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Main Street/CBD Developments


mainstreeter

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You know, that is a great idea. Denver did that with their corridor known as 16th Street. It used to be a regular street for cars, but they changed a 10-block stretch of it to be pedestrian-only. They created a beautiful urban shopping, dining, and entertainment district with many local and nationally-known restaurants such as Hard Rock and The Cheesecake Factory. Many business HQs are also located there to draw in workers. Now since this street is rather long, a small shuttle makes stops at each intersection of street (like a mini-mass transit system!) for people who don't want to walk that far. If Columbia followed that model, Main Street could be quite impressive!

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Pedestrian malls like Denver's 16th Street and Miami beach's Lincoln Road are very nice, but for every success story, there are a lot of failures in the pedestrian mall category. Many cities tried these in the '70's only to tear them up later.

Having only two lanes does not mean the kiss of death either. Main Street in Greenville was narrowed from four to two lanes and found success. But Greenville didn't just narrow the street. They made the newly widen sidewalks very beautiful and SHADED. They also brought in "anchors" in the form of a convention hotel, a performing arts center and eventually another major hotel. More recently a major retailer (Mast General) was added.

Closing off Main Street to vehicular traffic would be the kiss of death unless something besides office buildings were added to the Main Street mix.

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On one of the discussion boards on TheState.com, the following suggestions were offered concerning Main Street:

To bring back Main Street you have to:

* get rid of the bums

* get rid of the criminals and thugs

* stop taxing improvements to property

* replace AT&T, BellSouth and the other major businesses that the politicians ran off to Charlotte.

* replace the banks which were sold to Charlotte.

* stop tearing up the street every few years and putting the small businesses out of business.

* stop issuing so many parking tickets when half the spaces are empty all day

Are his comments dead-on?

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Sorry I didn't read into the question. It doesn't really matter if the name is changed, but I still think the feel of Main St. with it being two lanes is definitely small townish, but I don't think there is a way they can change this as the buildings are too close too the street. Maybe they should do away with vehicle traffic on the street and change it to a pedestrian only street from Main and Gervais to Main and Blanding (which is the street where Club Rio is, I believe).

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I disagree. You need some vehicular traffic in the area. Pedistrian malls are not a good idea for Columbia.

On one of the discussion boards on TheState.com, the following suggestions were offered concerning Main Street:

Are his comments dead-on?

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Not entirely. He seems to not have an idea of what really has to happen. There is a need to get the bums/homeless people out of the area. I haven't ever thought about thugs, but mostly becasue there arent any.

There are tax incentives in the official CBD area, so that doesnt apply. Maybe making one specifically for restaurants would help.

Hasn't it been 10-15 years or more since the last time they redid Main St? It sure looked it.

Parking tickets are going to happen. Use a garage. I still think Columbia needs better signage to direct traffic to garages.

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No, it was first called Richardson St on the orginal layout. We didn't have a Gov Richardson unil 1840. I am not sure who it is named after.

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Actually, we had a governor by the name of James B. Richardson who served in that capacity from 1802-1804; John P. Richardson was elected in 1840.

I'd still like to know who the street was originally named after though. ;)

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That is a nice link. It certainly clears up any misunderstandings:) I have always found information on why streets were named what they are to be interesting. I wish they had this information for our other cities.

I like how they used to call it the "Lunatic Asylum" as opposed to our PC terminology: 'Mental Health Facility.' People back then just said it like it was.

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^I'm sure this information is available for Charleston.

But I found this part of the report very interesting:

As part of an attempt to ridicule the Up Country wilderness settlers, Charlestonians suggested that the site be called, "Town of Refuge," but Gervais responded that he "hoped that the oppressed of every land might find a refuge under the wings of Columbia."

That's a very cool saying; perhaps Columbia should adopt this as a motto of some sort. ;)

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The Athlete Factory (http://www.athletefactorysc.com/) is moving into the basement of Tapps building.  This and the new bar Whigs at the corner of Main and Gervais are a nice addition to Main St.  Still a significant amount of retail infill needed but everything helps.

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Wow... that's such a cool space... a gym isn't exactly what I would've hoped for in terms of reuse, but it beats it just sitting there. :) Haven't been to the Whig yet, but I hope to check it out soon... hear it's cool.

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^I'm sure this information is available for Charleston.

But I found this part of the report very interesting:

As part of an attempt to ridicule the Up Country wilderness settlers, Charlestonians suggested that the site be called, "Town of Refuge," but Gervais responded that he "hoped that the oppressed of every land might find a refuge under the wings of Columbia."

That's a very cool saying; perhaps Columbia should adopt this as a motto of some sort. ;)

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How about this? "Give me your tired your poor your huddled masses yearning to breath free under the wings of Columbia". We could erect a huge 500 ' statue of the wings of Columbia and replace the confederate flag on the state house grounds. Yes, I pulled the words from the Statue of Liberty, but you get the general idea. After all, Columbia is where many South Carolinians move to escape more conservative towns. (I'll leave it at that to avaoid an argument) :)

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The Athlete Factory (http://www.athletefactorysc.com/) is moving into the basement of Tapps building.  This and the new bar Whigs at the corner of Main and Gervais are a nice addition to Main St.  Still a significant amount of retail infill needed but everything helps.

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These are both 2 great additions to Main Street. What Main Street needs is to have people on the street after downtown workers go home. Another thing that hurts Main Street is the fact that it stops at the State House. If the corners of the State House square block could be cut into to form a huge traffic circle, it might significantly increase traffic flow on Main Street. The downside is that there aren't many traffic circles in the Columbia metro. I can only think of 2. It would be difficult for motorists to get used to. I have to say that is my most radical ides for downtown. :)

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These are both 2 great additions to Main Street. What Main Street needs is to have people on the street after downtown workers go home. Another thing that hurts Main Street is the fact that it stops at the State House. If the corners of the State House square block could be cut into to form a huge traffic circle, it might significantly increase traffic flow on Main Street. The downside is that there aren't many traffic circles in the Columbia metro. I can only think of 2. It would be difficult for motorists to get used to. I have to say that is my most radical ides for downtown. :)

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Difficult indeed! :lol: South Main does alright as a separate area. Infact, you could easily argue that it is doing better than Main St. It is mostly in what I would consider 'USC territory' so it has a bit more life in itself becuase of that.

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How about this? "Give me your tired your poor your huddled masses yearning to breath free under the wings of Columbia". We could erect a huge 500 ' statue of the wings of Columbia and replace the confederate flag on the state house grounds. Yes, I pulled the words from the Statue of Liberty, but you get the general idea. After all, Columbia is where many South Carolinians move to escape more conservative towns. (I'll leave it at that to avaoid an argument) :)

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Hey, I'm all for that! :thumbsup:

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Going back to the original question

What do you think the goal of private and public money should go towards on Main Street?

The city needs to commit themselves to bring more housing downtown. It is my understanding that they are starting to pull back from helping developers downtown and they think it is at the point where it can be self generated. This is a major mistake on part of the city and they need to find ways to help developers bring housing downtown. The money they help developers with will pay for itself 10 fold with property taxes and sales taxes generated by people living downtown. Everything (stores, restr., art venues) will follow as you get more housing.

What kind of retail should be brought on Main St?

Bakery, conv. store/ deli, a good pizzeria, steakhouse, these are a few ideas.

What kind of festivals and or events?

How about a kick A$$ art festival! The art museum is right on Main St and could help support it possibly.

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Going back to the original question

What do you think the goal of private and public money should go towards on Main Street?

The city needs to commit themselves to bring more housing downtown.  It is my understanding that they are starting to pull back from helping developers downtown and they think it is at the point where it can be self generated.  This is a major mistake on part of the city and they need to find ways to help developers bring housing downtown.  The money they help developers with will pay for itself 10 fold with property taxes and sales taxes generated by people living downtown.    Everything (stores, restr., art venues) will follow as you get more housing.

What kind of retail should be brought on Main St?

Bakery, conv. store/ deli, a good pizzeria, steakhouse, these are a few ideas.

What kind of festivals and or events?

How about a kick A$$ art festival!  The art museum is right on Main St and could help support it possibly.

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Great ideas, CTC. I am very much a supporter of the city giving incentives for growth downtown. A city is only as strong as it's core. Since I'm a weather buff, it's like the eye of a hurricane. :)

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Going back to the original question

What do you think the goal of private and public money should go towards on Main Street?

The city needs to commit themselves to bring more housing downtown.  It is my understanding that they are starting to pull back from helping developers downtown and they think it is at the point where it can be self generated.  This is a major mistake on part of the city and they need to find ways to help developers bring housing downtown.  The money they help developers with will pay for itself 10 fold with property taxes and sales taxes generated by people living downtown.    Everything (stores, restr., art venues) will follow as you get more housing.

What kind of retail should be brought on Main St?

Bakery, conv. store/ deli, a good pizzeria, steakhouse, these are a few ideas.

What kind of festivals and or events?

How about a kick A$$ art festival!  The art museum is right on Main St and could help support it possibly.

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All excellent ideas. Welcome to the forum.

I saw where a gym was opening in the Tapp's basement. That is a excellent addition to the area that will provide a need service both for office workers and residents of Main.

Admittedly though, I had hoped the Tapp's Fountain room could be re-opened there. Someone had looked at that. Keep the prices reasonable and use that same cornbread recipe, and the lunch crowd would have returned I think. Man , I use to love that place.

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Admittedly though, I had hoped the Tapp's Fountain room could be re-opened there.  Someone had looked at that.  Keep the prices reasonable and use that same cornbread recipe, and the lunch crowd would have returned I think.  Man , I use to love that place.

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Yeah, I'm glad something is moving in there, but I was hoping something "cooler" would open in that space. It's a great space.

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More ideas

I would like to see a kick butt place for Happy Hour. A lot more people work on Main Street and it would be nice to walk somewhere instead of trying to find parking in the Vista.

A small unique bookstore that serves coffee possibly in one of the many basements along Main St.

A small museum which covers all the rich history of Columbia.

High end spa to cater to the many working women and men downtown. Possibly on top of a high rise or a building with nice views of Columbia

A small grocer (sp?)

Sandy's Hot Dogs - No place to get a good dog and ice cream on Main St.

Possibly some art galleries and work areas. Plenty of basements on Main St note being used and are probably pretty inexpensive.

Anyone else have some ideas? It would be awesome if Columbia's Main St ever becomes a thriving day and night area.

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Most of us seem to be in favor of making Main St the palce to be. An area the likes of Greenville's Main St, or the Vista. A true taste of urbanity.

I would like to compile a list of what is on Main St. You know.... what are the more reputable establishments, restaurants, retail, living space, specific buildings, office towers etc. I am not as familiar with what is on Main St so as people provide information I will add it to this post, and hopefully we can create a cool location and general information thread about this street.

Also, any issues involving Main St (between Gervais and Elmwood) should be posted here as well as anything within one block of it (Like the block between Gervais and Sumter but on Hampton St.), rather than the Columbia Developments thread. But remember to keep idea's about what could or should be done in the "Main St Ideas" thread ;)

Lets support South Carolina's Main St!

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Apartments/Condos

  • Capitol Places (5 buildings)

    • 1520 Main (Condos)
    • Capitol Places III (Condos)
    • Kress Building- 1502 Main (Apts)
    • Barry's on Main- 1217 Taylor (Apts)
    • Barringer Building 75 Main (Apts - 12 stories)

    [*]Main St. Lofts (42 apts)

Bars

  • The Whig (pretty cool) (and new)
  • Mac's on Main
  • Rio
  • rumor that Sherlock Holmes will be making a comeback

Restaurants

  • Hampton St Vineyard
  • Hennessy's
  • Villa Tronco
  • Atlanta Bread Company
  • Greek Boys (on Hampton)
  • M Cafe (Sumter)

Retail

[*]Lourie's (fine mens clothing store)

[*]Granger Owens (fine mens clothing store)

[*]Main & Taylor Shoes

[*]Cobalt

[*]Sylvans Jewelers

[*]Kings Jewelers

[*]Mary Beth

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Good coffee and atmosphere: Jammin Java & Rising High

Apartments/ Condos: Capitol Places (5 buildings) and Main St. Lofts (42 apts)

Athlete Factory coming to Main St.

New Bar: The Whig (pretty cool) and rumor that Sherlock Holmes will be making a comeback

Retail:

Two fine mens clothing stores - Lourie's & Granger Owens

Main & Taylor Shoes

Cobalt

Sylvans Jewelers

Kings Jewelers

Good restaurants: Hampton St Vineyard, Hennessy's, & Villa Tronco

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The only two venues I see worth supporting on Main (south of the statehouse) would be Mac's on Main and Rio as far as clubs/bars go.

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But that would be considered South Main, and its the section north of Gervais and south of Elmwood that we are interested in, right?

South Main is a different beast entirely since it is within USCs direct sphere of influence.

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