As an 11-year resident in the Vista, I am disappointed with members of the Richland County Council who voted to sell the old magistrate court property on Huger Street, which was never put on the open market, to a Florida developer who plans to put up a 750-bed complex. That action alone creates speculation of impropriety. Though the complex may not be billed as student housing, each apartment will have bedrooms with private baths, as do student housing facilities, inviting student occupancy.
Our neighbors enjoy the vitality of the Vista and have eagerly awaited the development of the “Lower Vista” leading down to the river. This property would be better used as a gateway to the Lower Vista. Retail shops, hotels, art galleries and restaurants bring people to the Vista and encourage spending and vitality. Large numbers of students lead to an increase in littering, late night escapades, cheap bars and higher crime rates.
I hope the Columbia City Council will consider the future of the Vista and weigh the benefits of bringing vitality to this area instead of just having another student complex.
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