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Historic West Columbia manufacturing building will soon become 'Colite City'

The new vision aims to provide young entrepreneurs the space to create their businesses in the heart of South Carolina.

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — A new development project aims to bring new life to a historic building in West Columbia. 

The former home of the Colonial-Hites Manufacturing Plant has been vacant for years. But now there are plans to take that former site and transform it into what its new developers call, "Colite City." That's the vision of the real estate development company Jams & Stark

"The project is a historical renovation, of course, they were historically an entrepreneur campus going back to the 50s and 60s," the company's director of development, Wade Caughman, said. "Our kind of vision is if it could be done then, in the 1950s-1960s, it can be done again." 

Caughman said young entrepreneurs, start-ups, and tech companies have the potential to make Columbia and surrounding areas like West Columbia "something special."

He added that this large lot will have to be developed in phases as the City of West Columbia has approved a building permit for roof and basement renovations on the 228 North Parsons Street side. 

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"Is the right end side with the silos," he said. "If you go over there, the big warehouse, that size is 150,000 square feet." 

Caughman said they want to bring in entrepreneurs along with successful businesses that are willing to help the newer ones grow, making it a massive change to the space.

"We're excited to have seen the initial renderings for the Colite development in the heart of West Columbia," West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles said. "They look like they will tie in very well with the city's overall redevelopment plans. We're particularly excited to see this level of potential investments in our city's center."

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It's also an exciting time for neighbors to the development like Robert Baggett.

"Anything would be an improvement," Baggett said. "I look forward to seeing an improvement." 

Caughman added the goal is for the first section to be completed in 10-11 months with the potential of it taking 18 months in total. 

More information on the project can be found on the project's website, ColiteCity.com

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