COLUMBIA, S.C. — While some developers are looking to put more student housing in Columbia, one group hopes to bring an upscale young professional approach to the Vista.
Todd Daily has lived just off Huger Street for the past two years. He said since moving in, the area has been continually growing, with a new hotel and apartment complexes popping up in the neighborhood.
"There has been a new development, from student housing to lower-end hotels here in the city and then other business entities on both sides of the river," he said.
After a Thursday Columbia Planning Commission meeting, that trend seems to continue. Developers received a stamp of approval from the commission for a 250-unit market-rate apartment complex.
Ryan Solo is the president of development for Silver Hills, the company proposing this change. He presented these rendings to the commission on Thursday.
He said the complex "will have a really nice pool courtyard, clubhouse. Everything in terms of parking for the residents will be in a parking garage, so there won't be any impact on the adjacent neighborhood for parking purposes."
In an area with a hotel and a student housing complex in the works, Solo said this project aims to attract older residents and young professionals.
"There's been a lot of student housing developed in this area, and not really much in the way of multi-family, traditional rental projects. That's what we're offering here," he said.
The project received support from the planning commission, receiving unanimous approval. According to District IV Councilman Peter Brown, it follows a trend throughout the city to bring in more residents and provide options for people to live downtown.
"We're putting together a business-friendly, a zoning-friendly, a welcoming atmosphere in Columbia," he said. "We want people to come here, and we want to work with them. We want to help them. 'collaboration' is the word of 2023 in the Midlands."
Daily said he's excited about the prospect of higher-quality housing in the Vista and hopes the development continues.
"Being able to walk to restaurants, even stores from a retail standpoint, and other establishments would be great, wouldn't have to be national brands," he said. "I think the city needs to continue to encourage people to make an investment business-wise."
The site's next step is to go before the Design Development Review Commission for another approval. That is scheduled for Sept. 21.