Babcock building developer unveils plans.

Once a treatment site for residents of the S.C. State Hospital, the Babcock building at the BullStreet District is slated to be transformed into a luxury apartment complex complete with an outdoor swimming pool.

Clachan Properties, the Richmond, Va.-based developer of the historic building, presented plans and renderings to the Columbia City Council's Bull Street Commission on Monday. Project architect Walter Parks, also based in Richmond, created more than 800 pages of plans.

Clachan plans to convert the Babcock complex and its recognizable spire into 208 luxury apartments encompassing 146,000 square feet of living space. Of those, 128 will be one-bedroom units, 66 will have two bedrooms, and four will have three bedrooms.

"It's a terrific building," Hugh Shytle, Clachan Properties president, told the commission. "There is no other Babcock. It is unique."

The renovation of the long-abandoned building, abandoned for decades and the site of a December 2018 fire, will cost Clachan more than $40 million, but Shytle described the renovation as cost-effective.

All apartments will be equipped with stainless steel appliances, full-size washers and dryers and granite countertops.

The renovations include 3,600 square feet of amenities such as a weight room, a yoga studio, a cardio studio, a game room and a lounge. Outdoor features include a pet park, pool and a grilling space, along with 255 parking spaces.

The developer also identified 38 historic trees on the building grounds, some of them centuries-old live oaks, which will be saved.

Shytle said Clachan, which has signed a deal with a contractor, expects to submit requests for building permits by the end of the year. Construction will be done in phases, with work on the first phase...

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