COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - For more than 125 years, South Carolina's toughest prison haunted the City of Columbia.
The Central Correctional Institution, formerly the South Carolina Penitentiary.
An ugly, threatening presence looming above the Columbia Canal and Congaree River.
After the prison was closed in 1994 and torn down, advocates for riverfront development predicted the move would allow many in the Midlands to access and connect with the river, its beauty and its recreational opportunities for the first time.
There are more signs that development is finally picking up speed.
Work is moving rapidly on Sola Station, the final phase of Canalside, the upscale apartment complex located on the seven-acre site once occupied by the prison.
The Charleston-based Beach Company says Sola Station will include space for several restaurants, opening the way for riverfront dining.
Restaurants with a clear view of the river system are rare in the Columbia area, though not unprecedented.
Sola Station is scheduled to reach completion late next year.
On the Cayce side of the Congaree, Greenville's Standard Capital Partners is slated to break ground in January on a complex called the Brickworks.
The complex will occupy two parcels near the historic Guignard Brick Yard property.
The Brickworks project will create 186 units across Knox Abbott Drive from the company's Tremont complex.
A company official says construction will take about a year.
Other apartment developments are expected on Columbia's Kline Steel property and at West Columbia's Brookland site.