$500M worth of development expected in Vista - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

$500M worth of development expected in Vista

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Over the next three years, there will be some major changes to the Vista and Main Street. More than a half-billion dollars worth of development is coming, with two-thirds of it in The Vista.

"I think everyone is going to be surprised with what they see," said Fred Delk, executive director of the Columbia Development Corporation.

Delk has been living and working in Columbia for nearly two decades and has seen a lot of change in the hospitality districts.

"There were six or eight restaurants and bars when I came to the Vista," explained Delk.

Now, there is a wide selection of restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops in the Vista with more on the way.

"Just all kinds of development occurring so fast," said Delk. "It's really hard to believe."

There are several student and residential housing projects in the works. The Hub, the former home of SCANA on Main Street, plans to provide 850 bedrooms for students and another new project on Blossom Street is planning to have more than 700 bedrooms.

There will be residential apartments, too. Right now, there are development plans for apartments on Taylor, Wayne, and Pulaski streets.

"I expect the population of the Vista is going to increase by about 3,000 people over the next three years,"said Delk.

Hyatt Place Hotel is under construction on Gervais Street, and another hotel will likely be announced soon.

"Which will have increased business of parents, people who are taking advantage of the vibrancy, that sort of thing," said Delk.

Some historic buildings in the Vista will also be getting facelifts.

"We have four historic buildings left in the neighborhood that have never been developed," said Delk. "There are plans in place now and projects have started for redevelopment of all four of those."

Delk described the renovations to historic buildings as converting them to "contemporary uses" with "historic flair."

There are still some spots in the Vista that do not have plans for redevelopment, including the Kline Iron & Steel property at the corner of Gervais and Huger Streets. Delk said that property will likely be used in the future, but there is nothing scheduled at this point.

Many of the projects have not been formally named, and planning is still underway.

Another goal is improving the sidewalks, roadways, and crosswalks between the Vista, Main Street, and Five Points. Delk would like to see the improvements to encourage people to safely walk from one entertainment district to another.

More announcements about development and investment in the area are expected within the next six months.

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