Perhaps the longest waits at The Hub were for the elevators.
But everything else Thursday – the first of two official move-in days at The Hub in downtown Columbia – went smoothly, thanks to staggered move-in times, a well-designed temporary parking system and lots of organizers moving traffic along.
Parents helped their kids settle in at the ultra-modern luxury apartment complex on Main Street, the first of at least six new upscale downtown housing developments geared toward USC students to open.
And, in between the work, The Hub’s newest residents found time to mingle in the complex’s common areas, browse downtown storefronts and pick up lunch.
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Nearly 850 college students and young professionals are taking up residence in the 21-story Hub at Main and Washington streets.
Here are some vignettes from move-in day.
The buzz of activity between Washington and Hampton streets was controlled and virtually hassle-free early Thursday morning, as the day’s first wave of residents at The Hub downtown started to move in.
Tatum Cornelius, a University of South Carolina sophomore, was among the early arrivals as she was assigned a 9 a.m.-noon check-in time.
“If everybody showed up all over the place, I think we would have some problems,” Cornelius said. “But, no biggie. It’s the elevators that are tricky.”
Park and go
Parking spaces remained readily available along the street in front of The Hub, even with move-in day traffic.
Students can look forward to that kind of availability throughout the year, as each one as has been assigned their own spaces in the parking garage behind the complex.
Zack Cavall, a senior criminal justice student, said that luxury is part of the appeal of living there.
“We all have assigned spots, so it’s kinda nice – if my truck will fit,” he said. “I didn’t want to have to feed the meter quarters all day.”
Cavall said he plans to make the short walk to campus for classes each day, weather permitting, rather than taking his truck each time.
VIP in the house
New residents of The Hub were paid a special visit in the early afternoon Thursday, as Columbia Police Department Deputy Chief Melron Kelly and fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins stopped by for a peek.
The two toured the complex, even offering a reporter an all-access glimpse at the ultra-modern landscape.
Among the amenities are a rooftop deck with swimming pools, hammocks, deck chairs, covered tables, outdoor games and a giant-screen TV for game-day viewing.
Inside, there are lounge areas, weight rooms, spas, tanning booths, table games and even hot tubs in some apartment units.
Kelly joked that students likely would be less tempted to head out to Five Points, or anywhere else for that matter.
“I’m going to see if my wife and kids will move down here with me,” he said.
Kelly added the facility’s opening will mean a big boom for the downtown area.
“I haven’t seen traffic like this in this area since I used to come down (town as a youngster) with my granny to (the old) Kress store,” he said.