Growth & Development

More Private Student Housing Proposed for Innovista Area

By Eva Moore
Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Edwards Communities, the Ohio developer that wanted to knock down the Palmetto Compress warehouse and replace it with student housing, has approached the city with a new proposal for private student housing in the area surrounding the warehouse.

The plan comes in several parts: One 214-bed building would front on Blossom to the south, just across from the Compress warehouse, while another pair of buildings encompassing 524 beds together would line Greene Street just west of the railroad tracks. There would be a parking garage on Greene Street as well. The plan calls for knocking down the Carolina Collegiate Federal Credit Union building on Pulaski, according to city officials, but a branch would be built for the bank inside the development.

Columbia’s Design/Development Review Committee rejected Edwards’ previous proposal, saying it didn’t meet the area’s design guidelines, which call for dense, urban-style, mixed-use developments. “You’ve managed to cover nearly the entire site with either asphalt or buildings,” one commission member told Edwards at the time. Since then, city staff have worked with Edwards on the new design.

Meanwhile, City Council bought the Palmetto Compress to save it from demolition last year; it’s slated to be sold to local investor Rosie Craig and become a hotel and office and retail space.

The Design/Development Review Committee will vote on Edwards’ proposals Thursday at 4 p.m. at City Hall. At Thursday’s meeting, the D/DRC will also review and vote on a revised proposal for student housing on a nearby Pendleton Street site. Woda Construction had already gained approval for a previous housing plan on the site, but has a new proposal for the city to review.

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