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Housing Authority wants public input on Allen Benedict Court property

Columbia Housing Authority Interim Executive Director Ivory Mathews said they are on track to demolish Allen Benedict Court by the first quarter of the year.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A big question since the deadly gas leak that took the lives of two men, Derrick Roper and Calvin Witherspoon Jr., is what will happen to the property.

"Our goal is to have those units completely demolished by the first quarter of this year," Columbia Housing Authority Interim Executive Director Ivory Mathews said.

RELATED: Columbia Housing Authority to demolish Allen-Benedict Court this year

Mathews officially announced what will be done with the Allen Benedict Court property at their most recent board meeting.

RELATED: Deaths at Allen Benedict Court: One Year Later

The complex has remained empty since the deadly gas leak in January 2019. Mathews said environmental testing is currently being done at the abandoned location and hopes to have those results by the end of January. The final cost will come after the environmental testing is completed, but either way she said they have the funds to knock it down.

RELATED: Allen Benedict Court lawsuits remain tied in the court system

"We've already checked off a number of boxes that are requirements that we have to undergo to meet that goal, and so we are excited about the fact we are on course to have heavy equipment out there soon," Mathews said.

The plans for what is to come is still yet to be determined.

"After demolition, we will begin the second phase, which is procuring a partner general contractor or development partner to help us develop what the community likes to see on that site."

The plan moving forward, Mathews said is to involve the community and ask them for their input for what the property will be.

RELATED: Former city council member asks AG to revisit Allen Benedict Court investigation

"Our development strategy is just really taking a look at our current portfolio, to address any differed capitol needs, to really enhance where our families call home, and to also look at areas where we have vacant property at to look at an opportunity to look at affordable housing units," Matthews said.

Mathews said they will make it public when they are in the next phase before deciding what they will develop on the property.