COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Babcock building at the BullStreet District is making progress in its transformation from an 1800's mental hospital to 21st-century luxury apartments.
Through multiple fires and the COVID19 pandemic, it is still set to take in residents in early 2022.
“The vision is becoming a reality," says Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin who with Clachan Properties led a tour of the Babcock building Friday to show how the renovations and construction are coming along.
“People are emotionally bound to this facility there’s no place in this city, in this country like the BullStreet campus," the mayor says.
The building has made much progress since a fire consumed the main structure back in September, “Many began to wonder if this viable 21st-century vision that we had for this campus was in doubt," the mayor says, "and I think it’s quite clear that it has never been in doubt.”
“We’re moving through sort of section at a time," Walter Parks, architect for the project tells News19, "the last piece that’s going to happen is the main portion behind us.”
Parks says preserving the character of the building is one of his top priorities, “I love this building. I’ve always loved this building. It has a wonderful character to it the walls are heavy and it has integrity and strength and its resilient. Resilience is proven out by what’s happening today.”
“It’s not that far in the future… the future is now here," the Mayor says.
They hope to have residents begin moving in the Spring of 2022. The rest of the project will be completed in phases and more residents will move in as more of the building is complete. They are on month 6 of the 30-month project.