Downtown Development

The revitalization activities in Downtown Sumter have stimulated a great deal of interest and activity in the Central Business District. The streetscape project, renovation to our parking lots and the numerous buildings that have received a facelift through our Facade Grant Program have all served as a catalyst for development by the private sector. Three new buildings have been constructed on East Liberty Street since 2003 and the third construction completed in the fall of 2007. These three buildings represent an investment by local businesses XDOS, Clark Law Firm and the Sumter Board of Realtors and are in an area that just a few years ago was the site of condemned structures.


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Revitalization in downtown Sumter is on the move with new buildings and the opening of businesses. The former Brody's Department Store building, now the Liberty Center, is home to several businesses to include the City/County Planning and Zoning Department, City Codes Enforcement and Business License. La bella vita on South Main Street is enjoying success since relocating in 2007. Hampton's Restaurant, Sumter’s only 4-star restaurant, opened on Hampton Street in 2009. Businesses that have opened in recent years are Subway, C. Anthony’s Menswear, Rumor Has It, Berenyi Engineering, Sidebar On Main, and Adams Outdoor Advertising, just to name a few. Ground has recently been broken to begin construction of the Hyatt Place Hotel on Main Street and the Development Board will soon begin construction on their new office building on East Liberty Street. 


Because of the revitalization efforts, buildings that have been for sale for an extended period of time are now selling and the new owners are providing the necessary renovations to make the properties an attractive asset to the downtown area. To find out more about the economic development opportunities in Downtown Sumter, contact Howie Owens, Downtown Development Manager, at (803) 436-2535.


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Most properties in the downtown area are owned by private parties who handle the sale and leasing of those properties. However, if you need general information regarding size, suitable use and location, you may contact the City of Sumter Downtown Development Manager, Howie Owens at (803) 436-2535.


View Commercial Properties for Sale or Lease


Downtown Sumter Development Opportunity




Several economic incentive programs are available for new or existing businesses in the Downtown Sumter area. The program boundaries are from Calhoun Street to Oakland Avenue and Sumter Street to Harvin Street. The programs include:


Low Interest Loan Pool

The City of Sumter, Santee Lynches Regional Development Corporation, and eight area financial institutions have established a Low Interest Loan Program to encourage development, re-development and general improvement to commercial and residential properties in the Sumter downtown business district. The eligible area is bounded by Calhoun Street south to Bartlette Street and Washington Street east to Harvin Street.


Any commercial or residential project in the eligible area qualifies under the program. The main objective of the program is to provide a strong financial incentive for the rehabilitation of the exterior and interior of building structures in downtown Sumter. Another goal is to insure that the proposed rehabilitation work is of a quality design and is sensitive to the architectural and historical qualities that make our downtown buildings distinctive.


Complete details of the program can be downloaded or contact Howie Owens, City of Sumter Downtown Development Manager at (803) 436-2535.


Facade Grant Program

The Facade grant program is available to business and/or building owners that are located in the designated Facade Grant area of the City of Sumter.


Facade grant renovation can be used on an exterior portion of the building that is visible to the public. This can include the front, back and sides of the building. Facade grant money may not be used for interior renovations or roof repair.


This is a competitive grant program with applications accepted once each calendar year during the month of March. Grants are awarded in April. You may download the program details and application or contact Howie Owens, City of Sumter Downtown Development Manager at (803) 436-2535.


HUD 108 Loans

Certain qualifying large projects may be eligible for low interest loans provided by HUD and administered by the City of Sumter. For complete information contact Howie Owens, City of Sumter Downtown Development Manager at (803) 436-2535.