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New owner takes over Babcock Building at BullStreet

208 apartments are planned for the historic building on the former Department of Mental Health property.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Virginia based historic renovation specialist Clachan Properties has taken ownership of the historic Babcock Building in Columbia's BullStreet District. The Babcock Building was formerly known as the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum and is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Clachan plans to turn the 254,022 square foot building into a 208 unit apartment building. It will feature one, two and three bedroom units and include a pool, dog park, and exercise facility.

"They have an unbelievable amount of experience doing historic renovation projects," says Chandler Cox, project manager for Hughes Development Corporation. "Within their firms and all of the experience with their partners, they have done more than 50 of these projects across the Southeast and they have the know how to bring the Babcock Building back to life and we are really excited to have them."

Developers say the renovations will be difficult considering the building was completed in 1885 and has been abandoned since 1996. The building saw minor repairs and a repainting of the cupola in 1994.

According to a news release, the last significant step to the renovation is approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Clachan expects to complete the renovations by late 2022.