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Main Street/CBD Developments


mainstreeter

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I'm just back from Stockholm, and people let me tell you..I've been saying this for years, and occasionally have opposed some of our city leaders..but we need to close some of our secondary streets to vehicular traffic, and make pedestrian traffic more of a priority. Stockholm has made a success of its old town (Gamla Stan), in part, through restricting cars, and making people more important. Guess what..it actually ramped upped business considerably, as people there appreciate quality of life. 

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I'm just back from Stockholm, and people let me tell you..I've been saying this for years, and occasionally have opposed some of our city leaders..but we need to close some of our secondary streets to vehicular traffic, and make pedestrian traffic more of a priority. Stockholm has made a success of its old town (Gamla Stan), in part, through restricting cars, and making people more important. Guess what..it actually ramped upped business considerably, as people there appreciate quality of life. 

Might I ask which streets do you consider secondary?
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Might I ask which streets do you consider secondary?

Well, secondary only in the sense they are not primary arteries into and out of our city. I think Lady St would be a prime candidate. I think the new and improved Greene Street with Foundation Square, and hopefully soon, a bridge spanning the railroad tracks allowing people to travel from the heart of campus to the river. There are others. I think Lincoln, from Finlay Park to the fraternity row, would be a great people-first street. 

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Well, secondary only in the sense they are not primary arteries into and out of our city. I think Lady St would be a prime candidate. I think the new and improved Greene Street with Foundation Square, and hopefully soon, a bridge spanning the railroad tracks allowing people to travel from the heart of campus to the river. There are others. I think Lincoln, from Finlay Park to the fraternity row, would be a great people-first street. 

European cities have had pedestrian streets (Fußgängerzone) for decades - business thrive, cities are more beautiful, visitors and local citizens love it. Greene and Lady streets are a good idea. I would nominate South Main Street - there is absolutely no need for that street to have cars between the State capitol and Blossom.  We've discussed that before on this forum: create a horizontal urban park with trees, fountains, benches, art-works, little platforms for music performances, etc, etc. It would be unique for Columbia and much of the South, and attract attention - besides being beautiful!

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European cities have had pedestrian streets (Fußgängerzone) for decades - business thrive, cities are more beautiful, visitors and local citizens love it. Greene and Lady streets are a good idea. I would nominate South Main Street - there is absolutely no need for that street to have cars between the State capitol and Blossom.  We've discussed that before on this forum: create a horizontal urban park with trees, fountains, benches, art-works, little platforms for music performances, etc, etc. It would be unique for Columbia and much of the South, and attract attention - besides being beautiful!

I like that idea very much.

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I love the idea of pedestrian streets, but it's important to understand that those streets aren't successful just because they are closed to cars. They are successful because in Europe in part because people want to be there and the available space is typically rather narrow. Cities in Europe also dedicate most of the usable space on streets to pedestrians and cyclists. Usually people want to be there because of retail activity and generally good urban design principles (the latter is something that the majority of people only acknowledge passively). The first step is to create the retail district, then over time you'll have so many pedestrians to deal with that closing the street is the only way to handle the situation.

The only place where I can see a pedestrian street being successful in South Carolina is King Street in Charleston. They're trying it out on certain days, and my guess is that it will be permanently closed to traffic someday.

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I love the idea of pedestrian streets, but it's important to understand that those streets aren't successful just because they are closed to cars. They are successful because in Europe in part because people want to be there and the available space is typically rather narrow. Cities in Europe also dedicate most of the usable space on streets to pedestrians and cyclists. Usually people want to be there because of retail activity and generally good urban design principles (the latter is something that the majority of people only acknowledge passively). The first step is to create the retail district, then over time you'll have so many pedestrians to deal with that closing the street is the only way to handle the situation.

The only place where I can see a pedestrian street being successful in South Carolina is King Street in Charleston. They're trying it out on certain days, and my guess is that it will be permanently closed to traffic someday.

I agree, permanently closing a street is a huge undertaking. Think about the amount of pushback City Council gets for less impactful projects. That said, I think Columbia should absolutely consider closing some of these secondary streets after, say, 6:00pm. I know the City has discussed doing this in Five Points and I think it would work downtown as well. Gervais is just too much of an obstacle, but why not Lady and even some of the connector streets between Gervais and Lady that do not have parking garages? I think it would make people feel safer and maybe more inclined to visit stores on both sides of the street.

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Any of the side streets in Five Points would make sense (particularly Devine or Santee) if they can figure out how to address the parking challenges. Removing all the parking on Saluda at night would likely meet some opposition.

I would love to see Main St Closed after like 6pm but its only closed block by block instead of the whole street. example Lady st washington st hampton st  would be open still.

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The United Way of the Midlands will soon be on the move, leaving its current property at 1800 Main Street and moving to a new location on Blanding Street.

United Way of the Midlands President and CEO Mac Bennett confirmed to Free Times that the United Way has purchased the three side-by-side buildings at 1812, 1818 and 1824 Blanding Street. The buildings, which collectively clock in at about 20,000 square feet, were formerly home to Ferguson Enterprises, which moved to Farrow Road a number of years ago.

http://www.free-times.com/blogs/united-way-of-the-midlands-to-move-to-blanding-street

 

Loooks like the city is about to make a move soon on that land to start on that High Rise Office tower they've been talking about for awhile now. I would love to see something big and new on that block.

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The United Way of the Midlands will soon be on the move, leaving its current property at 1800 Main Street and moving to a new location on Blanding Street.

United Way of the Midlands President and CEO Mac Bennett confirmed to Free Times that the United Way has purchased the three side-by-side buildings at 1812, 1818 and 1824 Blanding Street. The buildings, which collectively clock in at about 20,000 square feet, were formerly home to Ferguson Enterprises, which moved to Farrow Road a number of years ago.

http://www.free-times.com/blogs/united-way-of-the-midlands-to-move-to-blanding-street

 

Loooks like the city is about to make a move soon on that land to start on that High Rise Office tower they've been talking about for awhile now. I would love to see something big and new on that block.

You know, I had completely forgotten about this. Benjamin was quoted in an article once (may have been Free Times) about the replacement building, and I believe he confirmed it was to be a "highrise"--whatever that means. OK, just read the article you linked-duhh..it mentions that interview.

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Depends on the size of the lot, but my guess at this point is 10-15 stories. I can't imagine the City needs more than half of that amount of space for it's operations, and I don't feel like the market is clamoring for new office space right now.

Right. It seems the tallest new structures to be built downtown will be apartment towers.

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Right. It seems the tallest new structures to be built downtown will be apartment towers.

if thats the case im hoping the next announcment of high rise apartments in columbia ends up being like a 35 story tower on Main st or Sumter St. even assembly st.  hoping one of these apartments other than the one announced on Lady st will be taller than the capital building and be placed as the tallest building in the state.

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Depends on the size of the lot, but my guess at this point is 10-15 stories. I can't imagine the City needs more than half of that amount of space for it's operations, and I don't feel like the market is clamoring for new office space right now.

The office market is getting a bit tight downtown, but I think a new 10-15 story building would look great on that end of Main Street. And with that stretch set to get streetscaped shortly, such a project could extend pedestrian activity a bit northward.

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The office market is getting a bit tight downtown, but I think a new 10-15 story building would look great on that end of Main Street. And with that stretch set to get streetscaped shortly, such a project could extend pedestrian activity a bit northward.

Retail within the office building would be nice. some spaces for restaurants and or bars and clubs on the bottom floors that would surely drawn more activity to the north side of Main st.

 

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Retail within the office building would be nice. some spaces for restaurants and or bars and clubs on the bottom floors that would surely drawn more activity to the north side of Main st.

 

Thankfully the city will not be as concerned about the economics of retail space as shops and restaurants generally do not make financial sense, though of course they help connect buildings to surrounding neighborhoods.

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According to the State, 10,000 new residents will live downtown in the Vista/CBD in the next 10 years. That is a pretty substantial bump up in people. The article talks about parking and transportation, amongst other things. In my opinion, the best use for the parcel at the busiest intersection in SC (Gervais and Assembly), is parking/retail. That corner needs to have the biggest of the city's parking garages. It should be the "flagship" of them, if you will, and feature a lot of really premium retail activity at street level. I think Papadea owns that land. It needs to be developed RIGHT NOW, and in such a way as it blends more as a building than parking structure. I really like the look of the Taylor St garage; I think that one was done really well, yet I am unaware of it having any street level retail; that component would be necessary in a garage at the vortex of the Vista/CBD. What do y'all think?

Additionally, if Don Tomlin is building a 29 story apartment tower across the street, I'm afraid the folks at the Capital Center are going to be grumpy about sharing parking spaces in the garage upon which the tower will rise.

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According to the State, 10,000 new residents will live downtown in the Vista/CBD in the next 10 years. That is a pretty substantial bump up in people. The article talks about parking and transportation, amongst other things. In my opinion, the best use for the parcel at the busiest intersection in SC (Gervais and Assembly), is parking/retail. That corner needs to have the biggest of the city's parking garages. It should be the "flagship" of them, if you will, and feature a lot of really premium retail activity at street level. I think Papadea owns that land. It needs to be developed RIGHT NOW, and in such a way as it blends more as a building than parking structure. I really like the look of the Taylor St garage; I think that one was done really well, yet I am unaware of it having any street level retail; that component would be necessary in a garage at the vortex of the Vista/CBD. What do y'all think?

Additionally, if Don Tomlin is building a 29 story apartment tower across the street, I'm afraid the folks at the Capital Center are going to be grumpy about sharing parking spaces in the garage upon which the tower will rise.

Yeah i saw that in the state news paper myself. I like how they said Imagine Huger St being lined with High Rises. I wonder if the state knows something we dont know XD.

 

Also they touched up on topics like Transportation in and around columbia. I think at this point the COMET  really needs to look into alternative forms of transportation other than just Buses. *cough cough* Streetcars/Light Rail Transit and Trolleys (on rails) Thats one huge relief to traffic right there just shuttling people in and around the city. I believe the city should get started on this sooner rather than later when the population has caught up beyond what they can handle. Example. Build ahead of the impending Growth so by the time the growth catches up with us they are already ahead of the curve.

Also I still think my Highway Connector through the city is still a good idea. something that connects 126-277 and a Spur from I26/77 interchange to Downtown. somewhere over the train tracks (if given approval  by the rail companies. theres so many ideas so many ways Columbia can tackel this problem head on but so little money to do such things.. we are no Dubai  but I think Columbia can set an example of small town gone big city in a matter of just 1 decade. and example for the south in general.

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Yeah i saw that in the state news paper myself. I like how they said Imagine Huger St being lined with High Rises. I wonder if the state knows something we dont know XD.

 

Also they touched up on topics like Transportation in and around columbia. I think at this point the COMET  really needs to look into alternative forms of transportation other than just Buses. *cough cough* Streetcars/Light Rail Transit and Trolleys (on rails) Thats one huge relief to traffic right there just shuttling people in and around the city. I believe the city should get started on this sooner rather than later when the population has caught up beyond what they can handle. Example. Build ahead of the impending Growth so by the time the growth catches up with us they are already ahead of the curve.

Also I still think my Highway Connector through the city is still a good idea. something that connects 126-277 and a Spur from I26/77 interchange to Downtown. somewhere over the train tracks (if given approval  by the rail companies. theres so many ideas so many ways Columbia can tackel this problem head on but so little money to do such things.. we are no Dubai  but I think Columbia can set an example of small town gone big city in a matter of just 1 decade. and example for the south in general.

Yes, EXACTLY! I thought the same thing. What "highrises" are they talking about on Huger? I know they couldn't be talking about the Kline site, and most anything in the Vista will have to be a certain height to conform with code, but there will be buildings in the future, per the Sasaki plan, to continue to infill.

I'm always more impatient than a grown man should be, but I'd really like to hear more about Tomlin's 29 story apartment tower. I hope the shared parking issue wasn't insurmountable.

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Yes, EXACTLY! I thought the same thing. What "highrises" are they talking about on Huger? I know they couldn't be talking about the Kline site, and most anything in the Vista will have to be a certain height to conform with code, but there will be buildings in the future, per the Sasaki plan, to continue to infill.

I'm always more impatient than a grown man should be, but I'd really like to hear more about Tomlin's 29 story apartment tower. I hope the shared parking issue wasn't insurmountable.

I want to see a Rendering already.

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Yes, EXACTLY! I thought the same thing. What "highrises" are they talking about on Huger? I know they couldn't be talking about the Kline site, and most anything in the Vista will have to be a certain height to conform with code, but there will be buildings in the future, per the Sasaki plan, to continue to infill.

I'm always more impatient than a grown man should be, but I'd really like to hear more about Tomlin's 29 story apartment tower. I hope the shared parking issue wasn't insurmountable.

10-12 stories in most cities is considered low rise, yet the tallest building in the state is a proposed 29 story building. Since height is relative, maybe The State is using the term loosely?

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