Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The old Curtis-Wright hangar at Owens Field in Columbia may be getting new life.
A Columbia group has agreed to purchase the hangar for $176,000 plus an additional $86,000 asbestos abatement fee, totaling $272,000.
They are planning on reconditioning the hangar, and turning it into an event space.
"We did consider multiple uses for the building and finally came to the restaurant, museum, and event space becayse we want to give the building back to the public," said Scott Linnaberry with CW Hangar Partners, the group that purchased the hangar.
The group has 180 days from the date of purchase to conduct research into what immediate improvements need to be made to the structure itself and the land it sits on before the deal becomes final.
They have an additional 180 days after that, if need be, to allow more time for research.
"We've partnered with the Richland County Conservation Commission, who's awarded us a $20,000 grant to really get started on some of the design and development of our plan," said Linaberry. "We are currently seeking other grants in the process."
The literal centerpiece of their vision is a World War II-era B-25 bomber that sits a few hangars down. It's currently owned by one of Linaberry's associates in the CW Hangar Partners venture.
Linaberry said they plan to put the bomber in the hangar they will be converting into an event space, and building everything around it.
All told, fixing the windows, an old foundation and a leaky rood will cost $4.75 million. the group is currently searching for corporate partners to fund the full cost of the project.
But Linaberry still felt that was a bargain.
"The opportunity for tax credits - the Bailey Bill, the Abandoned Buildings Act for South Carolina - all of those things really return about 55 percent," Linaberry said referring to the possible tax-credits available by applying with the state.
Across the street from the hangar at a skatepark inside Owens Field Park, Craig Anderson, a junior at USC, seconded the efforts to bring a restaurant to the area.
He said he and his friends often get hungry after skating, and end up having to drive about 10 minutes into Columbia's Five-Points area to get food.
They were all familiar with the park and the area, and said they had been using the park for an amount of time ranging from 2-5 years between them.
"It's a great spot to come, it's a great berak from school, and it would be great if they had more events out here than just down down."
Linnaberry said with a full investment, they would expect to be up and running for business by 2015.