Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The University of South Carolina has voted to relocate its medical school campus.
In a statement, Bob Hughes, president and CEO of Hughes Development said, "Hughes Development Corporation is donating 16 acres of land in the Bull Street development to the University of South Carolina for its medical school campus because it simply is the right thing to do. This action creates numerous new and expanded opportunities for all of Columbia.
It creates a win-win-win for the University, City of Columbia and Palmetto Health, while serving as a major economic catalyst.
Dr. Pastides has stressed that South Carolina’s health needs are profound, and the University’s vision is to equip its students to meet those needs. The University’s goals will benefit the entire state and we are excited to play a small part in their plan.
Having this medical education and health sciences cluster in the heart of downtown will also have a positive impact on the City. It will spur life science, medical office, residential, restaurant and other development both sooner and in much bigger scale than if this land had remained a DMH facility or even if the property had been developed conventionally.
We have been fortunate to be a strategic partner of the Greenville Health System for over 40 years and have seen the value added to a community by concentrated medical uses and the extra boost provided by a medical school complex. We are excited and happy to begin such a relationship here.
Our experience has been that such a project radiates outward to parts of the City where jobs and services, especially in health care, are needed. This project will create opportunities and secure this area’s economic strength for a very long time.
When the University approached us about a medical education and health sciences cluster on Bull Street, we were in the process of buying an additional 16 acres from the Department of Mental Health that originally were to be kept by DMH for its own facilities. The land was not part of our original purchase contract with DMH for 165 acres and was not required in the Development Agreement with the City of Columbia for that reason.
After further discussions with University officials, it was determined that this specific 16-acre parcel is not the best configuration for the envisioned cluster, so we agreed to carve out 16 perfectly configured acres that could be donated for the University’s use. This is purely a gift to the University, so there is absolutely no cost to the University for the land, and no City money will be spent on the site.
The offset in land changes the use on the 16-acre parcel from a low density, state owned area to an energetic job creator, which will be a significant catalyst to both our development and the local economy. We are thrilled to make this gift to the
University and are excited to see the impact it is going to have for years to come.”