Work underway on future apartment/retail site near Olympia Mills - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Work underway on future apartment/retail site near Olympia Mills

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -

Work is underway on a residential/retail development off Whaley Street near the Olympia Mills.

Crews have begun preparing the  nearly six-acre site for an apartment complex that includes retail space on Whaley at Wayne Street.

According to documents filed with the Columbia Planning Commission, Heyward Street Associations, LLC plans to develop 172 apartments with  6,500 square feet of retail space on the lower level. The four-story apartment buildings would contain 148 one-bedroom apartments and 24 two-bedroom units.

The site is the former parking lot for Olympia Mills, which was converted to lofts and condos after the mill ceased operation.

At the request of people living in the neighborhood, the documents say a corner lot will be a park that includes benches and walkways.

The property contains several massive, decades-old trees which the planning commission was informed developers will attempt to preserve.

According to the planning commission minutes, "Bob Guild of Granby Mills, and representing Olympia stated the neighborhoods are pleased with the project and are in complete approval of the project.  They are glad the developer is working with the neighborhoods who have always wanted this type of development.  In addition, the saving of trees and public space is very favorable."

The developer says the buildings will "not obstruct the views of the Mill at all," according to the planning commission minutes. It was approved unanimously by the commission at its meeting in February of 2013.

Developers say the main entrance to the property will be off Whaley Street.

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