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New shops coming to Village at Sandhill

NAI Columbia tells News19 the Village is at 90% occupancy.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — At Village at Sandhill, shoppers are finding fewer empty storefronts and more local businesses to support. 

Shardae Lane opened Status Boutique last September and Status Femme Boutique in February

“Business has been really, really good," Lane said. "We’ve been received well by the neighborhood. The walk-by traffic is really good, we’re in a great area."  

Lane described the Village as the "perfect area" to open her businesses. 

"A lot of businesses had closed down over here. So, we were thinking about the market and if we would be able to capture that untapped potential out here," Lane said. 

Lane joins a growing list of businesses coming to the area. 

According to Broker Bobby Balboni with NAI Columbia, which represents most of the space, three new tenants have signed leases. Those include KPot, a Korean Barbeque franchise, Cato Fashions, and a donut shop. Balboni expects three more businesses to sign on soon but said it's too early to announce them. 

“We’re about to get to 90% occupancy, which is the rule of thumb for a good-performing property," Balboni said. 

Balboni said that the colorful outdoor mall struggled to attract tenants for years due to bankruptcy and the pandemic, which accelerated the closure of stores. 

He attributes the success to attracting local businesses, instead of corporate, big-box retailers. 

"Small businesses are so much more resilient, Balboni said. "When stuff hits the fan, that’s their livelihood, so they will do anything they can to make it work." 

Some other locally owned spots that have opened in the last year include Dessert & Tea Bubble Tea Café, Sub Station II, The Knotty Spot Salon, Status Boutique, Natural Wigs, Gentz Barber Shop, Touba Fashion, Branded Wardrobe Collection, Poke Brothers, and Luxe Beauty Supply.

Longtime tenants like Red Bowl Asian Bistro, which has been in business since 2006, are excited about the growth. 

“During COVID, I saw a lot of businesses close down. Now many businesses are moving in, and I like that," said Manager Jay Yang. 

“I want it full because you get the opportunity to tap into someone else's audience and then we all kind of piggyback off of each other," said Lane.

Balboni added they'll continue working to fill the remaining ten percent of space currently vacant. 

“No one wants a project that big to fail, especially in their backyard and I think we’re out of the woods now, we just gotta bring it all the way back," said Balboni. 

He said that includes bringing back the outdoor concert series and community-centered events. 

"Having something that’s experiential and not just shopping is going to motivate people to not just get something shipped to their door," said Balboni.  

A new master plan for the Northeast Richland Corridor, including new signage and beautification, aims to draw more businesses to the area. 

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