CanalSide, one of the first modern residential developments in downtown Columbia, is entering its final phase with a luxury, riverfront apartment complex that will have 399 units.
Called Sola Station, the $58 million project completes a vision for downtown Columbia that began in the 1990s.
At the time, the site was home to Central Correctional Institution, the state’s main prison and home to Death Row. When Sola Station is completed in 2018, CanalSide will be home to about 1,000 residents.
“It’s a great leap forward,” said Mike Dawson, executive director of the River Alliance, which was formed in 1995 to open up access to the river. “In the ’90s, the idea that people would live downtown was an alien philosophy.”
With Sola Station, The Beach Co. of Charleston is building two four-story apartment buildings overlooking Columbia Canal and the Congaree River. A third building behind them will be three stories.
CanalSide is one of only four downtown multifamily complexes that front the river. The other three are condo developments on either side of the Gervais Street bridge – City Club, Flow and Bridgepointe.
There are also a handful of apartment complexes within walking distance of the river, such as the new Tremont complex in Cayce.
“The problem is there just isn’t much riverfront property that is available for residential development,” Dawson said.
At CanalSide, the Sola Station apartments will be more luxurious than the rest of the complex because of the views, said Ned Miller, project development manager for The Beach Company. Although prices have not been set, Miller said they would likely be at the high end of the downtown rental market. “The finishes will be a step above,” he said.
Miller added that the apartments will be marketed to residents other than college students. “Although there may be a grad student or two in there,” he said.
The project, which is named for the 19th century railroad line that once connected Charleston’s port to the Midlands, will include studio and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.
Amenities include a fitness center, yoga studio, clubroom, pet spa, bike shop and dog park. The project will also feature a courtyard with saltwater pool, grills, cabanas, fire pits and hammocks as well as lounge seating and outdoor kitchens.
The plan also calls for 30,000 square feet of commercial space suitable for small retail stores such as pubs or coffee shops.
“When it’s done, we’ll have about 1,000 residents in CanalSide,” Miller said. “So that should make the commercial work.”
Sola Station at CanalSide
▪ Two four-story buildings
▪ One three-story building
▪ Studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom floorplans
▪ 339 units
▪ Saltwater pool, fitness center, club room and pet spa among other amenities