USC Trustees approve deal for West Campus development

Site where campus housing will be built
Site where campus housing will be built
Site of West Campus office building
Site of West Campus office building

Plans to build a new office building and housing facilities at the University of South Carolina are progressing.

The USC Board of Trustees voted in a special conference call to approve a contract with Holder Properties, who will develop two student housing facilities and an office building on campus. Known as West Campus, the $119.55 million development is part of the Innovista Master Plan.

Two dormitories will be built on a site that currently is a parking lot west of Carolina Coliseum. One facility will have 582 beds, the other will have 296 beds, and both will contain retail and dining space on the first floor.

Construction on one dorm is to begin later this year and be completed by fall of 2015.  The other is expected to be completed by mid-2016.

A 130,000 square-foot commercial office building will be built on an empty lot at the corner of Blossom and Assembly Streets.

University officials are calling the deal a public-private partnership.

Although the terms and lease agreements were approved by the board Thursday, several approvals are necessary before the project is finalized, including design approval by USC and the City of Columbia.

"Neither the proposed housing nor the office-academic facilities accommodate all the existing demands," reads a statement from the University. "This is a start."

A housing master plan determined a demand for 803 new beds.  That demand could grow as high as 1,100 new beds.

"The academic space needs are well known and surpass the 40,000 SF (sic) of space the University will realize in the office building," the statement continued.

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