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City design panel approves 2 dorm projects, 3rd on hold


The Columbia Design/Development Review Commission Thursday gave the OK for a private developer’s plans to build a 249-bed student dormitory at Pendleton and Pulaski streets. (Image/Provided)
The Columbia Design/Development Review Commission Thursday gave the OK for a private developer’s plans to build a 249-bed student dormitory at Pendleton and Pulaski streets. (Image/Provided)

By Chuck Crumbo
ccrumbo@scbiznews.com
Published Feb. 15, 2013

Developers of two student dormitories totaling more than 1,100 beds received final approval Thursday, while a third project that would require leveling the historic Palmetto Compress warehouse remains in limbo.

Core Campus finally received an OK from the city of Columbia Design/Development Review Commission to go ahead with plans to convert the former SCANA headquarters in the 1400 block of Main Street into a residence for 860 college students.

Core Campus is converting the former SCANA headquarters into a residence for 860 college students. (Photo/Provided)
Core Campus is converting the former SCANA headquarters into a residence for 860 college students. (Photo/Provided)
The $40 million project, which includes building an “amenity terrace” with a swimming pool and Jacuzzi tub on the roof of an adjacent seven-story parking garage, had been on hold until the nine-member panel and the developer could settle on a paint scheme for the 20-story, 400,000-square-foot office building.

Core Campus originally proposed painting the aggregate spandrels alternating bands of dark gray and off-white, interspersed with panels of accent colors such as green, yellow and blue. The paint job was proposed to differentiate the building from other office towers and the adjacent Columbia Marriott Hotel.

But some commission members objected, saying the proposal made the building look “nervous.”

On Thursday, the developer came back with a proposal to paint the spandrels in dark gray and off-white, alternating the colors each level of the building.

“It looked tired, it looked dirty, it looked unkempt,” said architect Joseph Antunovich, representing Core Campus, headquartered in Chicago, of the building. “We’re making a big change to this building and we want to do it in a big way.”

Also, the paint will provide a waterproof membrane that the building needs, Antunovich added.

Core Campus, which is renaming the building “The Hub on Main Street,” will begin work in about 30 days, said Tom Harrington, who’s in charge of site identification and acquisition.

Painting of the exterior probably will occur during summer 2014, Antunovich said.

Core expects to have the building ready for the start of the fall semester 2014, Harrington added.

A private developer’s plans to build a 249-bed student dormitory at Pendleton and Pulaski streets in downtown Columbia’s Innovista Design District also received a green light from the commission.

Plans call for a four-story brick and stucco structure to be built near the Amtrak station in downtown Columbia. The project will total more than 207,000 square feet and 122 units.

The applicant is WC Columbia LLC, headquartered in Westerville, Ohio.

Developers plan to have the structure ready for occupancy by the fall semester 2014.

Meanwhile, efforts to redevelop the historic Palmetto Compress warehouse at Blossom and Devine streets into an 800-bed student residential complex remain in limbo.

The commission had agreed to a request from Columbus, Ohio-based Edwards Communities Development Co. to rehear the panel’s Dec. 13 denial of design plans and site plan review for the Palmetto Compress site.

The commission shot down the $40 million project the first time because members believed the plan to build three- and four-story apartment buildings on the site didn’t meet guidelines for the Innovista Design District.

A rehearing was planned for Thursday, but wound up being postponed after Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation went to court earlier in the day to appeal the commission’s decision to rehear the Edwards proposal.

Overall, five dormitory projects totaling more than 3,000 beds are planned for downtown Columbia.

Reach Chuck Crumbo at 803-401-1094, ext. 204.

Previous coverage

Student dormitory planned for Columbia’s Innovista district
Design panel OKs turning Palmetto Center into student dormitory

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