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Historic Congaree Vista Developments


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The old state Department of Agriculture laboratory behind the City Club development (on Gervais, across from the state museum) and the land it sits on was recently sold for $2.8 million, so some development is expected there. Richland County values the site with the building at $1.7 million, so the buyer definitely paid a premium price. The property is zoned C3 for commercial, office, and retail uses. The buyer wants to remain anonymous at this time but will make an announcement about plans for the site soon.

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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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The old state Department of Agriculture laboratory behind the City Club development (on Gervais, across from the state museum) and the land it sits on was recently sold for $2.8 million, so some development is expected there. Richland County values the site with the building at $1.7 million, so the buyer definitely paid a premium price. The property is zoned C3 for commercial, office, and retail uses. The buyer wants to remain anonymous at this time but will make an announcement about plans for the site soon.

The Mountains to the Midlands chapter of the Girl Scouts of America will turn the site into a state-of-the-art center and headquarters to mark a "new day" in girl scouting.

http://www.thestate.com/2011/04/05/1764415/girl-scouts-heading-to-the-vista.html

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Miller-Valentine Group and Jason’s Deli have opened for business in new quarters at 823 Gervais St, the historic Columbia Supply Company building. The companies expect to have 80 employees working at the new mixed-use development.

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The most recent city council work session included an item about pedestrian safety in the Vista. Some excerpts:

Councilor Newman stated that the premise of this item being on the agenda is for us to draw

attention to our pedestrian safety in the Vista; some people like to speed down Gervais

Street; and we’ve informed our Police Chief and made efforts to improve the likelihood of

people walking in one of our strong hospitality districts, but we need to do more.

Particularly, we need to do something with the roads and the crosswalks, a potential

streetscaping. It will increase the likelihood that we would get more businesses and more

retail in the area. The Vista Guild has initiated a subcommittee, conducted studies and

developed plans for our review...

Upon a single motion made by Mr. Newman and seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted

unanimously to endorse the concept of paving the way to create the heart of the Vista and

to direct staff to conduct additional research to determine what we can fit, budget-wise into

DOTs timeline for repaving Gervais Street; to consider the connectivity of Gervais Street

with Huger Street and Assembly Street; to consider short-term measures that can be used

to improve pedestrian safety; and to submit an application for Hospitality Tax funding.

And here's the link to the "Heart of the Vista" plans. One of the suggestions it sounds like council will go with is using StreetPrintXD at key intersections in the Vista to increase visibility at those crosswalks.

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The most recent city council work session included an item about pedestrian safety in the Vista. Some excerpts:

And here's the link to the "Heart of the Vista" plans. One of the suggestions it sounds like council will go with is using StreetPrintXD at key intersections in the Vista to increase visibility at those crosswalks.

I've basically said as much before. Of course, it sounds better to everyone when coming from a Columbian. Nevertheless, good to see!

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I've basically said as much before. Of course, it sounds better to everyone when coming from a Columbian. Nevertheless, good to see!

Do you derive pleasure from making snide comments like this?

Eh, it's just the Napoleon complex from the Greenville-ites. They can't help themselves.

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When the World of Beer opens in early December in the Vista, it will have 500 different brands of bottled beers (craft beers) and 50 on tap. World of Beer, which will have live music, also will sell wine and cigars – no liquor – and serve a limited menu of bar food: hot dogs, bratwurst, cheese and salami platters.

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Y'all ready fa dis? A Hyatt Place Hotel will make their proposal for 823 Gervais Street (next to Jason's) to the DDRC this month. The height might have to come down a little, but I'm loving the rendering. Yes, it's brick, in an historic brick warehouse district, and it doesn't look too awfully unlike a converted warehouse in an historic warehouse district.

http://www.columbia....el_Informal.pdf

Edited by CorgiMatt
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I like the rendering; I think it looks better than the previously proposed Center Vista development and will be a little taller as well. The only thing I don't like is the rear parking lot that will face Lady. That needs to be developed as well; there doesn't need to be any surface parking associated with this hotel at all.

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From the renderings, it just looks like your standard surface lot fronting the street. That's a no-no if you're wanting to make Lady Street a strolling area--unless it's a temporary lot open to future development. That's how it was going to be with Center Vista: the office building fronting Gervais and a lot facing Lady that would eventually be developed.

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Nice. Downtown Columbia is getting business after business. Keep this up and we will start looking like Charlotte.

It's going to take a whole lot more before that starts happening. And by that time, Charlotte will probably start looking like present-day Atlanta.

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I'm not concerned with looking like anything but a well-utilized city with a large, strong, vibrant urban footprint, and to the extent that that hasn't quite happened yet, it is happening before my eyes. It's a great time to be living here.

Edited by CorgiMatt
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  • 4 weeks later...

The design for the Hyatt Place has been tweaked a bit and the height has come down. Here's the rendering:

1bsUWX.St.74.jpg

And here's the site plan:

1-100fe7c732.jpg

The new rendering is more akin to that of the previously planned Center Vista project in terms of architecture.

The parking is more of a challenge with this project because the hotel will be built mid-block. Here are the DDRC recommendations regarding parking:

Site plan review will be conducted by the Planning Commission as the project will be going to them

anyway for a traffic study review (comments from the City’s land development planner regarding

the landscape ordinance will be given at this time). However, comments from the DDRC will be

shared with the Planning Commission. Previous comments from the DDRC on the site centered

around making the Lady Street parking lot look less like a parking lot (since the -DD guidelines

require parking lots to be mid-block rather than on the street edge) as well as ushering pedestrians

more clearly and safely through the parking lot. Comments from staff for landscaping and site

issues are from the –DD guidelines.

The parking lot has 62 spaces; overflow parking for the hotel will be handled across the street in the

Lincoln Street garage. The parking lot has accordingly been reconfigured with a walkway leading

from the sidewalk to the hotel. The walkway is bordered on both sides by parking spaces.

Trees/tree wells have also been placed somewhat randomly along the walkway to the hotel

entrance. Staff would recommend adding a more trees for uniformity for more of an allee look to

the hotel here as well as widening the central walkway. It appears too narrow for comfortable

walking and would prohibit two people walking side by side or perhaps a wheelchair; 6-7’ would be

advisable. Details on this will be needed as it progresses. Installing bollards here would protect

pedestrians. General lighting of the parking lot has not been discussed, but uplighting of the trees

along the walkway would be attractive and would guide the pedestrian. Generally, planting islands

appear to be smaller than the required size and it appears that more trees may be needed to meet

the landscape ordinance, something the City’s land development planner will determine.

In response to comments from staff, a walkway has been added from the back entry of the hotel

down to the extant alley to better accommodate foot traffic to the businesses there. A lattice with

climbing plants or a low wall would be advisable between the parking lot and the alley—with the

grade change, it is likely that car headlights will shine at eye level or close to it on anyone sitting at

the tables set up in the alley way; some sort of structure might help a bit with car noise as well.

Landscaping requirements in the –DD guidelines would recommend the following:

 The parking buffer along the property line needs to be 5 feet to the back of curb. (DD

requirement)

 A minimum of three street trees will need to be located along the Lady Street Parking lot area

(DD requirement)

 A continuous hedge or brick screen wall will need to be provided within this buffer area. This

will need to be detailed on the landscaping plan.

 An additional 2’ on the south property line near Lady Street should be provided to allow for the

existing walkway area to accommodate pedestrians.

Also, grading issues were raised by the DDRC during the preliminary review, specifically how the

parking lot and the back of the hotel would be treated and what the side elevations would look like

when graded. Staff has not received any elevations as yet which reflect a grading plan aside from the

south elevation (Gervais Street); presumably the applicants are still working on this.

The DDRC also wants the developers to significantly reduce the amount of EIFS planned for the Lady Street facade.

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What is EIFS? I have no problem with the parking lot behind the hotel at this point. If there is ever a need, the parking lot can be developed at a later date and parking shifted to another location. As long there is an attractive, defined barrier between the surface lot and the Lady Street sidewalk I'm good.

Edited by CorgiMatt
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