Luxury living at Lake Murray used to mean buying a lot and building a house or ponying up for an existing home and a dock – both expensive propositions.
But a new $50 million project by developer Ben Arnold – best known for downtown Columbia projects like The Palms, Renaissance Plaza and Vista Lofts – is bringing resort-style apartments to the lake with poolside dining, boat docks in a new marina and a new Liberty restaurant.
Work is wrapping up on the four-story, 216-unit The Residence at Marina Bay development, on the site of the old Lake Murray Marina & Yacht Club in Irmo. Its motto: “Eat. Boat. Live.”
“Marina Bay is designed to satisfy the need for luxury living on the lake without having to purchase a home,” Arnold said. “And it’s the closest place to downtown Columbia on Lake Murray that you could do something like this. I knew it was a good opportunity.”
The first phase of the complex is scheduled to open in October, with the entire complex completed by February, said community manager Eve Garcia. Marina Bay will offer a variety of floor plans with one to three bedrooms, ranging in size from 855 to 1,450 square feet.
Rent for the apartments will range from $1,070 per month for a one-bedroom unit to $1,635 for a two-bedroom unit with a huge wrap-around porch designed to provide great views of the water. Three-bedroom units are also available for $1,435.
The complex will feature a 2,000-square-foot heated pool, a fitness center, a grilling deck with patio seating and stone fire pit, Wi-Fi connections and a modern theater and entertainment room.
The complex also will host resident parties and community events, Garcia said.
“We’ll probably have weekly events – cookouts at the pool, a champagne and dessert social in the clubhouse, a wine party night or a game night for the guys,” she said. “Probably between six and eight events per month.”
Garcia added that residents who have committed to the project so far have been a mix of professionals, young retirees and folks who want a second home at the lake without the expense of buying a second house.
“Some just want it for a weekend getaway,” she said.
Sherri and Matthew Brosius were among the first to lease a unit. In addition to the location and the amenities, they liked that their son Kyle could attend Dutch Fork High School.
“He needed to have higher level classes that weren’t available in the school he was attending,” Sherri Brosius, a real estate broker, said. “We made that decision in April and moved our whole family in. There were benefits for each one of us.”
The apartments are being built under 2010 Energy Star Guidelines and will have contemporary finishes, including wood floors, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The complex features gated parking with 545 spaces and upper-level sundecks with lounge furniture.
Residents also have the option of renting slips in the newly renovated marina.
Fronting the lake on a peninsula will be a two-story marina center featuring a marina store and Liberty on the Lake restaurant and rooftop bar. The Liberty restaurant replaces the longtime Dockside Restaurant, which was demolished, and will be operated by the Charleston-based TBonz Restaurant Group.
“It’s a 13,000 (square) foot marina center with boat club, ships’ store, restaurant, banquet room and indoor-outdoor bar,” Arnold said. “We’ll have a restaurant dock, boat parking and side ties.”
TBonz owns the Liberty Taproom in Columbia’s Vista, and the restaurant will deliver to residents at poolside, Arnold said.
“It’s the only apartment (complex) in the Carolinas that serves food at the pool,” he said. “So it’s really like a resort.”
For Joyce and Pete Boney, who have split time between their home in Blythewood and a houseboat at the marina for the past 20 years, the new development is quite a change.
“I think it’s going to be nice,” Joyce Boney said. “I’m really looking forward to the restaurant.”
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