Jump to content

Olympia Mill Village Updates


emerging.me

Recommended Posts

"And Corgimatt, the new SCANA buildings look awesome."

Yes they do. I'm going to miss working downtown, but I'm looking forward to my shiny new workplace. My office is going to be right by the gym and large cafeteria. :) My tune has changed somewhat about us moving to Cayce. I wish we had stayed downtown. But what's done is done. Can't be changed now, so I might as well embrace the new place. My new commute will have 2 stop lights instead of about 15 now...so that's gonna be much nicer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


"And Corgimatt, the new SCANA buildings look awesome."

Yes they do. I'm going to miss working downtown, but I'm looking forward to my shiny new workplace. My office is going to be right by the gym and large cafeteria. :) My tune has changed somewhat about us moving to Cayce. I wish we had stayed downtown. But what's done is done. Can't be changed now, so I might as well embrace the new place. My new commute will have 2 stop lights instead of about 15 now...so that's gonna be much nicer.

Sounds awesome. You'll never have to leave the office for anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Columbia City Council has sold the Capital City Stadium on Assembly Street to an Atlanta-based development firm with strong ties to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Bright-Meyers LLC will pay $1 million for the 5.97 acres next to the Olympia neighborhood. That same company also has plans to buy land around the stadium, including the parking lot owned by SCANA, according to several city officials. A SCANA spokeswoman declined to identify the buyer because the sale is not final.

Wal-Mart spokesman Glen Wilkins said the company has Columbia on its radar as an “underserved” market and is “looking for opportunities in the city and around the city as well.” But Wilkins said the company has no plans to put a store at the Assembly Street site.

The sale comes as the giant retailer is testing a smaller store in urban markets called “Walmart Express” – with a format the company has compared to a convenience store. The stores are less than 30,000 square feet and sell mostly grocery and pharmacy items. Wal-Mart has five Express stores, with plans to build more next year.

From the looks of it, these Walmart Express stores are pretty bland boxes that look best suited for suburbia, not urban areas:

AAA+WMT+EXPRESS+GENTRY.jpg

2011\207\2011-07-26T224147Z_01_JRG107_RTRIDSP_0_WALMART-EXPRESS.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

They can be bland, but they certainly don't have to be. If the City wants higher quality, they need to set up policies and regulations to require it. I will never advocate for a Walmart, but I will say that aesthetically, they can look good. Take a look at one of their planned urban stores in DC:

walmart_rendering.JPG

http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/first_look_at_a_dc_walmart/2698

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They can be bland, but they certainly don't have to be. If the City wants higher quality, they need to set up policies and regulations to require it. I will never advocate for a Walmart, but I will say that aesthetically, they can look good. Take a look at one of their planned urban stores in DC:

walmart_rendering.JPG

http://dc.urbanturf....dc_walmart/2698

^^That's a nice looking big box! Greenville has some policies in place for the particular site that Walmart is rumored to be looking at here. I think it's really ended up being a matter of coincidence that the parcel of land is already zoned Mixed Use for a previous project, but it's luck that they're interested in a corridor that has design guidelines and an extensive master plan adopted. We shall see what effect these particular policies have on the potential development. The two sites in both cities aren't extremely urban, but hold a lot of potential to be. Hopefully we'll see good additions made to the fabrics of both places. It'll be interesting to watch the fight and what follows. :) The Mayor claims that the "bar will be set high" for any development on that particular site. Since no city in SC is really close to being as urban as DC, it'll be interesting to see what we get. Ideally, if we must have an urban Walmart, I know we are all hoping for something akin to the picture you posted. Fingers crossed!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


They can be bland, but they certainly don't have to be. If the City wants higher quality, they need to set up policies and regulations to require it. I will never advocate for a Walmart, but I will say that aesthetically, they can look good. Take a look at one of their planned urban stores in DC:

walmart_rendering.JPG

http://dc.urbanturf....dc_walmart/2698

I'm familiar with this Wal-Mart; I think I posted this picture or a similar one in the Greenville forum. My concern about the one in Columbia is that it most likely will not be part of a mixed-use development. That's still not to say that it can't be relatively urban or aesthetically pleasing, but I'm not really holding my breath.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The proposal for a Walmart on Assembly is all but dead on arrival after public outcry and City Council's second look.

but they never said there was going to be a walmart on assembly. people are getting into a uproar for nothing. just a company that owns walmart wants that land doesnt meant walmart is going to happen. it could be another store for another use.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

but they never said there was going to be a walmart on assembly. people are getting into a uproar for nothing. just a company that owns walmart wants that land doesnt meant walmart is going to happen. it could be another store for another use.

It's not a company that owns Walmart. It's a shopping center developer that often buys land for Walmart shopping centers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not a company that owns Walmart. It's a shopping center developer that often buys land for Walmart shopping centers.

Ok i understand that but still did they said a WAL*MART Supercenter was going to be even be put there. i mean people are getting uproar for nothing. they have to see what first is proposed as what they are going to build then they can be critiques about.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There may be as many as three new, smaller-scale

Walmart stores coming into the heart of Columbia, an official familiar with the retail giant’s plans for expansion into the city said Thursday.

One of the sites getting the company’s attention is the former Jim Moore Cadillac dealership on North Main, near the Elmwood Park and Cottontown neighborhoods, according to the official as well as the executive director of Sustainable Midlands, a coalition of environmental groups active in the debate about Wal-Mart’s interest in downtown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

This proposed Walmart is a pretty hot topic in Columbia right now, as it should be given the proposed location and environmental concerns.

A majority of the 53 people who spoke Monday at a public hearing don’t want City Council to sell the Capital City Stadium to a developer who plans to build a Walmart-centered retail development there. Some oppose the development simply because it’s a Walmart; many others remain worried about potential flooding and environmental damage to Rocky Branch Creek, which runs next to the site. But some business owners, residents and neighborhood leaders see the Walmart as an economic boon. The Columbia Chamber of Commerce urged the city to proceed with the sale. And J.T. McLawhorn, head of the Columbia Urban League, also pleaded in favor of the Walmart. But the strongest sentiments remained against the megaretailer.

Council was scheduled to decide whether to move forward with the sale Tuesday night; however, the decision has been postponed until January at the least.

Here's a sketch and site plan of the proposed development:

610430_G.jpg

610438_G.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If this were Target, everyone would have no problem with it. Yet everyone here probably buys from Walmart at least occassionally.

This part of town is in need of development and is an eyesore for the most part now. The city should try to get the develper to add an additional use and approve that. There is multi-level parking, walkability from the surrounding areas and significant buffers so it is NOT simply a strip center. People do have to park somewhere. Albeit, there is room for improvement.

Walmart will simply move to a different site, if this isn't approved. Therefore the impact to local businesses will be the same.

The flooding issue is legitimate, but if the city is serious in that regard, it should convert the land to a preserve or park. Jackhammer the parking lot and turn the entire parcel natural. $1mm isn't that much if it will significantly reduce the problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no problem with the corporation. It's a free market and a free world. My problem is with the suburban design. Either we want a big urban footprint or we want suburbia at the doorstep of the CBD. I say we want the former. What would be wrong with double-decker restaurants sitting up to the sidewalk on Assembly with rear balconies overlooking the creek? There's plenty of room.

On a side note, I have problems with the Olympia residents who don't live and don't want to live in the city trying to tell city council what do to. Any development should include the stipulation that all of Olympia be annexed in, whether some there like it or not.

http://www.wistv.com/story/16342623/sketches-reveal-glimpse-of-proposed-downtown-walmart-plans

Edited by CorgiMatt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I think Columbia is up to its eyeballs in Walmarts enough as it is, I'm not criticizing this development simply because it's Walmart, although one resident did make a good point about how the city has spent millions to attract and retain retail in the Vista, Five Points, and on Main and how approving this development would almost defeat the purpose of those revitalization efforts. I'd disapprove even if this were Target and it's mainly due to the site plan. This is nothing more than a boxed-in strip mall with little aesthetic redeeming qualities (at least from what I can tell from the sketch) and two-level surface parking--700 parking spaces in all. Horrible, horrible, horrible and TOTALLY out of character with its surroundings. Columbia has GOT to shake this mentality of "anything now is better than nothing" if it wants to succeed at creating a greater sense of place in and around its urban core. In such a critical location, nothing is definitely better than the wrong thing, at least for the time being.

And if Walmart wants to move to a different site somewhere else in the vicinity of downtown, it still has to get approved; it's not like it's an automatic done deal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I think Columbia is up to its eyeballs in Walmarts enough as it is, I'm not criticizing this development simply because it's Walmart, although one resident did make a good point about how the city has spent millions to attract and retain retail in the Vista, Five Points, and on Main and how approving this development would almost defeat the purpose of those revitalization efforts. I'd disapprove even if this were Target and it's mainly due to the site plan. This is nothing more than a boxed-in strip mall with little aesthetic redeeming qualities (at least from what I can tell from the sketch) and two-level surface parking--700 parking spaces in all. Horrible, horrible, horrible and TOTALLY out of character with its surroundings. Columbia has GOT to shake this mentality of "anything now is better than nothing" if it wants to succeed at creating a greater sense of place in and around its urban core. In such a critical location, nothing is definitely better than the wrong thing, at least for the time being.

And if Walmart wants to move to a different site somewhere else in the vicinity of downtown, it still has to get approved; it's not like it's an automatic done deal.

What are you expecting, every parking space to be in an underground garage?

This isn't Midtown Atlanta. The mere presence of a large multi-level parking structure, puts it into a different catgory from a strip center, and 99% of the commercial development citywide. Land/development costs in that area do not justify anything remotely close to a 'Metropolitan' type (Charlotte) project in that area.

I'd love for all projects to be truly urban, but that is fantasy in a city like Columbia or Greenville or Charlotte even. However, this is a big step in that direction compared to the suburban norm.

Any parcel with the correct zoning could be built upon without any approvals, provided it is outside the Vista/ Main Street design districts. Much of the surrounding land is in Richland County, and commercial would be allowed in the largely industrial zoned areas adjoining this potential project.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What are you expecting, every parking space to be in an underground garage?

This isn't Midtown Atlanta. The mere presence of a large multi-level parking structure, puts it into a different catgory from a strip center, and 99% of the commercial development citywide. Land/development costs in that area do not justify anything remotely close to a 'Metropolitan' type (Charlotte) project in that area.

I'd love for all projects to be truly urban, but that is fantasy in a city like Columbia or Greenville or Charlotte even. However, this is a big step in that direction compared to the suburban norm.

If a project in or close to the core needs 700 parking spaces, then it needs to be in a garage, PERIOD.

You say "multi-level parking structure" like it IS a garage or something. It's nothing more than two-story surface parking. It's a glorified strip mall/lifestyle center; it has the same basic form.

There's nothing redeeming about this development, and I strongly disagree about it "heading in the right direction" as far as urban form goes.

Any parcel with the correct zoning could be built upon without any approvals, provided it is outside the Vista/ Main Street design districts. Much of the surrounding land is in Richland County, and commercial would be allowed in the largely industrial zoned areas adjoining this potential project.

And much of that land is removed enough from the urban core to not have such a negative impact on the urban fabric. Plus, as big of a stink this proposed development is causing, if it tries to locate within the vicinity of any neighborhood with a couple of concerned citizens, it won't happen without a fight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a project in or close to the core needs 700 parking spaces, then it needs to be in a garage, PERIOD.

You say "multi-level parking structure" like it IS a garage or something. It's nothing more than two-story surface parking. It's a glorified strip mall/lifestyle center; it has the same basic form.

There's nothing redeeming about this development, and I strongly disagree about it "heading in the right direction" as far as urban form goes.

And much of that land is removed enough from the urban core to not have such a negative impact on the urban fabric. Plus, as big of a stink this proposed development is causing, if it tries to locate within the vicinity of any neighborhood with a couple of concerned citizens, it won't happen without a fight.

I understand what you are saying but I still think that a Walmart at this location would work for both the city and the residents. People continuously say there are other Walmarts within driving distances but this would reduce congestion and help a lot of nearby residents out. Currently all of the USC students and city residents like to drive to the West Columbia Walmart for all of their goodies. That Walmart is already extremely congested and, being so close to 26, can cause a lot of backups and headaches on one of the main roads heading into the city. The development looks a lot better than most Walmarts I have seen (even better than the Pelham Road one in Greenville which I think is very nice) and would help boost this areas image.

People want to save the baseball field but the fact of the matter is that this has been empty for a reason, it's a dump and no team wants to play there anymore for a considerable amount of time! Maybe to help appease the citizens more Walmart could: a) build all the buildings so that they can withstand multiple floors and add office or residential as the development grows in the area or b) help pay for new road crossings over the railroad. There are three that need to be bypassed in the long run nearby that would have a very positive effect for the area. Perhaps because this is being built in 2013, the city will plan to complete at least a portion of the Assembly Street streetscaping.

In response to mom and pop stores closing, we are past that point in Columbia. Any stores that are local and still open are open for a reason. They either have a loyal customer base, funky or unique products or exceptional service. If you considered all the mom and pop stores in Columbia, I am sure most of them would be just fine if this opened. Like people have said, there are Walmarts just 10 minutes away... they have already dealt with the arrival of the horrible, sinister Walmart. And to that point, why should Walmart be punished for having a successful business model? Businesses must grow and adapt to stay successful and many of the smaller local stores have done just that. Walmart is not the end all and just because it is big does not mean that it is invincible. Just look at Kmart now.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.