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Planning board OKs zoning change for 200 apartments


The city of Columbia’s Planning Commission approved a zoning change Monday that would allow an apartment complex to be built in front of the Olympia and Granby Mills apartments on Whaley Street. (Photo/Provided by the city of Columbia Planning Commission)
The city of Columbia’s Planning Commission approved a zoning change Monday that would allow an apartment complex to be built in front of the Olympia and Granby Mills apartments on Whaley Street. (Photo/Provided by the city of Columbia Planning Commission)

By James T. Hammond
jhammond@scbiznews.com
Published Jan. 8, 2013

The city of Columbia’s Planning Commission approved a zoning change Monday that would allow the owner of the Olympia and Granby Mills apartments to build a three- to four-story apartment complex in front of the mills on Whaley Street.

The new complex would comprise about 200 apartments, 90% of which would be one-bedroom units; about 6,500 square feet of retail shops at street level; and associated parking.

Property owner Daniel Rothschild, a principal in PMC Properties of Philadelphia, said the company would like to finish the project within a year. He said many details of the project remain to be determined, and declined further comment on the project.

But Scott Garvin, the Columbia architect who is working on the project for PMC Properties, told the Planning Commission that about 10% of the apartments would be two-bedroom units. The complex would include about 300 parking spaces, Garvin said.

Garvin said the owner’s representatives had met with neighborhood leaders and has modified plans to preserve some of the green space beside Whaley Street, at the request of area residents.

An angular street on one side of the property is owned by PMC, and will be eliminated as part of the development, Garvin said.

Bob Guild, a representative of the Granby neighborhood, said he and others met with the developer’s representative and that the neighborhoods are “very supportive” of the zoning change. Guild said the small-scale retail component and preservation of some green space were major goals of residents.

“This will be a fine addition and solidify the open space,” Guild said.

The developer’s representatives said loss of the parking spaces in the 5.83-acre tract will not be an issue for residents of the mill apartments because there is adequate parking behind the mills.

City Council will consider the proposal by PMC Properties in March.

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