Thursday, July 7 2022

The City of Columbia’s Design and Development Review Board meets Thursday, May 19 to review proposed plans

COLUMBIA, SC — City of Columbia’s Design/Development Review Board (DDRC) is holding its regular meeting at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 19 in the council chambers of City Hall on Main Street. Agenda for the meeting includes proposed new businesses for the Vista and Five Points areas of Columbia.

In five points, developers of the property at 734 Harden St. are seeking preliminary certification for the Bailey Bill* to carry out renovations to the interior and exterior of the building to house an independent bookstore and cafe. The building was the former location of the Thirsty Parrot bar and, before that, the Parthenon Greek restaurant.

Plans submitted indicate that the developers would restore the exterior to what it looked like around 1950, with painted brick rather than stucco, restored windows and a repaired roof.

The first floor would be configured to have a bookstore in front and a cafe and porch behind the store. The bookstore would have a children’s reading corner and an exhibition area; the cafe would have five cabins; and the ADA-accessible fenced patio would have a sitting area.

The three second floor apartments would remain.

In view, Ashok Patel asks for the approval of construction of a Homewood/Tru hotel with 7 floors and 249 rooms at the corner of Gervais and Williams streets. Entrances and exits would be accessible along Williams and Senate streets. A site plan that has not yet been submitted for approval shows that a 430-space parking garage would be built at the southwest corner of the block, along Senate Street. There is also a U-shaped space designated on the site plan for a future multi-unit residential complex along Huger Street.

Also on the DDRC agenda:

  • approval for an art installation on the guardhouse at Olympia Mill, 600 Heyward St.
  • application for preliminary certification for Bailey Bill and design approval for the renovation of the City Art building at 1224 Lincoln St. to include event space
  • approval of design changes to proposed apartments on Benton Street near River Drive and North Main. The design of the parking area and office/common areas of the 56-unit complex was modified after participating in the initial design in March.

The DDRC meeting is open to the public and public comment can be provided in person and virtually. In-person meetings will be socially distanced and face coverings are no longer required but are recommended. City of Columbia council and commission meetings are broadcast on the City TV YouTube Channel.

* The Bailey Bill offers tax incentives to developers making improvements to historic structures and low-to-moderate income rental properties. In Colombia, the developer must reinvest at least 20% of the building’s assessed value into the building, and work plans must be reviewed and approved before the property’s assessed value is reduced for the next 20 years. If the accessible value of the property increases during this period, the developer will continue to be taxed at the rate set prior to rehabilitation, which will save on municipal and county taxes.

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