Crime won't stop business in Five Points - DatelineCarolina

Crime won't stop business in Five Points

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Wildflower Boutique on Saluda St. differs from other boutiques in Five Points by offering Boho-chic style clothing and accessories. Wildflower Boutique on Saluda St. differs from other boutiques in Five Points by offering Boho-chic style clothing and accessories.
Crime stories peaked last year in October after an 18 year-old USC student was shot waiting by the Five Points fountain. This still didn't deter businesses from the area. Crime stories peaked last year in October after an 18 year-old USC student was shot waiting by the Five Points fountain. This still didn't deter businesses from the area.

 By Jenny Iler

    Eight new businesses have opened in Five Points in the past six months despite the negative media attention the area has received in the past year. Concerns peaked after the shooting of a USC student by the Five Points fountain in October of last year.

     Safety in the day time, however, no longer seems to be a concern. New restaurants like Rio's and Sizzle treat day time and night time patrons, while two new retail businesses offer more to shoppers.

     Karley Vehaun is a retail major at USC and the owner of Wildflower Boutique. Her store on Saluda offers trendy pieces with a Boho style. Vehaun says she wants to give Five Points shoppers something different from the "preppy" boutiques in the area and says she's had success.

    "The location is perfect. It's in walking distance from campus so freshmen who don't have cars don't have to hitch a ride to the mall to go shopping," she said.

    Vehaun has worked in Five Points for over a year and says it's an all-around friendly place, especially in the day time.

    "We have people that come in regularly and ask me how I'm doing," she said. "And we have a security guard that comes around and checks in on us almost every day. I feel completely safe around Five Points."

    Five Points Association spokesperson Amy Beth Franks says Five Points has been serving the community for too long to be affected by bad press. 

"Five Points always has been and will continue to be a hub of activity in Columbia. It is the oldest center of hospitality despite the negative attention," she said Monday.

    Vehaun hopes having success in Five Points will allow her to expand to the Greenville or Charleston area.

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