COLUMBIA, S.C. — Columbia residents will soon say goodbye to a historic icon: the Capital City Stadium. The developer confirms demolition will begin in April after years of delays due to the pandemic.
After nearly 10 years of debate and discussion, the stadium was sold for $1.6 million to Weddle Real Estate Investments in 2019.
City Councilman Will Brennan has fond memories of the 90-year-old park, but he said it's time to go out with the old and in with the new.
“From birthday parties at the Columbia Mets games to the Bombers to the Blowfish, wood bat league in the summers,” said Brennan. "It's tough to swallow, but we're looking forward to what it can become."
The stadium will be turned into a mixed-use complex called "The Ballpark," which will feature 310 apartments and 20,000 square feet of retail space.
The developer hinted some of the retailers possibly coming in could include major coffee and sandwich chain.
City Councilmember Joe Taylor also grew up in Columbia and calls the abandoned baseball stadium an eyesore.
“This will clean that area up," Taylor said. "I think it will increase the value of homes in that area, and I think it's gonna be a very positive thing. It's just a shame it took 10 years to get it permitted to get it done.”
The deal with the city states the developer is required to contribute $250,000 for a greenway extension from Olympia Park to the new development. Brennan said he's most excited about this feature.
“You know, connecting citizens to our greenway, which will run through here all the way down to the Congaree River and eventually all the way to the zoo and further out," said Brennan.
The developer is also investing $8 million in infrastructure improvements that will fix flooding issues and other structural damage.
Though the stadium may be gone soon, Brennan said it will never be forgotten.
“The hope that its legacy can go forward with some sort of mention and memory in the new development is important.”
Construction of the development is expected to start in 2023 and be done by summer 2024, if everything goes according to plan.
The developer is paying Historic Columbia $60,000 as well. Historic Columbia will capture the parks history in a documentary that's being produced with a local filmmaker. The release date has yet to be announced.