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City of Columbia panel approves 800-bed student dormitory project

arnold dorms Staff Report

Published Sept. 16, 2013

A city of Columbia review board has approved a $60 million, 800-bed student dorm project planned for the corner of Blossom and Huger streets.

Park7 Group, a New York developer of student housing projects, expects to complete construction of the five-story residence hall by August 2015.

The project, which would include parking and a courtyard, will be built on property owned by Columbia developer Ben Arnold, president of the Arnold Companies.

The project only required the Columbia Design/Development Review Commission’s approval because the city block where it will be built is in the Innovista Design District and already has required zoning.

Park7’s design is different from a plan originally proposed for the property by Monarch Ventures, of Charlotte.

The Monarch plan called for an exterior facade of brick and Hardi-plank; Park7’s conceptual rendering features corrugated steel panels and stucco.

Park7’s portfolio of student housing totals more than 16,000 beds. According to its website, the company’s student properties have an occupancy rate of more than 99%.

The project is one of four student dorms planned for the area surrounding the University of South Carolina campus. Also in the works are:

  • A 919-bed, mixed-use residential complex on two blocks behind the Carolina Coliseum and the new Darla Moore School of Business. The university is pursuing a public-private partnership to build the project. Construction is scheduled to start in March and completed in July 2015.
  • Core Campus’ conversion of the 20-story, 400,000-square-foot former SCANA headquarters in the 1400 block of Main Street into a residence for 860 college students.
  • A 249-bed student dormitory at Pendleton and Pulaski streets. The four-story brick and stucco structure will be built near the Amtrak station in downtown Columbia.
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