USC approves dorm, office building built by private developer

01/16/2014 9:39 AM

03/14/2015 9:05 AM

University of South Carolina trustees agreed Thursday to have Holder Properties build a $94.6 million apartment complex behind the Carolina Coliseum and a $25 million office building in the Innovista research campus.

The university will lease the land to the Atlanta-based developer, which will construct and take most of the profit generated from the apartments and offices.

USC is not spending any money on the buildings and will take a cut earned from the projects that still need final city of Columbia and state regulatory approvals.

In Columbia, Holder has built the Main & Gervais and Meridian office towers and the Adesso condominiums and Aspyre apartments.

The 878-bed apartment complexes, one of which will open in fall 2015 and the second in fall 2016, would compete with student apartments that have cropped up on Bluff Road in recent years.

USC's private-public complex are expected to include amenities offered at the Bluff Road units -- including a pool and fitness center along with some retail -- while being closer to campus. The project will include 689 parking spaces.

Demand for student housing has grown as USC expanded enrollment in recent years to counter drops in state funding. The school has an existing demand for 830 beds, though another 1,100 students said they would be interested in university housing if it included "high-quality" amenities.

A few blocks away from the coliseum, four more apartment projects with more than 1,600 beds are planned.

The university Development Foundation plans to sell land around the Palmetto Compress warehouse to an Ohio developer to build two apartment complexes with more than 700 beds. Those apartments should open in fall 2015.

Manhattan-based Park 7 Group plans a $60 million, 800-bed complex at the corner of Huger and Blossom streets on land owned by developer Ben Arnold. Those apartments also should open in August 2015.

And a 120-bed development bounded by Pendleton, Huger, College and Pulaski streets called Pulaski Square is moving forward.

Holder's new office building at Blossom and Assembly streets with 110,000-130,000 square feet should open in July 2017.

USC will receive $72,600 in annual rent plus 15 percent of profit and will rent 40,000 square feet of office space at $16.60 per square foot to help ease the shortage of academic space on campus.

Holder will charge management fees for the apartments and office building.

The new office building also could help end a decade of uncertainty about one of USC's marquee projects.

The $144 million Innovista research campus was planned to combine USC's research efforts with companies that could use the work by faculty -- including some highly paid professors lured to help the state's economy.

Four buildings were planned -- two built with public money and two built by private developers.

The public, academic buildings -- one centered on biomedical research and another on next-generation energy research — are just being completed.

The private buildings were never built -- hurt by the sour economy and leadership controversies.

Map of Student Apartments

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