Breaking News
More () »

The Bull Street development is moving right along

'Things are moving faster than the public thinks,' says Councilman Howard Duvall during the Bull Street Commission meeting.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Bull Street project is making headway in the 20 year revitalization project.

 Hughes Development updated the Bull Street Commission Monday on their progress, which is coming along faster than people think.

"It has to be a place that is authentically Columbia and authentically it's own," said president of Hughes Development, Robert Hughes.

The BullStreet Development is the reworking of over 200 acres of property in downtown Columbia where the old state mental health hospital used to sit. 

RELATED: What's next for the BullStreet District?

During the meeting, Hughes highlighted the progress of the main projects they are currently working on. He says the REI Co-Op store is their biggest right now, adding that REI will come in before the end of the year to give their own personal design to the store.

RELATED: REI Co-Op to open in Columbia’s BullStreet District, bringing 45 news jobs

At the center of the district lies the Smith Branch Creek public park. It will feature over over 2,000 feet of streams along with walking trails, a dog park, picnic shelters, a two acre pond and more. 

Councilman Howard Duvall says this is his favorite part of the project so far.

"I'm very excited about the day lighting of smith branch in the 20 acre park. I think that's going to be a jewel in the park system for Columbia... I think that's going to be an amenity that the whole city will enjoy," he said. 

Hughes added that they were able to preserve a majority of trees within the park, something that will add to a great pedestrian experience.

The senior living apartments are also nearing completion. Last week, they added all of the windows and are starting to put in balconies. They hope to finish this by the end of this year so people can start moving in at the beginning of the new year.

Dominion Energy will also house a new sub-station within the district. 

One topic that many are talking about is the Babcock Building, which was the main asylum for the former South Carolina Mental Health Hospital. Final approvals for the site are in the works. Hughes says they hope to start the project very soon with a budget of $40 to $42 million.

A retail district will also be located near the baseball park. This will include close to 500 multi-family housing units. There is no word yet on specific businesses that will be added to the area, but Hughes says individual companies will be responsible for announcing their openings.

One thing that the group focused on was making it known that the area will be an "enhanced pedestrian experience." Wide sidewalks and shaded trees will add to what they call a walking community.

Hughes wanted to add that even though this project is expected to take up to 20 years, they will not rush things.

"We will never sacrifice quality for time," he says.

Before You Leave, Check This Out