Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Pretty soon more than a thousand students at USC will have new housing available to them on Main and Pendleton Streets in Columbia.
In a meeting with the Columbia Design/ Development Commission Thursday, two developers got approval from the city to build student residential facilities.
Another developers plan is to tear down the old Palmetto Compress building to build student housing but as of now the plan is on hold.
The building is being targeted for preservation or restoration because many feel it's a local landmark with strong ties to the African American community.
The city's efforts to revitalize Main street will get a boost with more than 800 students being able to live downtown at the Hub at Palmetto inside the old SCANA building.
The Chicago developer wanted to give that building a new look and proposed to have a colorful exterior... After some back and forth with the design board, the developer decided to settle with a simple white exterior paint.
"There were 1,100 people in that building four years ago when it was an office building. Those people are gone and were only here for 8 or 9 hours, these people, these students will be here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and this will create enormous energy on the street," said Joseph Antunovich.
The other development called "Pulaski Square" is less than five miles from downtown Columbia on the corners of Pendleton and Pulaski Streets. The land is also across from the old Palmetto compress building.
The Charleston Developers plan to house about 250 students and the property will have a gym, pool and other unique areas to accommodate students.
Both think this will add to making Columbia a great place to live work and play.
"Our property manager is with the second largest student housing manager in the country and this is going to be their first project in South Carolina, they have over 50,000 beds under management and it is a testament to our location and the school that they wanted to be a part of our project so we are thrilled about that as well," said Michael Reardon.
As for the proposed student housing that would call for the demolition of the historic Palmetto Compress Building, before the developers were able to get up and present, a city official said that a lawsuit was filed against the board, developer and land owner and perhaps it has to do with what we mentioned earlier, possibly restoring or preserving the site as a local landmark. After making that statement all parties involved felt that it was best to table the presentation until further notice.
We will continue to follow the state of the Palmetto Compress Building and give you more information when it becomes available.