Florence is a large, thriving city in South Carolina's Florence County and among the largest cities in the state. It serves as a major transportation hub for the region due to its close proximity to major highways and a regional airport. Florence is also located equidistant from New York City and Miami, making it an important stop for both the trucking and tourism industries. Aside from its role in the regional economy, Florence is also a popular suburban community that many diverse families call home.
Living in Florence
Florence's downtown district became the subject of a major redevelopment project in 2010, which has had a significant impact on the area. Downtown Florence used to span 70 square blocks and 500 acres, but that geographical footprint has since increased to more than 600 acres total. The Timrod Park community, host to many of the city's historical homes, was recently added to the official downtown district, increasing its size and creating a unique sense of character.
Many of the historical buildings in the downtown district were remodeled and restored, and now houses major cultural institutions like the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center and the Florence Museum of Art. Several new office spaces have also been established in old buildings that were formerly abandoned, adding new jobs to the local economy.
Working in Florence
Once a large shipping port for the South and the center of Confederate activity during the Civil War, the city of Florence is now a thriving economic center and home to the offices of many large companies. The financial services and health care sectors are the two largest industries, providing a number of local jobs.
The city is also a regional center for finance, health care, business, transportation and the arts. Future job growth is projected to be very positive, especially high-tech jobs. Florence is home to one of the largest employers in the state, McLeod Health, as well as other large employers such as Sonoco, Honda, Perdue Farms, QVC and Walmart.
Florence Public School District One, which operates the public schools in Florence, is the largest school district in the county and one of the largest in the state. In addition to its traditional elementary, middle and high schools, the district also offers an alternative secondary school, an adult learning center and a vocational career center. There are also a number of private schools in Florence, ranging from Montessori to parochial campuses.
Resources for Moving to Florence
Here's some helpful information to simplify your move to Florence:
Utilities: Florence's main utilities providers are the Pee Dee Electric Cooperative and the city's utilities department.
Garbage and Recycling: Florence is divided into several collection zones, with each zone assigned specific collection days for trash, recycling and yard waste.
Transportation: The Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority offers public shuttles, buses and trolleys in Florence and many of its neighboring cities. Amtrak and Greyhound also operate routes in the area.
There are a variety of homes to buy or rent in many different neighborhoods in Florence. Because of the city's work in the downtown area, residents are slowly beginning to return. There are also quaint, family-friendly neighborhoods and subdivisions available. Although the median home price in Florence has gone up in recent years, it remains very affordable and below the national average.