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City panel to hear concept for former SCE&G site on Huger Street

Real Estate - Commercial
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City of Columbia officials will hear a developer’s concept to build mixed-used project with a grocery store and apartments on the former South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. bus storage facility on Huger Street.

The project includes a 30,000-square-foot grocery story with 177 residential units, according to documents filed with city planners. In addition, the concept includes 10,000 square feet of amenity and leasing space, a free-standing building of 12,500 square feet, and a combination of structured and surface parking.

A proposal for a mixed-use project at the former SCE&G site on Huger Street includes a 30,000-square-foot grocery story with 177 residential units, according to documents filed with city planners. (Image/Provided)The development would be built on about six acres of prime downtown Columbia property bounded by Huger, Hampton, Washington and Williams streets. It’s near the vacant Kline Iron & Steel Co. property that’s slated for a $100 million development project.

The Design/Development Review Commission is scheduled to receive an informational presentation on the proposal at its monthly meeting on Thursday at City Hall. Mark Senn is listed on the application as the project’s developer.

Informational presentations are aimed at gathering feedback and guidance from the commission on a project’s design and site plans.

The SCE&G location is well-connected to the riverfront and within a few blocks of Interstate 126, making it convenient for uses ranging from retail to office space.

In 2015, the South Carolina Public Service Commission approved a request by SCE&G, principal subsidiary of Cayce-based energy provider SCANA Corp., to sell the property.

From 1904 until 1954, SCE&G operated a coal gasification plant at the Huger Street site. Gas was manufactured at the site and then transported around Columbia to use in homes and businesses, as well as for street lighting.

During the 1970s and until 2008, the property was used as a bus maintenance facility. SCE&G operated the city bus fleet until 2002, and then handed it over to the Central Midlands Rapid Transit Authority.

SCE&G eventually cleared the lot but later was required to clean up coal tar found on the Congaree River bed that investigators for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control traced to the operation of the gas plant.

Greenville-based Homes Urban LLC has received the city’s approval for a mixed-used development on the 6.7-acre former Kline Iron & Steel site at Gervais and Huger streets and adjacent the city’s Congaree Vista neighborhood. Called Kline City Center, the project includes plans for a 140-room hotel, office, 350 apartments, retail space, and a parking garage with up to 850 spaces.

The Kline and SCE&G sites are the largest properties along Huger, regarded as a gateway corridor into downtown Columbia, slated for development.

In September, Columbia-based Tomlin & Company acquired a nearly two-acre site at the southwest corner of Huger and Hampton streets. Plans for the site have not been announced.

Also, Midlands mainstays Flooring by Cogdill and Cromer’s Peanuts plan to move out of the iconic 43,350-square-foot building they share at Huger and Laurel streets. The building and 3.25-acre site are for sale.

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