Upgrades could be coming to The Alley

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Monday, July 07, 2014

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW)—The Alley, a popular dinner spot in downtown Aiken, could soon be seeing some major upgrades. City engineers have a plan designed by an Augusta architect that would give the popular destination a major face lift.

“It'll make the gem of the alley even more attractive for festivals and activities,” said Director of Aiken Engineering and Utlities George Grinton.

The total cost estimate for the entire project would be $1.2 million but city council still has to approve the designs and how the city would pay for such a plan. Right now, the engineering department says they are looking at several different options to pay for the improvements. Those include a stormwater fee and utility fee that taxpayers already pay for.

City engineering says one of their main concerns in doing a project like this would be any detriment it could cause to restaurants and business in The Alley.

“There are a couple of key times you don’t want to have construction,” said Grinton, “For example during Masters and horse races and then of course during Christmas.”

The initial plan was presented to restaurant and business owners back in March and so far, response has been positive.

“Giving it a modern, beautiful facelift would be a great thing for everyone,” said Up Your Alley Chophouse and Catch 231 co-owner Dr. Philip Jordan,” We're really excited about the opportunity.”

The plan includes new lighting, a complete repaving of the entire street, underground utilities and a new drainage system. It still needs final approval from City Council before construction would begin.