In order to promote growth and economic investments throughout the City of Columbia, a comprehensive corridor redevelopment plan was approved by City Council this week. The Commercial Corridor Redevelopment Plan is being implemented as a pilot project in the Five Points District, with the goal of strategically shifting the program around the City to targeted areas every two years. Five Points provides an ideal environment to test the program elements due to the condensed area of the district. Additionally, a considerable number of property vacancies demonstrates that the City of Columbia will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the area for years to come.
The Commercial Corridor Redevelopment Plan is a coordinated joint effort by the City of Columbia’s Office of Economic Development, Office of Business Opportunities, Columbia Water, Planning and Development Services, and Parking Departments. By providing a wide variety of programs and services in tandem such as the Office of Business Opportunities’ Commercial Retention and Redevelopment Program (CRR), parking adjustments, and infrastructure enhancements the City will maximize its impact on Five Points. Historically, other areas of the City have received similar assistance such as façade improvement funding on Main Street, North Main Street, and Two Notch Roads. Most recently, North Main Street has also been the recipient of multiple phases of streetscaping improvements totaling tens of millions of dollars.
“This effort can be a game changer for Five Points and for our historic commercial corridors citywide. We’re all in,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin.
The new pilot has the ability to support all five of the overarching goals outlined in the City of Columbia’s #EnvisionColumbia Program:
- Goal 1 – Grow opportunities for entrepreneurship, business development, and a skilled workforce to achieve a healthy economy
- Goal 2 – Connect the City’s neighborhoods and business districts through cohesive land use, infrastructure development, and transportation planning
- Goal 3 – Foster a healthy quality of life focusing on safety, culture, and recreation
- Goal 4 – Collaborate and partner with entities within the Midlands region to become the state’s primary destination for residents, visitors, and businesses
- Goal 5 – Provide high quality municipal services efficiently, effectively, and responsively
The ability of the City to maximize the positive outcome for “Columbia’s Original Village Neighborhood” cannot be understated, and we look forward to initiating a full rollout of the effort in early 2020.