New downtown housing development hopes to lure college students - - Columbia, South Carolina

New downtown housing development hopes to lure college students

Hub at Columbia (Source: Facebook) Hub at Columbia (Source: Facebook)

College years are said to be the best years of your life but it could also be some of the most expensive, especially when it comes to housing.

The Hub on Main Street has new amenities and is one of four new big student housing projects in Columbia.

"We're about to increase the residential component of Main Street this summer by 300 percent," said Councilman Cameron Runyan.

Many of those new residents are college students moving into The Hub, which is expected to house as many of 800 students. Two more private companies are planning housing near Palmetto Compress and Huger Streets, flooding the area with students and potential customers.

"We have to make sure we balance the needs of a dense, vibrant, commercial district with what will increasingly be a growing of retail, restaurant, and bars to some extent with young folks coming out," Runyan said. "With students come some unique challenges."

WIS took a look at USC's cost for room and board over the past year. It would cost just under $6,000 paid up front for both semesters.

Compare that to the full year's rent for a one bedroom apartment near USC at $9,948.

"They take out more money for a less valuable thing," said Julianna Harris with the SC Department of Consumer Affairs.

It's concerning to people like Harris because of how many college grads are looking to them for debt relief.

"There are a lot of young people out there that want to get debt free," Harris said.

There are less expensive off campus options available and one apartment complex said they give students a grace period to make their payments.

The Hub should be open this fall.

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