SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A historic Spartanburg building will now see new life. City council approved plans to revitalize Spartanburg’s vacant Coca-Cola plant.

Sitting on Main Street since 1936 is a historic Coca-Cola distribution building that has been vacant since 2017. Now, as of Monday night, plans that have been formulating for months are approved to move forward, meaning the building will see new life this spring.

The city of Spartanburg said construction will come in two phases, with the first being to restore the current building.

“The plans the developer has is to convert that into some office but also restaurant retail downstairs, create some gathering spaces indoors and out and they’re hope is to help generate demand for phase two which will be residential,” said Christopher George, city of Spartanburg.

George said this is important for the surrounding area. 

“It’s going to help upgrade that gateway into downtown and also though, it’s the first investment in that part of the city adjacent to downtown in a number of years and having that kind of new investment in an area that hasn’t seen it in a long time can have lots of ripple effects.”

Nearby restaurants like The Beacon said they agree, and said the new rezoning is going to be a game changer for them and other nearby businesses. 

“Any time you can increase population around the business I’m excited about it, so I think it’s just great things happening for Spartanburg,” said Steve Duncan, owner of The Beacon.

Duncan said he’s been in the city all his life and has never felt more confident in its progress.

“I’m from Spartanburg and have lived here a long time, not as long as The Beacon has been open which is 76 years, but I’ll say that in the past 5 years – 3 years, I’ve seen more exciting changes in Spartanburg than I’ve seen in the previous 50,” said Duncan.

For residents concerned about preserving the history behind the space, the city said the building will not be torn down, just repurposed.

“They are able to move forward with that and preserve that structure, and it’s really great to see historic structures preserved because we’ve lost a number of them,” said George.

As for growth, businesses in the area believe this is just the start.

“I think over the next 3 years we’re going to see some exciting things in Spartanburg, some things haven’t been announced but you can feel it in the air,” said Duncan.

Developers said construction will officially begin in the spring.

Phase two of the project will be constructed behind the existing building and consist of 60 one-bedroom units.