster will be needed on Third Avenue because there are only three windows to be replaced on that side of the building and they will be removed and replaced at night.

He also thinks that parking shouldn’t be a problem because there is much nearby and people who stay in short-term rental facilities are typically there only at night; however, he said if they find that parking is a problem he might look into leasing some parking.

Lewis, who has been involved in three similar projects in Myrtle Beach, said people who use short-term rentals stay an average of about three nights, but some stays can extend to two or three weeks.

To accommodate some dismantling of the building, the Mustard Seed will be closed from Jan. 15 through March 1.

Lewis estimates that the renovation will take about nine months.

Whittemore meeting set

Conway Administrator Adam Emrick told Conway City Council Monday night that a meeting to discuss honoring the memories that some Conwayites have concerning the old Whittemore Elementary School has been set for Jan. 24 at 6 p.m.

The meeting will be held in the council chambers at City Hall.

 A successful Christmas

Conway City Council agreed with Emrick about the beauty and success of this year’s Christmas celebration.

Emrick said all of the events were hugely successful with about 5,000 people attending the tree lighting.

Numbers provided by the city also show 25,154 people traveling through the Celebration of Lights and 2,638 people riding the train. Emrick says 400 took the train ride in just one night.

The administrator said city workers are already working on next year’s Celebration of Lights with plans to make it even more impressive.

He also said that so many people rode the train that the tractor that drives it has worn out and the city plans to buy another tractor to keep the train chugging around Conway.

All of council agreed that the most impressive part of the city’s decorations was the water tower that was covered with 9,600 lights. There were some questions about keeping the lights up, but Emrick said some of the light strings are worn out.

Conway Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy said she had people tell her they came through three counties to get to Conway just to see the Christmas decorations. She also said that someone told her Conway’s light-covered water tower could be seen from the top of the Myrtle Beach Sky Wheel.

  

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I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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