Plan to sell Capital City Stadium moving forward - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Plan to sell Capital City Stadium moving forward

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The City of Columbia appears ready to sell the property that includes Capital City Stadium.

It's a proposal that could dramatically re-shape the community around the ballpark, but it could also force developers to overcome some significant environmental obstacles.

Rocky Branch Creek flows through the Olympia neighborhood and the area very close to Capital City Stadium. About eight years ago, a group of people in the community envisioned a plan that would clean up the creek and make it into a sort of a greenway -- a real recreational attraction.

Olympia resident Bob Guild thinks that plan to sell the area around the stadium has potential to set back the saving of Rocky Branch and maybe create new water quality issues in the area.

"The typical approach to developing a big box commercial property is to pave over everything and exacerbate, make worse storm water and water quality problems," said Guild. "So it's a challenge."

Guild has dealt with this scenario before.

He's an attorney who specializes in environmental law and has led challenges to four Wal-Mart store projects in various parts of the state.

The Atlanta-based developers planning to buy the stadium property have been associated with Wal-Mart. However, there's no official confirmation the company will build a store in the spot or  how big it might be.

But some who have seen preliminary plans say they call for a store of up to 150,000 square feet of space and an elevated parking garage.

Guild says that could be tricky to pull off on property sitting in a flood plain where the water could get more than 10 feet deep.

"It remains to be seen whether this development will work out to our benefit. Elements of it sound very attractive. The idea of a structured parking lot instead of a sea of asphalt, that is you know, a parking garage makes perfect sense," said Guild. "The idea of protecting the flood plain and floodways and making the stream and the wetlands on the site a park or an amenity, if that's what they actually do, that would be great."

Some areas around the stadium show clear signs of neglect. Guild says the shopping development would help eliminate them and be a big plus for the community.

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