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On 8/6/2016 at 7:56 PM, growingup15 said:

New apartments, retail could be coming to Devine Street in Columbia

http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article94158692.html

I would normally be extremely excited about this type of development, as it will create some good density..however, in this case, I have to say I'm a little concerned. You see my dad owns a unit in the GranDevine, and said unit only has window views out onto the parking lot and the boutiques across Devine St. This development will essentially put a brick wall close to his windows, and completely block out the sun. It will obviously drop his property's value. He knew there was a risk of this happening when he bought it, but had some assurances from Aflac it would not sell. Well, apparently the gentleman died, and here we are.

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3 hours ago, victory said:

I would normally be extremely excited about this type of development, as it will create some good density..however, in this case, I have to say I'm a little concerned. You see my dad owns a unit in the GranDevine, and said unit only has window views out onto the parking lot and the boutiques across Devine St. This development will essentially put a brick wall close to his windows, and completely block out the sun. It will obviously drop his property's value. He knew there was a risk of this happening when he bought it, but had some assurances from Aflac it would not sell. Well, apparently the gentleman died, and here we are.

oh. I'm Sorry to hear that

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  • 2 weeks later...

The whole idea is a joke. The city has let the place go to pot, while spending millions elsewhere on new projects. Now they don't even have the money to do the repairs, nor the political will. Now the mayor brings out this crackpot idea with a much bigger price tag.

Gimme a break.

 

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14 minutes ago, vicupstate said:

The whole idea is a joke. The city has let the place go to pot, while spending millions elsewhere on new projects. Now they don't even have the money to do the repairs, nor the political will. Now the mayor brings out this crackpot idea with a much bigger price tag.

Gimme a break.

 

and it's people like you who shouldn't be talking. you either like it or offer up a better idea. go to the meetings give your ideas. 

 

stop criticizing and hey up and make it better if you think you can do better

I personally think it's a beautiful idea and most people on City Data Agrees too. If this catches on I hope it goes through and gets built.

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42 minutes ago, growingup15 said:

and it's people like you who shouldn't be talking. you either like it or offer up a better idea. go to the meetings give your ideas. 

 

stop criticizing and hey up and make it better if you think you can do better

I personally think it's a beautiful idea and most people on City Data Agrees too. If this catches on I hope it goes through and gets built.

The beach is a unique idea, but vicupstate is right. Benjamin is an idea man without any taste for operations or maintenance. The city has not maintained Finlay Park. Building an urban beach is a very expensive short term solution that fails to solve a much larger problems- safety and visibility. In my opinion, the best thing the city can do is actually shrink the park by selling off land on the west side. This has two major benefits: having more people looking directly into the park increases safety and it allows the city to focus on a core area. The city's expensive proposals are just gimmicks. Think about Central Park in New York or Piedmont Park in Atlanta- both are relatively simple, but support a variety of uses and frame the adjacent skylines quite well. Finlay Park just needs to be redesigned in a way that will draw a large cross-section of people at different times of the day. I would argue that a playground and children's water feature (i.e. jumping fountains), an area for intramural sports, benches for casual dining, and a vantage point to take great pictures of the skyline would add plenty of variety. The biggest focus should not be on the park, but on building residential and commercial density immediately around it.

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5 hours ago, carolinagarnet said:

The beach is a unique idea, but vicupstate is right. Benjamin is an idea man without any taste for operations or maintenance. The city has not maintained Finlay Park. Building an urban beach is a very expensive short term solution that fails to solve a much larger problems- safety and visibility. In my opinion, the best thing the city can do is actually shrink the park by selling off land on the west side. This has two major benefits: having more people looking directly into the park increases safety and it allows the city to focus on a core area. The city's expensive proposals are just gimmicks. Think about Central Park in New York or Piedmont Park in Atlanta- both are relatively simple, but support a variety of uses and frame the adjacent skylines quite well. Finlay Park just needs to be redesigned in a way that will draw a large cross-section of people at different times of the day. I would argue that a playground and children's water feature (i.e. jumping fountains), an area for intramural sports, benches for casual dining, and a vantage point to take great pictures of the skyline would add plenty of variety. The biggest focus should not be on the park, but on building residential and commercial density immediately around it.

I think the main thing here is the lack of tax dollars the city has. USC has got to start paying taxes, it's the only way the city can provide adequate services. 

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8 hours ago, growingup15 said:

you either like it or offer up a better idea. go to the meetings give your ideas. 

Here's a better idea: take the ridiculous amount of money that would go into a white elephant like a water park, or a beach in Findlay park, or a Unicorn parade down Assembly street, and put it into something that provides an actual, measurable difference for the city, like better roads, sidewalk improvements, more teachers, or something else decidedly less sexy. 

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I think the City would be better served building out the waterfront park than addressing Finlay right now.   

That would be more of an attraction and would unite the Columbia side river, which I think is more valuable.   I think that's more likely to push development as well.  

The problem with Finlay, I guess more than anything, is that it is not terribly convenient to many people because there is relatively little downtown population and this being a southern city people aren't likely to drive in to a place where you might see homeless.

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20 hours ago, ColaFan said:

I think the City would be better served building out the waterfront park than addressing Finlay right now.   

That would be more of an attraction and would unite the Columbia side river, which I think is more valuable.   I think that's more likely to push development as well.  

The problem with Finlay, I guess more than anything, is that it is not terribly convenient to many people because there is relatively little downtown population and this being a southern city people aren't likely to drive in to a place where you might see homeless.

Totally agree with you. In theory the waterfront park should be paid for through the Penny Tax program. Unfortunately the whole project will be delayed by the SCANA black tar cleanup. I also wonder if the Guignard family will push back ion any designs that they do not like. That could further delay the approval process.

On 8/19/2016 at 4:10 PM, mpretori said:

I think the main thing here is the lack of tax dollars the city has. USC has got to start paying taxes, it's the only way the city can provide adequate services. 

Never going to happen. The best bet is a trend that is actually happening: public-private partnerships. USC will still try to take some of the property off of the tax rolls, but there is an argument for making things like the IBM building taxable. 

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Hotel occupancy rates in Columbia are topping out at the highest numbers in years, driving up room rates and drawing the attention of hoteliers looking for opportunities in the Capital City’s growing downtown.

The growth is attributed to a bigger University of South Carolina student body, more soldiers set to be trained at Fort Jackson, improved tourist attractions and an exploding restaurant, microbrewery and bar scene...

The downtown occupancy rate is 76.9 percent, the highest since the Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau started segregating the district five years ago. City-wide, the rate has risen from 60.7 percent in 2012 to 67.8 percent so far this year.

Downtown, the average nightly room rates have risen from $115.24 in 2012 to $138.55 today.

It ain’t Manhattan, but it’s a big jump for a city not previously known for anything approaching high prices, outside of the occasional Gamecock football weekend or the Republican and Democratic political primary seasons.

“Those are the highest numbers I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” said Ellen, who arrived in Columbia from hotel-saturated Myrtle Beach in 1989...

Most potential developers, [Fred] Delk, [executive director of the Columbia Development Corp.] said, are contemplating small 80- to 100-room, high-priced boutique hotels like Aloft, or large 200- to 250-room full service hotels. And they want to be centrally located to The Vista and a resurgent Main Street...

But the city will probably require developers to pitch in on new garages in the future, particularly in the Vista.

One glaring deficit for downtown is a lack of full-service hotels. There are only three – the Hilton, the Courtyard and the Marriott. And the prospect of another will likely be tied to what experts say is a much-needed expansion of the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, by far the smallest venue of its type in the state.

“It’s difficult to bring large conventions in here because Columbia is competing with Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Greenville,” Champaneri said. “But if they can get an expansion of the convention center, that would make a real difference in the market.”

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  • 3 weeks later...

While it's true that USC doesn't pay taxes, I they do require city resources and I feel like I read somewhere that they do pay fees to the City. But even if they don't let's not forget how much USC's location contributes to the city's tax base through sales, real estate transactions, and development generated by the private sector's desire to serve the students and staff.

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http://www.wltx.com/mb/sports/ncaa/usc-gamecocks/usc-wont-bid-for-march-madness-games/323181803

 

They bring up a great topic here about Columbia not having enough hotel space to host such huge events.  Makes me wonder how many hotels are planned or needs to be built in Columbia in the next few years to handle the constant fluctuation of people

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A developed is purchasing all of the lots between Five Guys and Eighmile Branch Creek on Forest Drive (at the crossing with Trenholm). The plan is to develop a small village-style shopping center. It would be an improvement over the strip mall style buildings currently there.

http://www.thestate.com/news/business/article109198752.html

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  • 2 months later...

Not sure where to put this, but you may have heard that Columbia is getting a new public charter school for the arts. According to their website, the Midlands Arts Conservatory (MAC) will open in August, 2017. MAC will have a focus on the visual arts, theater, dance and music. Go to https://www.facebook.com/MidlandsArtsConservatory/  and http://midlandsartsconservatory.org .

They will be holding two informational meetings for parents and the community: on Saturday January 7 at 4:00 in the North Main branch of the Richland Public Library, and on Sunday, January 8 at 3:00 in the second floor theatre at the main branch of the Richland Public Library.

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On 9/21/2016 at 6:47 PM, growingup15 said:

http://www.wltx.com/mb/sports/ncaa/usc-gamecocks/usc-wont-bid-for-march-madness-games/323181803

 

They bring up a great topic here about Columbia not having enough hotel space to host such huge events.  Makes me wonder how many hotels are planned or needs to be built in Columbia in the next few years to handle the constant fluctuation of people

I don't quite understand how Columbia has enough hotel rooms to support conventions and football games and USC graduation, etc and not enough to support the NCAA tournament. 

I think the bigger concern was perhaps that the existing hotels did not have availability for the featured dates.  

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