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Historic Congaree Vista Developments


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I've been working remotely for almost a full year now, and as a consequence, don't get downtown as much as I like. Yesterday, my signature was required on a document, so I had a good excuse to travel

A Virginia-based development firm is giving the historic Columbia fire station in the Vista a face-lift and bringing restaurants, shops and office space to the downtown business district. Construction

So I've got a good contact in the columbia development area now in private development and for university development as well. I'm going to try to be more active on this forum in the future. I ho

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I think the logo is great! I can't imagine why anyone would be complaining about that one.

It isn't a question of whether it's a great logo or not, it's a question of whether that logo belongs on that building, and from a design standpoint it doesn't. It may be a fine logo for that company and their market (personally think the pineapple/hospitality is hackneyed and cliched, but it's not my business), and I certainly uinderstand wanting to use their logo on the building; it just makes for an unfortunate combo of styles that i think will detract from the very cool original fire department building.

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I think we could have done without the comparisons to South Beach, but it's good to see another strip of activity emerge within the Vista. It's turning into a very well-rounded district, with Gervais as the main hub and Senate starting to emerge as another node of activity.

Speaking of Gervais, I wonder when Center Vista will break ground. That development will serve as a nice link between Gervais and Lady.

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I think the writer of that article was describing the clientele of the martini bars, tapas restaurants, and other upscale places. The Carolina Ale House and its "rooftop" is definitely NOT upscale. I visited Friday night, and if a typical night, it WAS crowded (too crowded for me, but that is partly due to its novelty). The customers were of various ages, but skewed to around 25-30 (i.e., not college age only--although USC was not in session yet). No South Beach-style dress code on anyone there--it was (as expected) thoroughly casual. The entertainment played classic rock (Lynrd Skynrd, Journey, and the like), and the clientele matched. The beer on tap was impressive in variety, but primarily domestics. It was extremely suburban in feel, and so more Panama City than South Beach. I felt like I was in a generic sports bar in the 'burbs. I hope it is the LAST of the downscale chains to locate in the Vista, which I feel should be more like what the (wishful thinking) reporter was describing in the smaller, trendier places.

As for the restaurant: the food was very good, the service was as well (despite the crowd), the complimentary valet parking was a God-send, and the price was reasonable. It was a fine place to enjoy friends, beer, etc.--I have no problem with that (although I prefer Wild Wings still). I predict it will remain popular and thrive to its target audience.

As for the building: there is NOTHING left of the old Hiller Hardware on the inside (or out as I posted earlier). As suspected, it was completely gutted and rebuilt as if nothing existed previously. They could've saved themselves a lot of headaches and just razed the thing and started over. This is a crying shame, because the old wood floors and casual ambience of the old building would have been great as a restaurant (think a House of Blues vibe). The developer totally missed the boat on this "restoration".

As for the rooftop, I was very disappointed. Even without the crowd, it's too small--more of a small patio. Of course, it's only on the second floor, so not too high for catching breezes. Since it is hemmed in on 2 sides by walls, it was steamy H-O-T even after sunset. The view of the skyline was alright, but the sunset was obscured completely by the L-shaped second floor. What a missed opportunity for a REAL rooftop bar. (I look forward to a more upscale and urbane rooftop bar on top of the Sheraton soon!)

Edited by digital_sandlapper
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It's really a shame that the developers couldn't preserve the ambiance/unique features of the building. It would have provided a more authentic dining experience for patrons, even if it isn't an upscale restaurant. Couple that with the fact that the front door isn't actually an entrance, the suburban influence is obvious. How do things like this get past the DDRC?

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Yesterday, I experience what may be a huge problem with Springhill. I was coming off Elmood onto Huger, and as I rounded the flyover, there was a cab stopped dead in the road trying to get over to Springhill. That's going to be a lethal spot if people start doing that.

I've never seen a building built the way they are doing Staybridge. Most companies hang structural steel all at once, then come back and put the facade stel up, floor by floor. Staybridge, its 1st floor structural, first floor facade, second floor structural, second floor facde. First time I've seen that.

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^ I believe you meant the Staybridge, not Springhill (which is at Huger and Lady). That intersection is going to be extremely dangerous. It'll be difficult just making a right out of there and there is no way they are going to allow left turns out. Cars fly around that curve onto Huger from I-126. I see it being signalized in the near future.

Edited by BrasilnSC
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Hopefully people will be encouraged to go to the light at Laurel and Huger and backtrack a block to the Staybridge. I haven't cared for this location from the start. They did a poor job of site selection for this project. Sometimes you really have to wonder.

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