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USC Projects & Construction (excluding Innovista)

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5 hours ago, SouthernBorn said:


Yeah they grabbed an extra .38 acres and reduced the amount beds by 200-300 if I remember correctly.


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Fair point. I would imagine that most of that delta is attributable to a recognition that the market was not quite as ripe as they initially thought. GrowingUp15 can argue that USC is shooting down all of these proposals, and he has a point with the Icon on Main, but reductions in size and delays in construction are generally driven by the developers themselves. All of the buildings that came online in 2014-2016 were designed to meet the backlog of units caused by the huge growth in enrollment and the lack of construction during the recession. If developers perceive that that backlog has been satisfied, they will be building either to:

  1. cover future growth in enrollment, or
  2. draw students away from less desirable, but similarly priced units

Both scenarios require further consideration as the company might need to invest in marketing and/or potentially grant rent concessions to fill the building. In other words, the market has become much tighter due to other competition.

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I'll agree that most of the slow down is market driven, even if the Columbia market had the sustained demand to accommodate each of these multifamily projects on full build-out, most of the developers and lenders don't want to take the bet that they'll be in a good spot when the music stops. I get that.

USC's renewed activism in the area is troubling though, and reminded me of an argument I saw in a citylab article: http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2015/09/an-unusual-objection-to-less-parking-it-will-make-our-city-too-nice/406096/

I, for one, sincerely doubt that Icon on Main would have been built out as originally shown, but USC is starting to occupy a real estate monopsony in that area whose self-interests are not necessarily aligned with the city's.

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1 hour ago, Spes said:

I'll agree that most of the slow down is market driven, even if the Columbia market had the sustained demand to accommodate each of these multifamily projects on full build-out, most of the developers and lenders don't want to take the bet that they'll be in a good spot when the music stops. I get that.

USC's renewed activism in the area is troubling though, and reminded me of an argument I saw in a citylab article: http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2015/09/an-unusual-objection-to-less-parking-it-will-make-our-city-too-nice/406096/

I, for one, sincerely doubt that Icon on Main would have been built out as originally shown, but USC is starting to occupy a real estate monopsony in that area whose self-interests are not necessarily aligned with the city's.

Right and the capital campaign certainly helped buffer USC's buying position. Benjamin is definitely getting creative with ways to place or keep land on the tax rolls and USC certainly isn't make it easy. Ultimately though, USC is beginning to outsource a lot of its nonessential functions (e.g. housing, R&D office construction). I expect that they will lean heavily on public-private partnerships with firms like Holder to accomplish their goals rather than going it alone. Of course even USC has its limitations. To your point, I wouldn't be surprised if the school begins to unofficially sanction private development on non-USC land near campus. This is not ideal as it restricts developers ability to build what the market will bear, but it would also add new construction to the tax rolls. I see it as a net positive for the city.

The real problem is that, apart from a stagnant state government, USC does not have a counterweight in Columbia now that SCANA is in Cayce. Think about Charlotte: Duke Energy, Bank of America and Wells Fargo keep each other in check by competing for the same land. USC has a lot of room to grow and seems to be building its own barrier so that it can either build or sell off land when an attractive offer comes along. Nobody can check them on it since nobody else is in a position to buy. I wouldn't be too concerned about the industrial area along Assembly or the parking lots of Innovista or South Main Street. Get concerned if they start buying land north of Gervais.

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I think we're singing the same tune here but a couple points I want to rant on cathartically:

3 hours ago, carolinagarnet said:

Ultimately though, USC is beginning to outsource a lot of its nonessential functions (e.g. housing, R&D office construction). I expect that they will lean heavily on public-private partnerships with firms like Holder to accomplish their goals rather than going it alone.

USC's latest partnerships with Holder have all been on ground leases, so the property tax exemption stays with the University. Yes the development adds activity and benefit to the urban space but keeps it off tax rolls.

3 hours ago, carolinagarnet said:

Get concerned if they start buying land north of Gervais.

My main point with the Icon debacle is that if the University can torpedo a development by going to the mat over something so comically flimsy as "a shadow on the horseshoe for 2 hours a day in December" there is a massive disincentive to development that does not meet the long-term goals of the University, and they've effectively roped off south-of-Senate. That should be concerning in and of itself. Maybe it's legal, but it weeds out competition in a way that will retard growth in that area for a long time.

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1 hour ago, Spes said:

My main point with the Icon debacle is that if the University can torpedo a development by going to the mat over something so comically flimsy as "a shadow on the horseshoe for 2 hours a day in December" there is a massive disincentive to development that does not meet the long-term goals of the University, and they've effectively roped off south-of-Senate. That should be concerning in and of itself. Maybe it's legal, but it weeds out competition in a way that will retard growth in that area for a long time.

Agree in general, but I think South Main has effectively become part of USC's campus. The University should have bought that land long ago. Their approach to crowding out other development is definitely shady, but I would rather them develop that section of the street with one unified vision than see a haphazard series of developments pop up between the Horseshoe and the Moore School. USC definitely learned its lesson from The Cornell and that other hideous building on Senate.

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When the whole concept of the Congaree Vista was laid out in the '80's ('70's?) by Findlay, the plan was to have USC stretch it's campus all the way to the River.  They are just implementing that plan. That plan did not involve USC going North of Senate Street. 

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^ That's still the plan. The Sasaki (sp?) plan that came out a few years back described the same thing. The idea is that USC would focus on expansion both south and west from the core/historic part of campus. That expansion has been as planned too. We forget about Innovista as the business/academic research hybrid part of campus. While it's development has been painfully slow, it has made progress over the years. The area between Main and the river should, over time, be a mixed use urban city if designed well. So, the idea that it's purely an on-campus environment is misrepresenting what it actually could be.

I think the more purely campus-related activities will be generally south, connecting (in a more deliberate way) the historic campus to The Roost (or whatever they're calling it now).

My hope is that they are able to somehow expand campus and make connections in such a way that the football stadium doesn't feel like it's so far away from campus... though that would start with a redesign of Assembly St.

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The interior looks great, and I love how they were able to preserve some adjacent building(s) as part of the project. I've nicknamed the structure the Temple of Doom, as its Gervais Street side is so stark and big. I'm not sure what sort of ornamentation might make it less monolithic to passing motorists, or perhaps its grandness was the intended effect.

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12 hours ago, victory said:

The interior looks great, and I love how they were able to preserve some adjacent building(s) as part of the project. I've nicknamed the structure the Temple of Doom, as its Gervais Street side is so stark and big. I'm not sure what sort of ornamentation might make it less monolithic to passing motorists, or perhaps its grandness was the intended effect.

I think it was meant to mirror the SC Supreme Court as the facades appeal to be similar, at least in terms of building material. The scales are obviously different.

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I think it's a good looking building. I'd like to see it in person at some point... but I like the style. I wish they would have set the building back a few more feet off of Gervais. I think that's the only issue. Have they planted street trees on that side?

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On 9/7/2017 at 2:09 AM, Spartan said:

I think it's a good looking building. I'd like to see it in person at some point... but I like the style. I wish they would have set the building back a few more feet off of Gervais. I think that's the only issue. Have they planted street trees on that side?

Yeah, it's impossible to get a photo from that side since it's so close to the street. I think they have planted trees, but I don't recall exactly.

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Is there a list of USC projects anywhere?  The ones that I know of are renovation of the old law building, continuation of 650 Lincoln, and the pending huge renovation where Bates West and Bates House sit.  In the future, I think the Carolina Coliseum will be renovated and the state is finally starting to find the new medical school campus at Bull St.

Athletically, they just finished the Football ops building (which combined with the indoor facility should be a good basis for what the Panthers will build....one of the best in the country), smaller renovations to the tennis facility, the indoor track, and some work at CLA.  Williams Brice will start to see a lot of work as they renovate the area left open when the ops building was completed.  Some of the renderings show the newer style of premium seats.  Carolina can certainly sell more sky boxes and will have more, but I am more interested in the terrace seating and how that will evolve.  

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Is there a list of USC projects anywhere?  The ones that I know of are renovation of the old law building, continuation of 650 Lincoln, and the pending huge renovation where Bates West and Bates House sit.  In the future, I think the Carolina Coliseum will be renovated and the state is finally starting to find the new medical school campus at Bull St.
Athletically, they just finished the Football ops building (which combined with the indoor facility should be a good basis for what the Panthers will build....one of the best in the country), smaller renovations to the tennis facility, the indoor track, and some work at CLA.  Williams Brice will start to see a lot of work as they renovate the area left open when the ops building was completed.  Some of the renderings show the newer style of premium seats.  Carolina can certainly sell more sky boxes and will have more, but I am more interested in the terrace seating and how that will evolve.  

Not that I’m aware of besides in older news articles. The only new build projects I’m aware of that are planned are the two you’ve named.


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10 hours ago, SouthernBorn said:


Not that I’m aware of besides in older news articles. The only new build projects I’m aware of that are planned are the two you’ve named.


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I remembered a couple......athletics is working on financing for a new indoor tennis facility, I expect to see this in the near future. In addition, they are looking at basketball practice facilities long term.

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Toured the new football ops building at Carolina, it is simply sensational.  The pics in various media outlets do not fairly depict how impressive this building really is.  Combined with the largest indoor facility and outdoor practice fields, this football center is a model for the Panthers and other universities.  

But, I am sure we will be talking in 5 years about an addition to the facility.

should help recruiting and get Carolina back to an upper level SEC team.

On a similar football note, check out the video on the Gamecocks twitter feed where Muschamp awarded a scholarship to the walk on kicker.  It was outstanding and a very classy move by Muschamp.

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Toured the new football ops building at Carolina, it is simply sensational.  The pics in various media outlets do not fairly depict how impressive this building really is.  Combined with the largest indoor facility and outdoor practice fields, this football center is a model for the Panthers and other universities.  
But, I am sure we will be talking in 5 years about an addition to the facility.
should help recruiting and get Carolina back to an upper level SEC team.
On a similar football note, check out the video on the Gamecocks twitter feed where Muschamp awarded a scholarship to the walk on kicker.  It was outstanding and a very classy move by Muschamp.

I can only hope the team will get back to winning so we can beat Clemson.


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On 4/8/2019 at 3:32 AM, SouthernBorn said:


I can only hope the team will get back to winning so we can beat Clemson.


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I hope we get better too.  I really want a SEC Champ trophy to out in the new building.  

I forget which national writer said it, but his quote said that he has never seen a university improve the facilities so quickly.  If you think back a few years, Gamecock Park was full of metal buildings and a Bojangles.  Today, the trees in Gamecock Park are maturing around one of the best football facilities in the country.  WB’s first round of renovations will be finished in 2020.

On 8/23/2017 at 10:35 PM, carolinagarnet said:

I thought I would revive this thread with some photos of the new law school.imageproxy.php?img=&key=cfdcdf7370b84370

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IMG_7452.JPG

Great pics of a terrific facility.  The Chihuly bronze and garnet chandelier  is a nice touch in this building.

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Looks like the new village at USC is about to begin construction. Phase 1 carries a $240mm price and adds about 1,800 beds to on campus housing.  The other phases of the project will begin in a few years.  The new beds are needed as the school has grown and applications are  approaching 40k.  

https://www.thestate.com/news/local/education/article231798088.html

Hope to see renovations start on the old Carolina Coliseum soon as well.

It would be interesting to see how much construction is attributable to Carolina in the past 10 years.  

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