COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A new hotel may be coming to Columbia’s Five Points area for the first time since The Inn at Claussen’s closed. City council members say they’ve already voted to secure a certain property, and now they’re deciding on a developer to flip the property.
Councilman Howard Duvall says he believes this hotel could help change the reputation 5 points has gained over the past few years for being a college bar area with a drinking problem. \
“The city has purchased an office building in 5 points,” Duvall said. “It was a $3.8 million project that was being funded by the parking fund of the City of Columbia. Mr. Rickenmann on the council has been the point person on this, and he has encouraged other developers to come in and give us proposals that would use the office building for either hotel or continued office space for retail on the first floor.”
Along with the building, the city has acquired 300 parking spots that Duvall says would be used for hotel guests, office tenants in the building, and folks just visiting Five Points.
“This was a deal we couldn’t pass up,” he said. “We wanted to take advantage of the parking that is sorely needed in Five Points, but we also want to get the building itself back on the tax roll as quickly as possible so that we can have an attraction that will help the transformation of five points.”
That transformation focused on shifting the narrative from rowdy bars and sometimes violence…to an entertainment district with wider appeal.
“To sort of bring back the glamour to Five Points,” Duvall said. “Which has been tainted the last few years. I think this will help to solve it.”
For now, Columbia City Council is focused on turning the property into a multi-purpose building with a hotel, they just need to find the right developer to put the plan in action.
“The Five Points Association and the City of Columbia are working together really nicely to get the area re-developed in a positive way,” Duvall said.
There are already some current tenants in the building like the South Carolina Election Commission, the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon, and the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs. Councilman Duvall says the plan is to redevelop the building in a way that allows these agencies to stay where they are.