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Last updated: December 03. 2013 5:26PM - 751 Views
By - eparnell@civitasmedia.com



Mike Bedenbaugh, executive director of Palmetto Trust, stands with the restored Prosperity Depot, home of their new offices.
Mike Bedenbaugh, executive director of Palmetto Trust, stands with the restored Prosperity Depot, home of their new offices.
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Elyssa Parnell


Staff Writer


PROSPERITY — The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation is relocating its offices and staff to the historic Prosperity Depot.


The newly painted and rehabilitated building in downtown Prosperity was owned by Norfolk Southern Railway and closed 40 years ago. Since then, the building has been vacant.


An agreement was established with the railway giving Palmetto Trust the right to use the building, but only if they restored it, according to Mike Bedenbaugh, executive director of Palmetto Trust.


Palmetto Trust’s efforts to rehabilitate the space with help from funds generated by Prosperity’s penny sales tax mean that once the organization occupies the building, it will be open to the visiting public on a more regular basis. Palmetto Trust will lease the space from the Town of Prosperity.


“We are pleased to be working in a space that Palmetto Trust helped to save and rehabilitate,” said Bedenbaugh. “We’ve worked hard to pass the Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act, which was signed into law this summer, over the past three years. ABRA creates incentives to attract capital to areas of South Carolina that need it most by encouraging development of abandoned buildings and that’s exactly what we’ve done with the Prosperity Depot.”


Bedenbaugh said it’s exciting to be working in a place that’s centrally located for statewide work, but also a space that Palmetto Trust helped to rehabilitate.


Palmetto Trust’s move to the Prosperity Depot was also made possible partially through a grant from First Community Bank. Before this move, Palmetto Trust had been renting space from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.


Bedenbaugh said they have a very close working relationship with the department, but the move to the Prosperity Depot will help them stand on their own within their own offices.


“This gives us the opportunity to communicate our dedication by working from a building we were involved in restoring,” Bedenbaugh said.


Elyssa Parnell can be reached at 803-276-0625, ext. 108 or at eparnell@civitasmedia.com.


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