Mood upbeat on Columbia's Main Street - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Mood upbeat on Columbia's Main Street

City staff has recommended Columbia City Council approve zoning changes that would make it easier to convert the old Palmetto Center into student dorms. But meanwhile, there are new signs of economic vitality elsewhere on the city's Main Street.

Main Street now offers Italian ices and organic frozen custard in exotic flavors as part of the latest boom in new business activity.

Joe and Jessica Kastner are responsible for the cool treats part of that scenario. Their shop, Paradise Ice, has been open a couple of months.

"We're drawing people from further away every day," Joe said. "We're getting people from the hospitals and that's starting to come down and draw a bigger radius in customers."

A few doors away, David Withers and his business partner have just opened something kind of special for Main Street. It's a floral shop called Something Special.

"We wanted to be a part of that rebirth," Withers said. "My partner Grant Lorick has lived in Columbia all his life and I've been here ever since I started at USC and I consider it home. And so we're just excited to see Main Street come back to life again."

Next door to the flower store, the location that used to be McCrory's seems ready for a new tenant -- 30,000 square feet of office or retail space.

Also near Main and Taylor streets are several more properties in various stages of renovation.

All of this is happening, say business owners and developers, a year after the opening of Mast General Store.

"Right now there is more activity during the day than there has ever been in my period of time in Columbia," Columbia Development Corporation's Fred Delk said, "And there's certainly going to be a lot more in the evenings coming very, very soon."

Withers says the city could help the process along by getting rid of parking meters -- not everyone agrees with that -- and making start-ups easier for entrepreneurs.

"It would be nice if they could get a more streamlined process where you go to one place, make your application, and they take it from there instead of having to go multiple places and get multiple permits to get a business up and running," Withers said.

But there's still an upbeat mood on Main Street.

"Within a year this street is going to be a completely different face," Joe said.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 9:21 AM EDT2017-04-28 13:21:13 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>
  • VIDEO: Florida man, angry over chicken cost, shoots Popeye's worker in leg

    VIDEO: Florida man, angry over chicken cost, shoots Popeye's worker in leg

    Friday, April 28 2017 2:49 PM EDT2017-04-28 18:49:05 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 2:53 PM EDT2017-04-28 18:53:06 GMT

    Police are looking for a suspect they say shot a fast-food worker in the leg after an argument turned violent.

    More >>

    Police are looking for a suspect they say shot a fast-food worker in the leg after an argument turned violent.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly