Fort Mill Care Center looking for leads on new location

joverman@fortmilltimes.comMarch 24, 2013 

— The Fort Mill Care Center continues to look for a new home for its food bank and business offices.

The all-volunteer facility so far has relied on the community as its eyes and ears to help search for a new location in the downtown area.

“We’re getting a lot of sympathy, but not a lot of suggestions,” director Carol Higgins said.

They are not enlisting the services of any realtors just yet, she said, but will turn to one if the Center can’t indentify suitable property on its own.

“We’re just looking around, seeing what we can find and we’ll make some calls to people we know and see if that shakes anything out,” Higgins said.

By July 1 the Fort Mill School District, which owns the Banks Street property where the Care Center is located, is moving all district programs and services out of the building and into the former district office to save money on utilities. The district, which has allowed the Care Center to operate in the building rent-free and has paid all the utility bills for the complex, will close the Care Center building as soon as it can find a new home.

The cost savings to the district will be an estimated $225,000.

The Care Center hopes to find a new building that is at least 7,000 square feet and close to the center of town, to be close to clients. But if needed, Higgins said, the Care Center could function with a somewhat smaller space.

Many offers of help have come forward since the public learned that the Care Center will be moving, Higgins said. Volunteers are offering to help with the move, she added, which is appreciated, but the focus right now is on where the Care Center will be moving to.

“We need to find a building. I’ve got to have the space. Without the building, that’s a moot point,” she said.

Local Realtor Kathryn Miller said a commercial real estate agent could be helpful in finding a new home for the Care Center, but that finding a building in the downtown area that is properly zoned “could be difficult.” She suggests a work-around.

“I think the best thing for them to do is probably send the word out to churches in the area to see if someone has an older home that might possibly be able to be used for that, get separate zoning and be used for that,” Miller said.

“I would reach out to them and see if they have a suggestion.”

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