Bull Street Commission gathers for inaugural meeting - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Bull Street Commission gathers for inaugural meeting


The meeting was brief, but the City of Columbia's Bull Street Commission is on the job.

The seven-member commission met at City Hall Monday afternoon for about 20 minutes.  Council member Brian Newman chairs the commission.

"We want to make sure that not only we're working hard as a council, but we have neighborhood leaders and local business leaders that are involved to make sure that everyone's concerns are properly conveyed to our developer and make sure those concerns are addressed."

After the members introduced themselves and explained their interests for serving on the commission, they set a date of January 13th for the next meeting, when their work will begin in earnest.

"We have a number of aspects of people's concerns that are covered here just from the composition of our committee," said Newman.

The committee is made up of people representing a variety of community and business interests, including development, neighborhoods, historic preservation and the University of South Carolina.  Members are: Lyle Darnell, Jason Stern, Rebecca Haynes, Robert Lewis, Sabrina Odem and Dr. John Dozier.

"This group could be together for a long time," Newman said. "I think it's good we got off to such a good start and that many of us are acquainted with each other already.  But this is a major project and that's why we wanted to make sure we have folks that are committed, in it for the long haul.  I think we've got a really sound group of folks that are willing to do that."

Newman told the commission the city is in the process of hiring a consultant to conduct a study into the feasibility of minor-league baseball in Columbia. One of the proposals for the Bull Street property is a baseball stadium. A contract on the study is expected by the end of January.

The city planning department says it will review all development plans, including following guidelines for historic buildings.

Newman said the January meeting will include a financial update on the project and a report from developer Bob Hughes, but there's no firm timeline for development.

"This is a mixed-use property that's going to include everything from retail to residential to just general neighborhood amenities, so a lot of those things have shifting timelines," Newman said.

Earlier this year, the former home of the South Carolina Insane Asylum was sold to Greenville developer Bob Hughes. 

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