SC Chamber: Bull St. development worth $1.2B annually - - Columbia, South Carolina |

SC Chamber: Bull St. development worth $1.2B annually

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Just days after the announcement of an agreement between the City of Columbia and Greenville developer Bob Hughes to develop the former state Department of Mental Health on Bull Street, the state Chamber of Commerce released a study saying the development could have up to $1.2 billion in economic impact annually.

Chamber members held a news conference on Thursday afternoon to discuss the study's findings.

Those findings in dictated the property could generate up to $20 million in property taxes and 11,000 jobs.

Hughes' plan is said to include a mix of housing along with retail and office space and potentially a minor league baseball field.

The study indicated the city is "ripe" for minor league baseball, and may be at a competitive disadvantage with other cities without it.

Columbia is largest metro area east of Mississippi that does not have a minor league baseball team.

City council has two meetings scheduled on Bull Street project. One of them is a public hearing on July 1.

Councilman Moe Baddourah sent out a statement Thursday afternoon complaining about the timing of that hearing. He says too many people will be out of town because of the Fourth of July holiday.

Baddourah is running to unseat Mayor Steve Benjamin, who was credited by a couple of Chamber officials as being personally responsible for helping to move the Bull Street project forward.

Benjamin, by the way, said again he believes construction work on the property could begin in a matter of months.

The development is expected to cover about 180 acres of the old hospital property.

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