The Palmetto Center on 1426 Main Street will soon begin its transformation from a vacant office building to a vibrant student housing center called the "Hub at Columbia" in the heart of downtown for University of South Carolina students.
The Palmetto Center on 1426 Main Street will soon begin its transformation from a vacant office building to a vibrant student housing center called the "Hub at Columbia" in the heart of downtown.
Chicago-based company Core Campus (http://corecamp.us) acquired the Palmetto Center on Dec. 28, 2012, from Main Street Associates. The building had been vacant since 2009, when the former tenant SCANA relocated to Cayce, and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin considers Core Campus's development "an exciting opportunity" for the city. The site will provide the ideal location for University of South Carolina students, who will be just steps away from their classes along with downtown restaurants, shopping and nightlife.
"The building is really iconic within the city of Columbia and its prime location and excellent framework for renovation were all motivating factors in our decision to pursue its acquisition," said Benjamin Modleski, COO of Core Campus. "There is no doubt that, when complete, this will be the most popular student housing project serving the University of South Carolina."
Construction is anticipated to begin in just a few weeks and the former Palmetto Center would be ready to accept students in the fall of 2014 for "by-the-bed" individual leases. Core Campus's current plan is to convert the 21-story building into a 258-unit housing community with 851 beds. All units will be fully furnished and a roommate matching service will be available. Each floor of the housing community will have a study room where students can gather, and Community Assistants will be available to help with resident needs.
The Hub at Columbia will include plenty of amenities for students to enjoy, including an amenity deck featuring a swimming pool, grill, hot tub, sand volleyball court, fire pit and an outdoor gaming area. The 11th floor will feature a modern 5,000 sqft fitness center, yoga room, tanning beds, steam room, sauna, business center and game and community rooms. Retail space for casual food and beverage will be available on the first floor.
"The school has had solid enrollment growth and we believe that both the City and the University will see increased growth for many years to come," Modleski said.
Mayor Benjamin and the city administration played critical roles in achieving the necessary approvals and agreements concerning the Sumter Street Parking Garage. The garage will be used by the Hub at Columbia residents and it will also support the amenity deck. All parking for the community will be covered and out of the elements.
Security is an important factor in a large housing community, and the Hub at Columbia will include electronic key access on the main doors, high resolution video surveillance on all floors and amenity areas, and courtesy officers on patrol to keep students safe.
Antunovich and Associated in Chicago, IL, will act as the project architect. Core Campus also currently has projects under construction for occupancy in 2013 at Arizona State University in Tempe and the University of Mississippi in Oxford. In addition to the Hub At Columbia, Core Campus is working on a development at the University of Arizona in Tucson for fall of 2014.