With the current lease set to expire, Greyhound officials will be looking to move the bus depot to a new location. North Main residents in Columbia held a forum to discuss prospects of moving it there.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The Greyhound bus depot in downtown Columbia will be moving.
The station has sat at the corner of Gervais and Laurens Streets since 1992, said Lanesha Gipson a spokesperson for Greyhound.
That location is now up for sale with a $2.75 million price tag, said James Spangler of Fuzion Business and Real Estate Solutions.
Because the land is being sold, the Greyhound bus depot must move by the time the lease is up in July, and Greyhound is eyeing a number of locations throughout the Columbia area, including the North Main Street area
People who live in that community held a forum Monday voicing their opposition to the bus depot calling that neighborhood home.
With Greyhound looking for a new location to park their buses, residents in North Columbia are saying no to reports those buses may be coming to their back yards.
Gipson said more than one location in the North Main area is being looked at, but did not say exactly where those locations are.
"We feel that it's going to make a big impact on the traffic," said Karen Walker, who attended the forum with her husband, Freddie, and 10-year-old son Kaleb. "We feel like the crime rate will probably go up, and we just don't feel that it's safe for our children."
The Walker family has called North Columbia home for more than 20 years. They were joined by elected county officials and members of the state legislature in their opposition to the move.
Many said the current Greyhound location is a drop off point for prisoners getting released.
Because the lease with property owners ends in July, Greyhound must pick a new location fast.
"Our new facility - we'd like to have easy access to interstates," Gipson said in a phone interview Monday. "We're looking for locations that are going to best serve our community and our customers."
Also among the list of what Gipson said the company is looking for in a new location is a central location to multiple neighborhoods, but Rep. Joe McEachern, D-Richland County, was not sold.
"Where it was downtown on Gervais Street, that was the perfect location," McEachern said.
Columbia City Councilman Sam Davis, whose council district encompasses much of the north Main street area said the location is not good for business growth.
"That is something they're not going to be comfortable with," Davis said of the businesses.
Officials said they were hoping to meet with officials from Greyhound within the next ten days, and hoped to have a complete resolution to the issue within the next 20 days.
Gipson said those currently employed at the current facility should keep their jobs when the company moves and hopes to be in that new location by July.