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krazeeboi

Columbia Redevelopment Boom

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While there's certainly new construction happening, it seems as though Columbia is in the middle of an unprecedented redevelopment boom in and around downtown. Here are the projects recently completed, under construction, or planned that I can recall:

 

1. Urban Outfitters

2. Brennan Building

3. The Palms on Main

4. Chipotle (in the Vista)

5. The Hub

6. Dupree Building

7. Republic National Bank Building (across from the Sheraton)

8. Agape Senior headquarters, fitness center, and cafe

9. Cantina 76

10. 701 Whaley expansion

11. Alfred Williams & Co. furniture showroom

12. Adluh Flour building

13. First Community Bank (on Lady across from First Citizens)

14. Moe Levy's buildings at Assembly and Lady

15. Keenan Building

16. Palmetto Compress building

17. Bull Street campus

18. USC's Children's Law Center

 

I can't recall when so much was going on in terms of redevelopment at one time.

 

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Don't forget Pulaski Square, the new complex near the Amtrak station, and the Hyatt on Gervais!

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Don't forget Pulaski Square, the new complex near the Amtrak station, and the Hyatt on Gervais!

 

Those are all new construction projects. I'm specifically referring to the redevelopment of existing properties.

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Now you can add the AgFirst and the old Carolina Imports furniture store and City Market Antiques Mall buildings to the list.

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Bolton posted an op-ed over the weekend about the flood of development in Columbia. It's amazing how many Vista announcements there have been in the past two or three weeks. His overarching message is that Columbia may be overextending itself with all of the public spending it is committing to some of these developments (knowing that there is an underfunded $750M sewer upgrade on the horizon).

 

http://www.thestate.com/2014/08/03/3599286/city-council-uses-surpluses-to.html?sp=/99/205/&ihp=1

 

This made me wonder how many of these new developments are using the tax cap on student housing that Richland County passed a few months ago. I assume a lot of these projects were in the pipeline prior to that decision, but it's still an interesting question. A separate article questioned spending on an outdoor pool in Greenview Park given that the city has 37 parks already. There seems to be a lot of lobbying by various neighborhoods in the city to draw tax dollars. The Drew Wellness Center downtown already has a pool and while this area may be underserved for pools, it seems odd for the city itself to invest so much money in pools when they are available in plenty of other places (YMCAs, Drew, etc). The argument in favor is that a large section of that neighborhood may not have access to or cannot financially afford some of these other pools, but it's worth investigating nonetheless. 

 

I think the best thing the city could do would be to redirect a lot of that funding to improving Finlay Park. It's so high profile and central that it should be the main park in the city. Council allocated $310k to study a redesign and build out is expected to cost $10M+. Given how often Finlay is shown in photos of the city, that would seem to be a good expenditure.

 

http://www.thestate.com/2014/08/03/3599286/city-council-uses-surpluses-to.html?sp=/99/205/&ihp=1

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Great Post @carolinagarnet With regard to the pool at Greenview, I think it is worth the money. This is a densely populated undeserved area (29203), that does not have access to pools nearby.  There are 3 public schools in the neighborhood and one private. Many of the children in that area dont have access to transportation to get downtown to drew, or to ymca's in more distant areas. As a child I went the Greenview pool, and it was heavily used for recreation and education, making the money spent worth while. It would be a shame to see the city further divest in this area of need.

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I understated the number of parks in Columbia: there are 56. Knowing that resources are limited, which parks should the city consider closing? 

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The city is trying to build density by selling the air rights above its garages. I don't know how practical this is because I can't imagine that any of the foundations for the garages were built to support large structures and any retrofits would be prohibitively expensive. There is a proposal for an office building above the Westin parking garage in Charlotte, though it has stalled. It's nice that the city is embracing new methods of expanding downtown however.

 

http://www.free-times.com/blogs/090914city-to-explore-development-of-air-rights-over-downtown-garages

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Ran out of time so I didn't get to take pics of all of the projects I wanted to but here are some I managed to get while visiting the city on Sunday-
 
Columbia Commons: 
DSC01405_zps6rsfqfd6.jpg
 
DSC01406_zpsn7zoemcs.jpg
 
DSC01407_zpsk8ebg2hd.jpg'
 
DSC01408_zpssffhta47.jpg
 
USC School of Law: 
DSC01411_zpsv6z9gysf.jpg
 
Bluff at Market Roads development: 
DSC01412_zpswauplhi2.jpg
 
USC's plaza redevelopment: 
DSC01413_zpsjahojoke.jpg
 
DSC01416_zpscz08s5az.jpg
 
DSC01414_zpsq68dzvvt.jpg
 
DSC01417_zpsxehujlye.jpg
 
Pulaski Square: 
DSC01418_zpsd7nveajc.jpg
 
DSC01419_zpsyisqrepq.jpg
 
Greene Crossing:
DSC01420_zpsaqtuleap.jpg
 
DSC01422_zpsbnssejic.jpg
 
DSC01423_zps40bcfhl9.jpg
 
DSC01421_zpsuqohnjlf.jpg
 
Palmetto Compress:
DSC01425_zps5pfiie9f.jpg
 
DSC01424_zps32ua6fvq.jpg
 
Huger at Blossom student housing:
DSC01426_zpsbqo8ksok.jpg
 
DSC01427_zpsg9cpsqeu.jpg
 
650 Lincoln: 
DSC01429_zpszawonxwe.jpg
 
DSC01430_zpsnhkddq2y.jpg
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Ran out of time so I didn't get to take pics of all of the projects I wanted to but here are some I managed to get while visiting the city on Sunday-
 
Columbia Commons: 
DSC01405_zps6rsfqfd6.jpg
 
DSC01406_zpsn7zoemcs.jpg
 
DSC01407_zpsk8ebg2hd.jpg'
 
DSC01408_zpssffhta47.jpg
 
USC School of Law: 
DSC01411_zpsv6z9gysf.jpg
 
Bluff at Market Roads development: 
DSC01412_zpswauplhi2.jpg
 
USC's plaza redevelopment: 
DSC01413_zpsjahojoke.jpg
 
DSC01416_zpscz08s5az.jpg
 
DSC01414_zpsq68dzvvt.jpg
 
DSC01417_zpsxehujlye.jpg
 
Pulaski Square: 
DSC01418_zpsd7nveajc.jpg
 
DSC01419_zpsyisqrepq.jpg
 
Greene Crossing:
DSC01420_zpsaqtuleap.jpg
 
DSC01422_zpsbnssejic.jpg
 
DSC01423_zps40bcfhl9.jpg
 
DSC01421_zpsuqohnjlf.jpg
 
Palmetto Compress:
DSC01425_zps5pfiie9f.jpg
 
DSC01424_zps32ua6fvq.jpg
 
Huger at Blossom student housing:
DSC01426_zpsbqo8ksok.jpg
 
DSC01427_zpsg9cpsqeu.jpg
 
650 Lincoln: 
DSC01429_zpszawonxwe.jpg
 
DSC01430_zpsnhkddq2y.jpg

 

Would you mind if I add this to my website?

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Here's another one.

 

Preparing the land for the Horizon II building at the University of South Carolina, IBM and Fluor's future Columbia headquarters

17290421886_98f9988b66_c.jpgPreparing the land for the Horizon II building at the University of South Carolina, IBM and Fluor's future Columbia headquarters by Columbiadata, on Flickr

Question how do you get Flickr pics here like that. because I have picture on Flickr right now I wanna share like this but I can't due to Flickrs new photo window feature.

Edited by growingup15

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Question how do you get Flickr pics here like that. because I have picture on Flickr right now I wanna share like this but I can't due to Flickrs new photo window feature.

I just kept clicking and trying till somehow I did it and miraculously remembered how. 

Upload a pic to flickr. Click on the pic. Click on the box with the arrow coming out of it and pointing to the right. I use one of the medium sizes (???X800) or something like that, otherwise you have to scroll on UP to see the whole pic and I don't like that - to me it should be all in front of the viewer with no scrolling. For pics, choose BBC link or something like that. Highlight the url link in the little field below and copy it, then post it into your UP box that you're commenting in. Then when you click on the pic on UP, flickr takes over and you can click the pic again to zoom in. If you can't follow this let me know and I will make a concerted effort to test my technical writing skills to make it crystal clear.  

Construction site of future apartments for college students by Peak Campus with part of the downtown skyline in the background

16709564374_a7d1ff9c89_c.jpgConstruction site of future apartments for college students by Peak Campus - Columbia, South Carolina by Columbiadata, on Flickr

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I just kept clicking and trying till somehow I did it and miraculously remembered how. 

Upload a pic to flickr. Click on the pic. Click on the box with the arrow coming out of it and pointing to the right. I use one of the medium sizes (???X800) or something like that, otherwise you have to scroll on UP to see the whole pic and I don't like that - to me it should be all in front of the viewer with no scrolling. For pics, choose BBC link or something like that. Highlight the url link in the little field below and copy it, then post it into your UP box that you're commenting in. Then when you click on the pic on UP, flickr takes over and you can click the pic again to zoom in. If you can't follow this let me know and I will make a concerted effort to test my technical writing skills to make it crystal clear.  

Construction site of future apartments for college students by Peak Campus with part of the downtown skyline in the background

16709564374_a7d1ff9c89_c.jpgConstruction site of future apartments for college students by Peak Campus - Columbia, South Carolina by Columbiadata, on Flickr

I got it. Thanks. I can now add more pics here and on my Site

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I got it. Thanks. I can now add more pics here and on my Site

Great! You're welcome.

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I just kept clicking and trying till somehow I did it and miraculously remembered how. 

Upload a pic to flickr. Click on the pic. Click on the box with the arrow coming out of it and pointing to the right. I use one of the medium sizes (???X800) or something like that, otherwise you have to scroll on UP to see the whole pic and I don't like that - to me it should be all in front of the viewer with no scrolling. For pics, choose BBC link or something like that. Highlight the url link in the little field below and copy it, then post it into your UP box that you're commenting in. Then when you click on the pic on UP, flickr takes over and you can click the pic again to zoom in. If you can't follow this let me know and I will make a concerted effort to test my technical writing skills to make it crystal clear.  

Construction site of future apartments for college students by Peak Campus with part of the downtown skyline in the background

16709564374_a7d1ff9c89_c.jpgConstruction site of future apartments for college students by Peak Campus - Columbia, South Carolina by Columbiadata, on Flickr

I can't wait to see some new renderings for what this development will look like!

Edited by colasc

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I wasn't sure under which header to post this. I am travelling to Winston Salem and Greensboro, in North Carolina, later today. I am thinking those cities may be comparable in size to Columbia, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they are like. I am attending a concert at the Greensboro Coliseum, and having dinner at what my Winston friend calls "the best hamburger joint in NC"..which is apparently located in Greensboro. I'm curious to know how Columbia, with its explosion of recent downtown development, stacks up.

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There are definitely some similarities. I would say that downtown Columbia is much more developed than downtown Greensboro, excepting the baseball stadium, and that it has always been under the radar relative to Charlotte and Raleigh. The Friendly Center is similar to Sandhills and the number of colleges within city limits gives it a younger vibe. I know which hamburger place you're describing and I think you'll enjoy it.

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It was called Hops, and it was so packed, we ended up eating at a bbq place called Stamey's across from the Coliseum. I have friends in both Winston and Greensboro, so I will be back to visit from time to time. I thought both cities were fairly nice. Winston has a lot of nice neighborhoods right near downtown, and it has a clean appearance. Unfortunately, we were short on time, and were in Greensboro for a concert, and then back to Winston..so I did not have time to explore.

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I was thinking the other day about the future of public transport in Columbia, and looking at what other cities have done to modernize their systems. Trams/light rail seems to be the thing in cities with larger populations and downtown density. It dawned on me that Columbia, at one time, had a pretty decent trolley system (and I'm not talking about the ones a few years back-buses disguised as trolleys) covering large parts of downtown, and into Five Points. My grandmother used to tell me she rode the trolley, and of course, you can find pictures of these on dusty old Main St. I'm not suggesting Columbia should build such a system again, but I wonder if any of the "old" system's infrastructure is still in existence? I hear stories of underground tunnels all around downtown, but have never seen them. Anyway, I digress. I suppose the point of this is that in looking to the future, it is often beneficial not to forget one's past.

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I was thinking the other day about the future of public transport in Columbia, and looking at what other cities have done to modernize their systems. Trams/light rail seems to be the thing in cities with larger populations and downtown density. It dawned on me that Columbia, at one time, had a pretty decent trolley system (and I'm not talking about the ones a few years back-buses disguised as trolleys) covering large parts of downtown, and into Five Points. My grandmother used to tell me she rode the trolley, and of course, you can find pictures of these on dusty old Main St. I'm not suggesting Columbia should build such a system again, but I wonder if any of the "old" system's infrastructure is still in existence? I hear stories of underground tunnels all around downtown, but have never seen them. Anyway, I digress. I suppose the point of this is that in looking to the future, it is often beneficial not to forget one's past.

After the Recent chat I had with one of the Directors at CMCOG. they said that they are ready to go now with the LRT and Commuter Rail project. only problem is that CSX and Norfolk 1 Doesnt want to give up their lines. and 2 wants the DOT and CMCOG to build new lines next to the old ones for Freight and Commuter Rails to bypass each other. and with that in mind the budget they had in mind suddenlt sky rocketed and with state funding low for Light Rail or Commuter Rail Transit. it might be another decade or so before they can even get started. which is sad to say.

The Director told me what Charlotte did was a similar Penny Sales tax as Richland County did but only difference all of the money they used went directly towards Rail Transit.

If you go to Charlotte now you can see major success in the LRT they have and growth and development in and around the Blue Line. 

I think Something similar in Columbia would pay off quickly with Lines that we're proposed before. from Downtown-Newberry Downtown- Batesburg-Leesville Downtown- Camden.  Are great lines and I think just 1 line from Downtown to Newberry being That route is the most populated route people commute from Downtown to NW daily. I can see  from downtown to Newberry growth in development from Business and Living quickly flocking to the area.

I dont know how Columbia pulled it off back i the days but I think even now if we had a Street Car running through Town similar to the old routes that also links up to Area train lines I believe with all this new growth a street car would be the most viable plan of action now for the city.

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Light rail relies heavily on government funding and Columbia simply does not have the population density or growth trajectory to compete with projects in larger cities. Of course the larger problem is the car culture in Columbia. Mass transit really becomes attractive when there is a reason to move from one area to another (i.e. attractive non-adjacent neighborhoods) and parking is expensive. Garages anywhere close to bars, restaurants, and offices in Uptown are $10+, higher during the work day. At that rate and factoring in time stuck in traffic, light rail becomes a more attractive option. Columbia is probably a few decades away from that point.

 

Buses are a non-starter because of the stigma associated with them in the South. I think a streetcar would work if it connected USC, Main Street, Columbia Commons, and maybe the VA. Cities have to prove a precedent to attract funding (often through existing well-used bus lines) and prove that the line would generate development and serve the local population (in this case students, faculty, local residents, office workers, veterans, tourists). I don't know that the fundamentals support a line now, but might in a few years if the city continues to add density.

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