City Council gives $1 million to begin work on Vista grocery store - - Columbia, South Carolina |

City Council gives $1 million to begin work on Vista grocery store

(Columbia) Feb. 5, 2003 - Columbia developer Holmes-Smith plans to turn the old Confederate Printing Plant on Gervais Street into the first grocery store in the Congaree Vista.

While the developer has not released which store will call the building, which has stood empty for more than 30 years, home, a promise of $1 million from the City of Columbia for startup puts the plan one step closer to reality. The city has also promised an extra $600,000 for unexpected costs.

The building, erected in 1862 to print Confederate money, stands at the corner of Gervais and Huger streets. The city has agreed to tear down the city-owned building next door and build a parking lot. Columbia will also kick in $300,000 in federal money already designated for landscaping.

Columbia Mayor Bob Coble says it would be too cost prohibitive for a company to fix up such an old building on its own, but he says the city decided to help with this project because having a grocery store promotes residential development.

More than 14 new businesses, from apartments and restaurants to night clubs and the new Carolina Center, have opened in the area in the last two years. A bank and the new convention center are also in the works.

Developers also plan to turn part of the building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Place, into apartments, condos or office space.

by Rebecca Pepin

updated 11:49pm by Chris Rees

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