Columbia City Council discusses future of prominent properties

Published: Jun. 18, 2019 at 8:41 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Several historic properties are up for debate in Tuesday’s Columbia City Council meeting.

In executive session, the future of Finlay Park will be discussed.

In August of 2018, WIS reported that the city was exploring a public-private partnership to help reimagine the historic park.

Tuesday, Councilman Howard Duvall would only add that they were still in the development phase when it comes to private partners.

Tuesday at the council meeting, council members authorized the purchase of the Post Office property on Assembly Street. That purchase is set to close in July.

It would cost the city around 3.8 million dollars and would not, for now, mean that the Post Office is closing.

Duvall says the Post Office has a long term lease and city will negotiate with post office officials to reduce their footprint.

The purchase is one Duvall says could be used to help revitalize Finlay Park.

“Gives us access to not only a very usable building with the cooperation of the US post office,” he adds, “acres could be useful for parking for Finlay park, but for development around Finlay park,” Duvall said

Capital City Stadium was also discussed in the closed-door executive session.

Duvall says demolition of the stadium was not approved, and it would probably be up to a developer to knock it down. However, he adds the developer could get a one time $500,000 “abandoned building tax credit.”

Duvall said the council would discuss whether to approve a current developer that is on board, Weddle Real Estate Investments, or start over on their search.

After the executive session was held, Duvall told WIS that they had decided to stay with the current developer.

Lastly, there was the planned purchase of 199.65 acres of land by the city. The land is located near Heathwood Hall Episcopal School and the City of Columbia wastewater treatment plant. Columbia Water officials say the city is trying to secure the land for future use, wastewater treatment expansion and possibly some new ventures like a solar farm. The resolution to approve the purchase was approved.

Columbia Water officials do not anticipate anything to be built there this year, or next.

One more item of mention was the approval of speed humps in the Rosewood Community. District III Council Member Member Moe Baddourah says it is now up to DOT to give the city a permit so that public works can begin construction in the next few months.

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