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krazeeboi

Waverly neighborhood revitalization

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The State reports that the East Central Redevelopment Plan, which encompasses the Lower Waverly neighborhood, may just be closer to realization today. City council is expected to declare the Lower Waverly area blighted and in need of redevelopment by city council and that the city will help in the effort. If this passes, it will be the largest redevelopment plan the city of Columbia has ever undertaken

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While this is a worthy project, the city needs to finish the projects it has already started first. Is Lady St finished? Is the second phase of Main Street done? Is 5 Points done? What about Olympia? Will the Bull Street project need major city funding? What about the hugely ambitious (and costly) plans for the Vista?

Can the city truly afford to put it's money where it's mouth is on this one? I am sure it can't. The private money follows the public money, not the other way around.

Another case of over-promising and under-delivering by the city. In ten years, when little of this has been done, it will be heralded as another example of why the city needs a 'strong mayor'. What it needs is a mayor and council that sets priorities, says "no" sometimes, doesn't bite off more than it can chew, and finishes what it starts.

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The North Columbia revitalization plan hasn't even taken affect. Columbia should do one thing at a time and START with something instead of saying its going to do this and that and can't handle it

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"Much of the land is vacant and much of what is there is deteriorating."

That says alot. I agree that the City should not take on more than it can handle, but it also should not stop working on projects just becuase it has some others going already. This is a blighted neighborhood, and it needs to see a rebound.

Lady Street is nearly completed. Who knows about Five Points, though it is making progress.

I don't think the City should be working on Olympia without it being in the City. They should not be recieving city money when they don't pay taxes in teh city. Annex it, then help it.

What is this "hugely ambitious (and costly) plans for the Vista?" I am not familiar with any plan that requires any City money.

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"Much of the land is vacant and much of what is there is deteriorating."

That says alot. I agree that the City should not take on more than it can handle, but it also should not stop working on projects just becuase it has some others going already. This is a blighted neighborhood, and it needs to see a rebound.

Lady Street is nearly completed. Who knows about Five Points, though it is making progress.

I don't think the City should be working on Olympia without it being in the City. They should not be recieving city money when they don't pay taxes in teh city. Annex it, then help it.

What is this "hugely ambitious (and costly) plans for the Vista?" I am not familiar with any plan that requires any City money.

I agree with Spartan on this one! The area is a festering place for crime and a real draw back for Five Points. It NEEDS to be cleaned out and re-done in a timely fashion. I'm sure federal dollars can come into play in a situation like Lower Waverly revitalization. I hope that the population density will be kept much higher than was and is being done in the Celia Saxon re-development.

Olympia MUST be annexed! It should be annexed BEFORE any city money goes in there. I would like to see both things happen to Olympia.

Kudos to the East Central Consortium!

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with its location near Old Shandon and Five Points, i'm suprised this area hasn't gentrified by itself without public money. maybe a tax incentive and more policing is all that's needed?

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I think Five Points project was extended and should be finished by November. So, it makes sense to revitalize the adjacent neighborhood, which has been neglect for a while. I am surprised that this hasn't already started with private money due to it's proximity to 5 points, downtown, and forest acres; great location.

I personally love seeing dozens of projects going on at the same time :D

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I think the private money will come more easily with this project. It's sandwiched between some hot areas... 5 Points, Olde Shandon and Melrose Heights are all experiencing sustained renewal. That Millwood corridor could be pretty cool.

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I largely agree with Spartan.

But I also agree that a lot of other projects need to see the light of day as well. I'm wondering how this revitalization project will fall in line with the North Main revitalization and Olympia. And Columbia definitely needs to adopt the strong mayor system of government, I think--at least the city should make the mayor's position full time.

Maybe all this area needs is a little push from the city, and the rest will take care of itself.

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I don't understand why the city is helping out Olympia when its not even in the city. Are they doing the part that is in the city? They shouldn't waiste people's tax dollars on those who don't contribute

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Less than a few months ago, when all the articles about the streetscaping delays were published, it was stated that one of the main problems was that the city's staff and resources were stretched too thin.

Waverly has been in a distressed state for many years, it's condition is nothing new. The area around Allen/Benedict already are much improved from 15 years ago.

The city simply cannot take on every project simultaneously. It has been trying that for decades, which is why EVERY project takes SOOOO long, and often doesn't even get started for YEARS after they are announced. CCI/ the River Alliance project and North Main are just three examples. Shortly after I left Columbia in 1996, the North Main project was announced and received significant Federal funding. It has not even STARTED yet.

The Vista project I referred to is the Sassaki Associates plans for Senate Street and the huge park between Gervais and Blossom. The city WILL have to contribute significantly to that, for it to happen.

A few years back when Columbia was trying to choose a new slogan, the humor columnist for The State suggested "Columbia - come see our blueprints". I think that about sums it up.

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The city has certainly had some announced projects that took a long time to complete, but look at all of the projects that have been completed since 2000:

*The Gervais St./Vista streetscaping, medians and buried powerlines. I was in the Vista tonight - in the middle of summer with school out on a Wednesday night and the Vista was PACKED.

*Lady Street is nearing completion and looks awesome.

*Five Points is also nearing completion and is starting to look great.

*The Convention Center opened about 2 years ago.

*The Colonial Center - South Carolina's largest arena, by far, opened almost 4 years ago and has turned into one of the busiest arenas in the country. This was built with significant city money.

*Main Street: the first 3 blocks are complete and look good.

*Granby Park as part of the riverfront series of parks.

*The Columbia Museum of Art moved into a much larger facility on Main Street, partially assisted by city funding.

*Drew Park and Community Center is a beautiful new city facility.

*The Columbia Housing Authority has had a huge hand in the transformation of the Allen University-Benedict College area, which is adjacent to the planned improvements in the Waverly area.

*The Two Notch Road streetscaping is completed and is being joined by the new Benedict College 10,000+ seat football stadium. Two Notch is 100% better than it was a few years ago, though I'm undecided about the aluminum-industrial looking light poles.

*The Lincoln Street streetscaping and widening from Gervais Street to Blossom is beautiful.

*After some disappointing delays, the Convention Center Hilton and Parking Garage construction is well underway.

There are some disappointments:

*I've been patiently waiting on the North Main streetscaping to start.

*Canalside has been a boondoggle, with street grading underway and construction beginning soon.

*The City Dock and Esplanade have been delayed and haven't started construction yet.

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To add to the list of disappointments would be the delay in getting the Bull Street campus project off the ground, but fortunately this isn't because of the city; I believe the state supreme court has to decide which entity the proceeds from the sale will rightfully go to.

The city's decision to initially develop CanalSide was certainly a bad decision. FINALLY it's off the ground.

I think I heard that a convention center was first discussed for the city in the '70s. If this is true, what the hell took the city so long to build one??? :blink:

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To add to the list of disappointments would be the delay in getting the Bull Street campus project off the ground, but fortunately this isn't because of the city; I believe the state supreme court has to decide which entity the proceeds from the sale will rightfully go to.

The city's decision to initially develop CanalSide was certainly a bad decision. FINALLY it's off the ground.

I think I heard that a convention center was first discussed for the city in the '70s. If this is true, what the hell took the city so long to build one??? :blink:

Getting all 3 major government entities to help fund it.

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If that's the case, I guess we can say goodbye to CMRTA and the proposed homeless center. :(

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I think I heard that a convention center was first discussed for the city in the '70s. If this is true, what the hell took the city so long to build one??? :blink:

This may have been touched on before here, but the convention center I remembered being discussed in the 1970s was one that would be a building that would have bridged the river between Columbia/West Columbia. It was a wacky idea at the time, and I am so grateful that it never saw the light of day. My dim memory is that it would have been accompanied by lots of condos being built on the west bank of the river, which would have been really poorly built I'm sure and would have made the riverfront park that is there now practically impossible to create.

Sometimes it is better to wait and get the right building in the right place...

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This may have been touched on before here, but the convention center I remembered being discussed in the 1970s was one that would be a building that would have bridged the river between Columbia/West Columbia. It was a wacky idea at the time, and I am so grateful that it never saw the light of day. My dim memory is that it would have been accompanied by lots of condos being built on the west bank of the river, which would have been really poorly built I'm sure and would have made the riverfront park that is there now practically impossible to create.

Sometimes it is better to wait and get the right building in the right place...

That was one idea that was mentioned, but it was mostly the idea of local gadfly Temple Ligon. It was the '80's though. He called it "The Bridge" and he put out some bumper stickers with "Build The Bridge" on them. The city never took it very seriously.

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Yeah, that idea WAS pretty wacky. Glad it didn't take off. Had a convention center been built in the 70s, by now the city would probably be imploding it to build a new one.

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But it would have been cool to have a waterfront convention center like the one in Madison, WI.

I have a bit more faith in the East Central plan because it is a public/private venture and not something that the city is going at alone. I think the projects mentioned by vicupstate that suffered setbacks are those that the city undertook by itself. One reason why we're seeing rapid progress with Innovista is precisely because the city isn't taking a lead role in this massive development, yet it is a partner in the project.

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But it would have been cool to have a waterfront convention center like the one in Madison, WI.

I have a bit more faith in the East Central plan because it is a public/private venture and not something that the city is going at alone. I think the projects mentioned by vicupstate that suffered setbacks are those that the city undertook by itself. One reason why we're seeing rapid progress with Innovista is precisely because the city isn't taking a lead role in this massive development, yet it is a partner in the project.

I've seen the one in Madison in person and it is awesome. Madison is an utterly beautiful city with its downtown situated on an isthmus between 2 lakes. If I didn't live in Columbia, Madison would be another place I would love to live, along with Boston.

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I've seen your Madison pictures, and it does look like a pretty awesome city. Aesthetically, it reminds me of a mini-DC.

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I've seen the one in Madison in person and it is awesome. Madison is an utterly beautiful city with its downtown situated on an isthmus between 2 lakes. If I didn't live in Columbia, Madison would be another place I would love to live, along with Boston.

I agree that Madison is a lovely town and has some wonderful urban architecture (and a few not so great). My cross-country flight was grounded there on 9/11 and the town couldn't have been more welcoming to the stranded travelers. Went for a great run around their lakes; walked downtown and had an excellent dinner in the shadow of their capital building and then walked to the bus station the next morning for a 24-hour ride back to Washington. Good times...

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City council has voted to condemn six acres at Gervais and Millwood, despite the fact that it may be unlawful to do so. The land is owned by Bill Gregg, and thus far he has rejected all attempts by city officials to persuade him to sell the land or swap it for some land the city owns in Olympia; Gregg says he wants to create an "urban forest" on the site or do some other type of development. At issue here is the East Central Consortium redevelopment plans, which calls for a mix of what the consortium calls affordable homes, retail, and senior housing.

I'm not a big fan of condemning private property for governmental acquisition, particularly if it isn't blighted or otherwise unsightly, but this guy is really being an ass.

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Yeah, he's a jerk, but it is his property. The city has been sorta assinine as well. If they behaved towards me like that, I'd probably be an ass, too. I'm glad he got a lawyer and I hope he wins, if it comes to that (I hope it doesn't). As someone pointed out in the article, it is only six acres and there are a lot of other fish to fry. Once the land value comes up, he may very well decide to sell on his own.

BS like this is why I dislike the way Columbia is run.

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Once the land value comes up, he may very well decide to sell on his own.

Exactly. I don't see why 6 acres, even if an eyesore, should ruin the overall plan. The guy also said that might be something else he wants to do with the property, and it could very well fit in with the overall plan once he sees what's going on around the land.

As usual, only Sinclair and Finlay voted the right way. I know they get frustrated with decisions like this (that seem to be occurring more and more lately) made that shouldn't be. Now it looks like the city is going to be wasting money by fighting this issue in court, money that could be going towards a streetscaping project or the greenway.

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