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Richland Renaissance plan brought back by county council

A revised, scaled-down version of the plan has been approved by the county council.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Richland County Council has approved a revised version of the Richland Renaissance Project, a plan to change out several key government offices in the area. 

The original Renaissance project was proposed in 2017, and included about $144 million in spending. The original plan would have moved county offices from 2020 Hampton Street to the Columbia Place Mall on Two Notch Road. The Hampton Street property would have been demolished, and a new Richland County Courthouse and Judicial Center would be built there.

But that plan was put on hold in May of 2018, after the firing of former Richland County Administrator Gerald Seals, who'd championed the idea.

The county, however, had already purchased some of the property for the more ambitious proposal, including at the Columbia Place Mall on Two Notch Road, leaving them with a situation about what to do with the new acquisitions. 

That led council to ask their staff on February 19 to come up with a new plan. The new version supposed to give the public more input as the plan moves along, including a 

The new plan includes three major components:

  • County Facilities: The council staff is supposed to work with the public to figure out how best to use the Columbia Place Mall, the former Havertys and Old Antique Mall properties, and provide options for the future of the Judicial Center and the current Administration Building at 2020 Hampton St. No final decision has been made on where County and state agency offices will be located.
  • Southeast Richland Centers: The plan for the area includes opening a County services outpost and establishing a public-private partnership to bring a much-needed critical care medical facility to this part of the County. In addition, a plan to highlight the County’s history will be developed. While the term “historic trail” has been used, there is no final determination as to whether this component will be a physical asset.
  • Revivify Richland: A revitalization strategy to improve the County’s livability and appearance through a comprehensive blight remediation plan, the installation of gateway signage and beautification efforts.

The county says it has not decided yet how the citizen committee with be structured or picked.