Columbia is the state capital and largest city in South Carolina, with a population of 129,272 and a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) of 767,598. Our city experiences above average population growth with our MSA increasing 19% from 2000 to 2012 (647,158 to 767,598). Columbia is home to the University of South Carolina's flagship campus and the Army's Fort Jackson. Columbia offers a great combination of high quality of life, talented workforce, and business opportunities that make it a great location to do business, enjoy life, and raise a family. Originally rooted in textile manufacturing, our city is now a bustling metropolis with a diverse economy composed of advanced manufacturing, healthcare, technology, shared services, logistics, and energy. Our city is business ready with a variety of available buildings and sites located across our municipality.
Recent business development efforts have spawned a resurgence in our city center which can primarily be seen on Main Street and in the Congaree Vista District. Main Street, which experienced an exodus of department stores in the 90s, is currently nearing the completion of a full recovery. Apartment and student housing development has added a residential component to the area and a facade improvement program compelled many businesses to upgrade the visual appearance of their storefronts. Our commitment to a strong and vibrant downtown has also attracted numerous businesses to relocate to Main Street. The Vista, formerly a warehousing district, is now the premier entertainment district of Columbia. Old, vacant buildings have discovered new life as restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, offices, townhomes, and mixed use structures. The Vista is now frequented by those looking to enjoy a nice dinner, shop, or meet up for cocktails after work.
The City of Columbia has a subtropical climate with mild winters, warm springs and autumns, and hot summers. Annual high temperatures throughout the year average around the mid 80s with average lows in mid 40s. Our city has a vibrant and growing local arts community with numerous galleries, theaters, and performance venues. Greenspace and parks are abundant with multiple rivers and lakes all within close proximity of downtown Columbia. The beach and mountains are both readily accessible with both the Appalachian Mountains and beaches in Charleston just a mere hour and a half away. The City of Columbia is located halfway between New York City and Miami, is 3.5 hours from Atlanta, GA and Raleigh, NC, and only an hour away from Charlotte, NC.