Once an eyesore, soon to be a medical clinic for the needy

HopeHealth Groundbreaking

HopeHealth held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for its new $16 million medical clinic that's being built on North Irby Street in Florence.

The property was considered at eyesore for many years because a landfill and recyling center stood on it.

Residents complained for years that the property needed to be cleaned because of all the tourists that passed by it on their way to Myrtle Beach.

They said it gave Florence a bad image.

The City of Florence, Congressman James E. Clyburn and the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation made significant contributions toward the clean-up of the property.

The City offered to donate the property to HopeHealth, and they began the process of seeking approval from the federal government to change the location of the facility.

HopeHealth demolished three old structures on the property to clear the land .

Construction on the medical clinic will begin in the fall. The first phase of the facility will be completed in summer/fall of 2015 and will include close to 50,000 square feet of medical space and administrative offices.

Some of those who complained are overjoyed the medical clinic is going up on the property.

"It was an eyesore for anyone coming through Florence. And it's good to see in 2015 we'll have a $16 million building over there. And I'm glad to see it. And I'm glad to see it's a medical building," said Betty Gregg.

HopeHealth was founded as a grass roots nonprofit in 1991 and currently provides primary health care to more than 31,000 patients throughout 11 locations in Florence, Clarendon and Williamsburg Counties.

HopeHealth services include but are not limited to family health care, internal medicine, pediatrics, certified diabetes center services, nutritional services, behavioral health, infectious disease care and medical massage.

The medical organization has more than 34 physicians and nurse practitioners located across the three counties, they provided 110,918 medical visits in 2013.