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Palmetto Compress Hits Real Estate Market

8:11 PM, Aug 28, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- One of Columbia's most recognizable structures is up for sale, and may soon have a new owner.

The Palmetto Compress is now being marketed to real estate developers from around the country, and many of them are said to have different ideas each for the structure.

The building sits at the intersection of Blossom and Pulaski Street, near the University of South Carolina's Greek Village.

"Some developers just get it, understand the historic preservation thing, come in here and look and say this is the most amazing place ever," said Fred Delk, Executive Director of the Columbia Development Corporation, the Columbia subsidiary that owns the Compress.

The City of Columbia decided to purchase the warehouse in April after it had been used, in recent years, as a storage warehouse.

In a controversial vote that drew heated debate between council members at the time, Columbia City Council decided to allocate $7 million from a city employee health-care fun toward purchasing and improving the structure for any potential buyer. 

The Development Corporation then was sold the building for $5.65 million.

"We have an appraisal for about $6 million for the building," Delk said. "That price is about right for property in this part of the city. It's a very active, growing part of the city related mostly to the university, the Vista and the river."

During a tour of the 95-year-old building given to News19, Delk said that any buyer would also acquire a number of tools kept in the basement that were once used for moving and weighing cotton.

"A developer who is interested in historic preservation will come in here, utilize a number of historic preservation tax credits and other financing mechanisms to make something work here," said Delk.

Columbia is among the state's most populous and historic cities, and Delk said he believes that may be an added bonus to any sale.

"Good city's have found ways to reuse their old buildings and create creative, interesting spaces out of them," Delk said.

About 25 tours have been given to developers, Delk said, and each that is interested in a purchase will have until Sept. 18 to submit proposals to the Columbia Development Corporation.

After submission, there will be a review conducted by them and the City. 

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