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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The Bull Street development deal reached between the City of Columbia and an Upstate developer that attracted heated debate over the summer now has an oversight committee.

The seven member group, stipulated in the agreement, met for the first time Monday.

"This is a major project, and that's why I wanted to make sure that we had folks that are committed, in it for the long haul, and I think we've got a really sound group of folks that are ready to do that," said Commission Chairman Brian DeQuincy Newman.

Newman is optimistic about not just the future of the Bull Street project, but Newman, who also serves on Columbia's City Council is positive about the members on the commission.

"You saw how sound of a group it is," Newman said after the commission's meeting. "A variety of different backgrounds, so again, I think we have a number of aspects of people's concerns that are covered here just from the composition of our committee."

The Commissionincludes a former retail developer, who is expected to work closely with Hughes as he looks to attract national retail chains to the campus.

The committee will provide oversight on much of the project.

During the meeting, committee member John Dozier, who said he lives near the Bull Street campus near the intersection of Calhoun and Henderson Streets, said one question sure to be asked is the source for the $67 million project.

"So I assume at some point we will start to have discussion on how the funding for the project will happen," Dozier said.

Another aspect of the plans are the potential of housing a baseball team and stadium on the property, something the Columbia City Council voted to set aside up to $47,000 thousand to study.

"Once we receive that information, we're going to look to gather community input as well," said Newman.

Though plans to begin an archaeological dig at the Bull Street facility haven't started, Newman said developer Bob Hughes has been receptive to his efforts to communicate concerns of his constituents.

"We've encouraged him to move as quickly as he can," Newman said of Hughes, "but at the same time, not to rush anything."

The commission is still looking for someone to head the feasibility study on the baseball team and stadium, Newman said.

He said they expect to have a consultant in place in the the next 30 - 45 days.

There has been no timeline set for when the full project is expected to begin.

The committee is expected to meet again early next month.

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