Development planned for Gervais, Huger intersection

Kline City Center
Kline City Center

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Two-hundred and eighty apartments, a 680-space parking garage, a hotel, and office and retail space will fill the hole left behind in the Vista when the Kline Iron and Steel company left in 2004.

Greenville developer Homes Urban, LLC, has acquired the land at the corner of Gervais and Huger streets in downtown Columbia.

For many travelers, the site is the first area of town they see.

"It's the welcome to people coming into Columbia and people coming into the Vista. Really West Columbia, too, if you think about it," said Sarah Lewis, executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild.

According to a release distributed by the developer, construction is expected to begin in 2015.

"We are really excited to have the opportunity to develop this property," said Homes Urban, LLC partner Russ Davis in a statement. "We have long wanted to find a site in Columbia that fits our particular strengths and this property has been at the top of our list."

This project joins the growing list of development in the works for the hospitality district.

"We knew before this project that we were looking at a half-billion dollars and 3,000 new students. When you add this to that, it's great for Columbia, said Lewis.

The plans show a public access point from the development to the South Carolina State Museum.

"The more activity we can get down close to us, the more families, the more young professionals, it's only going to help us," said Calloway.

Calloway has been with the museum for 12 years, and is looking forward to seeing more than an empty field next door.

"When I got here they were still making steel, it was right at the end of it. So it was great to see the transition between what it used to do, and what's going to be coming in the future," said Calloway.

According to Calloway, museum officials are working on revamping membership options. The young professional population is expected to increase in the area, so the museum plans to add a young professional membership.

Construction at the Kline Iron and Steel site is expected to begin in 2015.

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