$92 million development coming to corner of Huger and Gervais streets

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$92 million development coming to corner of Huger and Gervais streets

Big things are in the works for the property on the corner of Huger and Gervais streets in downtown Columbia.

A joint initiative by Richland County and the City of Columbia is paving the way for economic growth, with an estimated $92 million project taking shape on the former Kline Iron & Steel Co. site.

Windsor Aughhtry Co. will redevelop the property into a mixed-use development including two hotels, retail space, an office building and structured parking.

The project includes 35,000 sq.-ft. of commercial and retail development space, along with 75,000 sq.-ft. of office space on the four-acre property.

The two hotels will include a seven-story, 146-room AC Hotel by Marriott with a rooftop bar, and a second hotel with 114 rooms.

Windsor Aughtry gained approval for the project through a city-county initiative called the Commercial Development Incentive Program (CDIP). The deal was approved at Tuesday’s meeting.

The development will lead to more than 250 jobs. The scope of the project along with its proximity to the Congaree River and downtown, should boost investment and economic activity for nearby properties.

“This is precisely the type of development we envisioned when we crafted the incentive program,” said Paul Livingston, Chair of County Council.

Since Kline Steel closed in 2004, the property has been eyed as an opportunity for development and a cornerstone for helping expand the Vista westward and connect it to Columbia’s riverfront.

“The Kline property has a longstanding, historical significance to the City of Columbia, and this project will serve as a catalyst for future development in our city,” Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said.

CDIP was approved in 2019 to help spark major developments that tax challenges previously stifled. The initiative works to reimburse developers who invest in public infrastructure. Two other projects, at Bull Street and the site of Capital City Stadium, have also been approved through the program.

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