Adaptive reuse of properties gaining popularity.

With a limited number of properties available in Columbia, residential real estate developers are finding it easier to renovate existing properties rather than build from the ground up. Part of that decision is cost, but the other is location.

"They're not producing any more real estate, so there are fixed locations that you can go," said Allen Wilkerson, senior brokerage associate with Colliers International. "That's why we've seen a lot of adaptive reuse, especially in and around downtown Columbia."

Several existing properties are under renovation or recently have been completed in Columbia to make way for apartments.

"If you consider the buildings that have been adaptive reuse the Main Street Hub location, which is student housing, was SCANA's office building," Wilkerson said. "(Developers) converted it into an 850-bed student housing development. The Claussen's Bakery, which is a much smaller development, was just recently converted into apartments. The 1321 Lady Street lofts that's an adaptive reuse."

During the past decade, adaptive reuse has preserved and repurposed several historic properties in Columbia, including the Palmetto Compress Warehouse, Olympia Mills and BullStreet District.Wilkerson said such renovation of existing buildings saves developers money.

"As construction costs have risen, you've seen a lot more reuse of existing properties," he said.

According to the Colliers Research and Forecast Report Q1 for Columbia,market activity is strongest in the downtown Columbia market. The report says 114 units are under construction in downtown Columbia.

"The downtown revitalization is a huge draw for residents interested in a walkable atmosphere, for entertainment, shopping and working," the report said.

To some developers, preserving historic properties is just as important as the financial reward.

"This is our first historic renovation in a downtown urban setting," said Ryan Hyler, a partner in Claussen developer Styx Co. "We're working on the old Keenan...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT