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Main Street/CBD Developments

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It's great to have that bit of news confirmed. It would definitely give Main Street a tremendous shot in the arm.

I just paid attention to the new partial fence in front of 1441 Main on the left side. I'm not really the biggest fan of that and it doesn't serve any real purpose.

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It's great to have that bit of news confirmed. It would definitely give Main Street a tremendous shot in the arm.

I just paid attention to the new partial fence in front of 1441 Main on the left side. I'm not really the biggest fan of that and it doesn't serve any real purpose.

I heard there is a new restaurant moving there with outdoor seating. I suspect that is why the have the fencing.

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Oh really? That would be cool, since it doesn't seem to be in the original plans for the building. Besides visually opening up the ground floor with the clear glass, having a restaurant would go even further in making the building pedestrian friendly.

Next up, this building's next door neighbor, 1401 Main. It's a much worse offender at street level than 1441 Main used to be. :sick:

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A Mast General spokesperson says some exciting things are happening on Main Street and that it's good to know people want Mast to come, but that even if the company buys the Lourie's building it's not a lock that they will locate a store here. They're still deciding whether coming to Columbia would be a good move for their slow-growing company.

http://www.thestate.com/business/story/1005697.html

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Compared to what is currently on Main Street, I would say Mast General is very spectacular. They might be ahead of the curve if they opened within a year though. It is probably best that they wait for the remainder of the streetscaping to be completed. Their block is done, but even nearby construction can be determental to foot and auto traffic. If Mast invests in the building, they will eventually want a return on their investment, so it would just be a matter of time. Better to time it right and be successful, than jump the gun and not be.

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It would be a big blow to Main Street and to Columbia for them to say they've decided Columbia is not a feasible place to locate after they've done due deligence. All Columbia haters can pray that's what they decide.

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This was an interesting statement:

"We are working diligently with others to develop a vibrant plan that will incorporate retail and residential occupancy that embodies the best this 100-year-old building has to offer."

Sounds like they want the upper floors to be residential, which would be great--if they ultimately decide to put a store there.

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This was an interesting statement:

"We are working diligently with others to develop a vibrant plan that will incorporate retail and residential occupancy that embodies the best this 100-year-old building has to offer."

Sounds like they want the upper floors to be residential, which would be great--if they ultimately decide to put a store there.

The Mast in Knoxville has residential space above the store - one of my co-workers has friends that live in the building.

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^And that apartments will go in the 2nd and 3rd floors. This is a big win all around for Main Street. I expect things to really get rolling on that part of Main north of Hampton after Mast opens.

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So with these positive changes along the 1600 block of Main (Mast, Nickelodeon), what other changes do you guys think we'll see? Will the retail scene change with some of the present retailers bailing and new ones coming on board? In the meantime, the city needs to at least get a facade grant program going or something to restore the original facades of many of the buildings on this block. Some of them only need minor upgrades and adjustments, while the rest need to have their facades totally overhauled and restored:

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This is so cool watching Main st change. now if The City can bring business to Sumter and Assembly st more.

main st is Great to have Business but we dont want our business on just main st. we Should try to Attract it on sumter and more on Assembly. just like my City Plan ideas i have.

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The Mast in Greenville does a very good amount of business- the place is pretty busy and is definitely the main reason (at least to me) to go downtown to shop.

Greenville already had a pretty full Main Street before Mast came though- there were plenty of gift shops and restaurants there. Columbia seems to have a lot more office space but less retail.

Good luck to Mast- it's definitely a good store to have, and it should help generate some new retail.

Main Street in Columbia just has so much potential, with the office space, hospital and USC close by- and recent memories of big department stores downtown- hopefully Mast will be the spark.

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Why do people assume that downtown Columbia is ONLY Main Street. There is a LOT more to downtown than just Main. The Vista has tons of restaurants, bars, shops, etc...as does Five Points. And BOTH areas are downtown. To say that downtown Columbia doesn't have much retail is false. Main Street doesn't, but downtown has tons.

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Why do people assume that downtown Columbia is ONLY Main Street. There is a LOT more to downtown than just Main. The Vista has tons of restaurants, bars, shops, etc...as does Five Points. And BOTH areas are downtown. To say that downtown Columbia doesn't have much retail is false. Main Street doesn't, but downtown has tons.

You're absolutely right.

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^I know mallguy mentioned Main Street in particular as having more office than retail and such. Not sure if that comment was directed elsewhere though.

It wasn't. Glad there are other areas with retail/etc.- I just haven't been to them.

I'm just intrigued by urban planning, and I'm just curious- what in Columbia kept large

department stores on Main for so many years after most cities in the Southeast lost them,

and why haven't those same factors kept Main vibrant?

Mast is a great store and it should be a real asset. Families and outdoorsy people love the place.

Edited by mallguy

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Good question about the department stores. Columbia kept them until the mid to late 90's, while most cities lost them years before. Around that time is when the Vista was really receiving significant investment, so that's where city leaders' attention was directed. So when people talk about how much Main Street is "behind," they don't realize that it also remained vibrant longer the first time around than those of other cities.

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Other than Tapp's, where were the other department stores located and what is their current use?

It would be a huge coup--not to mention a longshot--to entice a department store back to downtown. If Columbia somehow pulled this off, where would the best location be and what store would be the best fit?

My first thought was Belk. It's a privately-owned, Charlotte-based store that has a huge presence in SC--almost every town of any size in the state has a Belk. However, Belk would likely shutter an existing store (Midtown at Forest Acres?) if they opened a new one, and I would hate to see that mall take another body blow. The same goes for Macy's at Columbia Place...that store is one of the few strengths that mall currently has. Ideally, a store not currently in Columbia would choose to locate downtown. Maybe a Sak's-lite like in Charleston? Pipe dreams, I know...

Edited by SCxpBrussel

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Other than Tapp's, where were the other department stores located and what is their current use?

Macy's was renovated and adaptively reused to become the art museum. Not sure about the Belk store.

It would be a huge coup--not to mention a longshot--to entice a department store back to downtown. If Columbia somehow pulled this off, where would the best location be and what store would be the best fit?

My first thought was Belk. It's a privately-owned, Charlotte-based store that has a huge presence in SC--almost every town of any size in the state has a Belk. However, Belk would likely shutter an existing store (Midtown at Forest Acres?) if they opened a new one, and I would hate to see that mall take another body blow. The same goes for Macy's at Columbia Place...that store is one of the few strengths that mall currently has. Ideally, a store not currently in Columbia would choose to locate downtown. Maybe a Sak's-lite like in Charleston? Pipe dreams, I know...

If Belk doesn't even deem it feasible to have a store in the downtown of their home city, Charlotte, you know they aren't going to have one in downtown Columbia anytime soon.

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Krazeeboi is right. Neither Belk nor any other department store is going to open in DT Columbia or DT anyplace for that matter. Department stores are hurting, and are basically a dinoseur. The last thing I would expect is for one to be a 'pioneer' in an urban environemnt.

Belk on Main was demolished to make way for Boyd Plaza as part of the Art Museum project. It closed when Columbiana Centre opened.

It was odd that department stores lasted as long as they did DT. The Macy's was the best department store in town when it was open, IMO.

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