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Today's "The State" has an article about Columbia Common, the baseball stadium, and a video, well worth watching. Also, despite no one knowing which retailers have signed leases, there are 25 restaurants on board, all of which will be new to SC and/or Cola.

 

www.thestate.com

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^I'm not sure what you mean by that. In terms of scale and context, it will be more comparable to Birkdale. It's not what you want to to look like at this point, it's what the developer is going to bu

That's good news! Probably see more construction this year. I accepted a job in Charlotte so i won't see Columbia grow anymore Did a last check on developments, looks like a park might be added! 

I live in a neighborhood with a large senior housing population. It's awesome. Because they don't work, they keep an eye on things during the day, and they're always out walking around and talking to

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For nearly 200 years, the state asylum on Bull Street was the centerpiece of care for the mentally ill in South Carolina. Now, in what is considered the biggest and most important land deal in modern Columbia history, the 165-acre campus is to be transformed into what boosters claim will be an economic behemoth.

It is a billed as a job creator of the first degree, equivalent to Boeing or BMW, with thousands of homes, stores and offices adding a new heart to the city center, alive with people living, working and playing.

Already, a new $37 million baseball stadium is rising from the site’s center. And developers are promising dozens of new stores and hundreds of homes.

 

http://www.thestate.com/2015/02/21/4002813/bull-street-the-center-of-a-new.html

Edited by growingup15
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I don't like the comparison to BMW and Boeing. If we compare them, then we have to say Charleston has on the drawing board another Boeing in its master plan to develop the north end of the peninsula in the city limits with lots of homes, retail, office space, etc.  

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I guess the article did go a bit far in that comparison, as most jobs generated would certainly not be high paying ones, and many in construction will be temporary. However, it has got to be a good thing for Cola's downtown.


I don't like the comparison to BMW and Boeing. If we compare them, then we have to say Charleston has on the drawing board another Boeing in its master plan to develop the north end of the peninsula in the city limits with lots of homes, retail, office space, etc.  

Speaking of Charleston, I'm excited about its plans for the Lockwood Dr Extension area (Horizon Project). I used to work there for many years, and it will be great to get rid of all those surface lots.

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It will be very interesting to see this unfold.   If anyone can pull it off, it is Hughes.  It surprises me that restaurants and retailers are so interested in this site, particularly considering they will be fronting 'new' interior streets, not established roads with high traffic counts.  I would expect there would have to be a true 'tipping point' amount of restaurant/retailers to create a true destination.   

 

If this comes off as planned, I have to wonder about the long-term impact to 5 points and the Vista, not to mention Main Street, which is just finding it's sea legs. How many new restaurants can the area support without the older ones suffering?  I guess the growing USC population will help keep 5 points and the Vista going, but hopefully no area 'drys up' because of the competition.  

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I think the increased grouping of businesses and restaurants in downtown will shift some traffic away from Columbiana, Northeast, and Sandhills. 5 Points will be supported by USC and nearby neighborhoods and the Vista is building its own market with all of the new apartments (and West Columbia/Cayce). I think there is an underserved market in downtown and a swing district between Harden and the Forest Drive strip. They have been shopping in Northeast and Columbiana, but would probably be persuaded to shop in Columbia Common if the store selection was compelling enough. 

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It really sounds as though Hughes will do a very good job with this project. At one time, I believed this would be another Village at Sandhill, which is really a suburban style development with nothing particularly original in it. There are tons of VAS style developments in cities around the country. However, I believe this project will be many miles better, as it will preserve some structures of historical significance, bring in stores and restaurants unlike all the plastic, "Anywhereville USA" variety, and will feature baseball and concerts. It can be easily accessed from anywhere in the Midlands, and will have some green spaces. I am looking forward to the first round of retail announcements. I'm drinking the Columbia Common kool-aid!     

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I agree with colasc, I believe Columbia Common will be a quality, well done development with a lot to offer. 

 

While many people feel like this will just take away from other parts of the city, I completely disagree and think all districts will thrive and benefit from this.  The Vista isn't taking away from 5 Points or Main Street or Devine Street, they are all unique, growing and improving.  Columbia Common will also be unique with a major attraction in the baseball stadium and the added historical factor.  The North Columbia area is underserved and established neighborhoods like Robert Mills, Cottontown, Elmwood, Earlwood and Eau Claire are nearby and will support this along with the rest of the surrounding area. 

 

I hear a lot of people talk about how it's too far from the Vista, Main Street ,and even Five Points and while it is not in the heart of the action right now, it's downtown.  Only 1 mile (20 minute walk) from the Columbia Museum of Art in the center of Main Street, less than a mile to Finlay Park, 1 mile to Five Points, and 1.5 miles to the Heart of the Vista.  Not a leisurely stroll but walkable, definitely bikeable.  The city now needs to step up and connect these areas better.  The trolleys should be brought back once the stadium opens, carrying people between the 4 areas, from CC down Main Street, Lady and Gervais Streets in the Vista, then into 5 Points and back.  Designate certain roads into bike and pedestrian corridors:  Pickens Street from USC to CC and Richland or Laurel Street from Finaly Park and the Vista to CC.  Beautification projects along major connecting roadways will promote growth and help tie it all together.  Gervais between Main and Harden is already seeing some major developments including the new USC Law School, the renovations and addition to what is now the Clarion Hotel, and the proposed housing complex at Gervais and Harden.  Bull Street and Harden Street are well traveled corridors with pontential for growth further connecting it all.

 

Well enough rambling.  I think this is going to make downtown's fabric stronger.  Looking forward to seeing it all come together. 

Edited by BrasilnSC
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I hate to kill the enthusiasm, but the numbers are just not there. Charlotte has run into huge issues selling the streetcar to taxpayers and their budget is over 15 times that of Columbia. Charlotte is also heavily concentrated in downtown and has bus routes with enough traffic to justify the added capacity of a streetcar. In order to successfully build a streetcar in any city, you need half funded by the government through TIGER or other grants. They look at traffic patterns and the potential for growth along the intended path. Columbia would much better off getting no fare trolley buses, like the Gold Line in Charlotte, to move people between the different neighborhoods. Of course the Gold Line was largely funded by Bank of America and Wells Fargo, so that may not even be feasible without taking away from COMET. Columbia should definitely find ways to connect the neighborhoods, but it will need to be something much smaller in scale than a streetcar.

Edited by carolinagarnet
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The city needs to seriously be considering building a downtown streetcar line right about now.

street car or trolley system. but I really think LRT would work in Columbia. a line from Columbia to like Newberry. or at least up 26. something from downtown that connects the buses and stuff. LRT to Trolley.

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Most of the jobs in Columbia are not downtown and most people do not live along that route. I think that might be good very long term, but in the mean time the density does not seem to be there. If, however, Columbia starts to catch fire, the city could help direct growth by exploring such a line. Development now tends to follow mass transit. I think it's best to spend resources on growing the inner core, but a commuter line (not light rail, heavy rail) may make sense in 20-30 years.

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I'm hoping April will bring the release of tenant names.I'm pretty excited to see what new dining and retail options we'll have downtown.

i hopes we get 1 maybe 2 anchor stores in Downtown. like we need a Target kinda like Metropolitan in Charlotte or maybe a Walmart with an Apple store. or a Best buy IDK something.

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i hopes we get 1 maybe 2 anchor stores in Downtown. like we need a Target kinda like Metropolitan in Charlotte or maybe a Walmart with an Apple store. or a Best buy IDK something.

We will probably get one or two anchor, big box stores, but I am holding out hope the majority of retail will be unique to the area. It is my understanding Hughes has leases for many such businesses which currently have no presence in the city and some with no presence in the state.

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We will probably get one or two anchor, big box stores, but I am holding out hope the majority of retail will be unique to the area. It is my understanding Hughes has leases for many such businesses which currently have no presence in the city and some with no presence in the state.

Yeah thats gonna be amazing.

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I just took a trip to Charlotte Last night to visit some family and i took a little tour through Uptown because its been a few years since ive been to this great city and OMG. South End just coming up to Uptown has developed so much and when i finally made it into Uptown the lights the sounds Digital screen everywhere. the Streets packed with people theirs so many restaurants and Bars and clubs lining all through Uptown its like one Giant Entertainment District. My wonders when we get Columbia Commons if 2 things are going to happen. Are we getting a Epicentre style Mall in the Commons. http://epicentrenc.com/ or more along the line of Metropolitan in Charlotte.

 

Second thing im wondering if not in the Commons. maybe in the Innovista area. and How can the City Fuse Columbia Commons with Main St to the Vista, Innovista and Five points to make Downtown One Big Entertainment District. a place of Live Work Play. I wonder how all this is going to play out over the next 5- 10 years.

 

Also soon as I went into Charlotte I saw buses and Trains everywhere. which brings a smile to may face at the same time Wonder if Columbia will ever start to grow like Charlotte did. Will Columbia Commons bring that extra uff we need to get a massive growth from out of no where of businesses Transportation.

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I think shuttles, attractively marked crossings at intersections, and enticing landscaping along sidewalks will all come together to tie things together from Columbia Common to the river and from the North Main area to Rosewood Drive basically. But speaking of buses (no commuter trains here - yet), every Sunday morning, including this morning on the way out to breakfast and back, several buses crossed our path in several areas of downtown. On a couple of major thoroughfares, there were two buses up ahead and one behind us. I made mention of how it feels to see that on a Sunday morning no less, and how it helps give you the feeling that your city is a true city and not a backwater hell hole. For the record, an 81-year-old friend of ours moved to Charlotte last year to be closer to her daughter. She is still able to drive back to Columbia to visit, and on her last visit she said she couldn't believe all the construction going on here. Also for the record, I'm not comparing Columbia to Charlotte. I'm just saying. 

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I used to live in Charlotte and I agree, it's really taken off in the past couple of years. There are four new buildings proposed for Uptown (one very close to development I believe) that will add a lot of density to the skyline. Charlotte did a great job of focusing development on Tryon with the idea that it would spill over onto other streets over time. I am still somewhat concerned that Columbia Common may steal momentum from the Vista, Innovista, and Main Street, but it appears there is enough development potential for now anyway. 

 

I think Columbia Commons will be more similar to Metropolitan, albeit with less height. Epicentre is great for tourists and suburbanites, but was not very popular with the Uptown/South End crowd when I lived there a few years ago (note: I lived in Uptown). Metropolitan in a sense is a much more popular destination because of Trader Joe's and Target. That said, I would like something that pays more attention to the surroundings. Both Metropolitan and Epicentre feel like they were dropped onto their respective sites without any sense of the adjoining parcels. 

 

The second question is an interesting one: how do you connect neighborhoods that are very different in character and not particularly close? I think the traditional answer would be to focus on streets that connect them (i.e. Main, Elmwood, Assembly, etc.). While that component is critically important, the more interesting option is linking the neighborhoods together by connecting the various greenways. Right now there are three that will be built/expanded in downtown using penny tax dollars: the Lincoln Tunnel Greenway (Finlay Park-Elmwood Cemetery-North Main), the Smith/Rocky Branch B Greenway (Monticello/I-20-Earlewood-Palmetto Health Richland), and the Smith/Rocky Branch C Greenway (River-Olympia-USC-Five Points). There was discussion of connecting the greenways by building a path through downtown, to include the Robert Mills district and Columbia Commons. This would be very expensive and probably take decades, but it is the best opportunity in my estimation. 

 

http://www.richlandpenny.com/project-plan/project-map/

Edited by carolinagarnet
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The start of the 2016 minor league baseball season is less than a year away, but which team will be playing in Columbia has not been decided.

Columbia team owner Jason Freier can see the large hole at the site of the Spirit Communications Park in the Bull Street development, where water-pipe work is being done and a foundation is being laid for the $37-million ballpark. He anticipates it will be another two to three weeks before the stadium, which he hopes to keep on budget and on time, will start to vertically rise from the ground.

http://www.thestate.com/sports/mlb/article19337829.html

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