Published on December 13th, 2019 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
BullStreet District’s Burgeoning Tech Sector Adds Another Innovator
User experience trailblazer truematter moves to historic Ensor Building
(Columbia, S.C.) – The BullStreet District’s vibrant technology sector — fueled by gigabit internet from Segra— is welcoming one of the state’s most successful leaders in user experience (UX) strategy and design, truematter.
Headquartered in the Midlands, truematter has moved its offices from the WECO Building on West Columbia’s Meeting Street to another area landmark: downtown Columbia’s historic Ensor Building, the two-story, neoclassical brick building adjacent to Segra Park — home of the Columbia Fireflies Minor League Baseball team.
Truematter’s 13-member team occupies 3,600 square feet — the entire second floor — above Bone-In Barbeque, the popular chef-driven restaurant and cocktail bar. A regional leader in UX, truematter was founded in Columbia in 2002 by Rusty Farrell and Dean Schuster, who have been business partners for 20 years.
Truematter’s user experience consulting team serves a client base that ranges from regional organizations to major corporations and Fortune 500 companies and makes complex websites, apps, and software easy for everyday people to use. The firm is also a leader in developing accessible digital products for people with disabilities. Truematter serves clients in sectors including healthcare, insurance, energy, financial services, software and app development, commercial development and more.
Truematter joins global tech giant Capgemini and the SOCO creative community as major technology innovators to call the BullStreet District home. The gigabit infrastructure, the result of a strategic partnership with Segra, makes the district an ideal destination for high-tech businesses. Access to this rapid internet service is still relatively rare and the partnership with Segra makes it easier and more affordable for tech companies like truematter to execute high bandwidth activities at BullStreet.
“The character of the BullStreet District really matches our company and team well,” said truematter president Rusty Farrell. “From the very first time I laid eyes on BullStreet, I liked the energy of the place. That energy is what ultimately brought us back when we were looking for truematter’s new home. I’m confident in the future of BullStreet, and truematter has made a commitment to be part of that future. We’re excited to see what happens next.”
Located between Segra Park’s entry plaza and the First Base Building — the largest private office building constructed in Columbia since 2009 — the Ensor Building was built in 1938 and originally used as a research laboratory for the S.C. State Hospital campus until its closing in 2005. The building was not on the original list of buildings required to be preserved per the BullStreet District’s development agreement with the City of Columbia, but master developer Hughes Development Corporation was able to establish a way to preserve the building in 2014 and completed its full renovation in 2018 with Studio 2LR Architecture and Buchanan Construction Services.
“Truematter is a tier one company that blends the art and science of making digital products and services easier for people to use,” said Robert Hughes, president of Hughes Development Corporation. “They emphasize that they do one thing, and they do it better than anyone. They are the most recent company to recognize the benefits of the new infrastructure at BullStreet and join a family of innovators and entrepreneurs in South Carolina’s first urban gigabit community.”
Now five years into a 20-year development timeline, the BullStreet District — known as the largest urban redevelopment project on the East Coast — is showing continuous progress. Recently, news broke that a Starbucks will open in 2021, adjacent to the REI Co-op retail store that is scheduled to open in 2020. Meanwhile, the Merrill Gardens active senior community is nearing completion, construction on the district’s 20-acre public park is rolling forward, and major infrastructure changes are underway to straighten Freed Drive and clear land for the future University of South Carolina Health Sciences Center.
About the BullStreet District
Known as the largest urban redevelopment project on the East Coast, the BullStreet District is an active transformation of the historic, 181-acre South Carolina State Hospital campus into a vibrant, mixed-use lifestyle district that reflects the authenticity of downtown Columbia, S.C. The state’s first urban gigabit community, BullStreet is a city-within-a-city, located one mile from the S.C. State House and anchored by the award-winning stadium, Segra Park (f.k.a. Spirit Communications Park), home of the Columbia Fireflies Minor League Baseball team. Well into a 20-year buildout that started in January 2015, the district already is home to an array of local and national businesses, including global tech giant Capgemini, Central Carolina Community Foundation, Founders Federal Credit Union and Ogletree Deakins law firm in the First Base Building; SOCO, COLAToday and tech/creative startups in the historic Bakery; Bone-In Barbeque restaurant in the historic Ensor Building; the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ Parker Annex Archaeology Center; the sleek, modern Central Energy event venue; and the new TownPark at BullStreet townhomes. A 20,000 sq. ft. REI Co-Op store is under construction, a Starbucks is on its way, and soon, the Merrill Gardens active senior community will welcome residents across the street from a new 20-acre public park, with a 2-acre pond, trails, dog park, restored creek and more. BullStreet contains 125,000+ square feet of commercial/office and retail space and is zoned for up to 3.3 million square feet of commercial use and 3,558 residential units. Follow @BullStreetSC and #BullStreetSC on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and learn more at http://www.bullstreetsc.com.
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