Business

Founders Federal Credit Union to open branch at Bull Street

The First Base Building overlooks Spirit Communications Park, home of the Columbia Fireflies.
The First Base Building overlooks Spirit Communications Park, home of the Columbia Fireflies. jblake@thestate.com

BullStreet, the 181-acre former state mental hospital campus in Columbia, is getting another tenant.

Lancaster-based Founders Federal Credit Union will continue its expansion into Columbia by opening a 2,900-square-foot branch in the First Base Building, which is adjacent to Spirit Communications Park. It is schedule to open Jan. 17.

Founders is also planning a new location off Killian Road near Interstate 77, set to open in 2018.

The full-service branch at Bull Street will have four employees, according to the credit union. It will also offer a walk-up, full service ATM.

Founders made a splash in Columbia about a year ago when it signed a 10-year, $4.5 million deal to rename the University of South Carolina’s baseball stadium Founders Park, plus another $2.5 million for additional advertising on campus.

“When we saw the vision of the development at The Commons at BullStreet, we knew this was a place we wanted to be to expand our reach in the Columbia market,” said Bruce Brumfield, the credit union’s chief executive.

The Commons at BullStreet is the trademarked name of the retail area planned for the former state hospital campus.

Founders joins the law firm of Ogletree Deakins in the First Base Building. The firm’s Columbia office occupies the entire top floor. Founders will be located on the first floor.

Spirit Communications Park is home to the Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball team, which shattered professional baseball attendance records in Columbia in its first season this year.

Other recent BullStreet developments include:

▪ Plans for a 10-screen “luxury” cinema. Cobb Theaters said it will begin construction next year on the project, which will include a bar and full-service restaurant. It is expected to be completed by summer 2018, when other retail buildings in the shopping and entertainment area are expected to come online.

Three historic buildings – The Bakery, Parker Annex and the Ensor Building — have been renovated. The Bakery is home to SOCO and The Iron Yard co-working collaborative.

▪ Developers also plan to renovate the sprawling Babcock Building into apartments.

▪ Discussions are underway to locate the University of South Carolina’s new medical school building on the campus.

The BullStreet project is being built by Greenville master developer Bob Hughes of Hughes Development, considered the architect of that city’s downtown revival.

Hughes’ real estate brokers, Hughes Commercial Properties of Greenville and Miami-based Lennar Commercial, is advertising The Commons at BullStreet as a mixed-use development that includes up to 85 total storefronts with 400,000 square feet of retail space, 275 apartments, 50,000 to 75,000 square feet of office space and a 150-room hotel.

The entire 181-acre redevelopment project envisions 3,500 residential units and 1.3 million square feet of office space to be built over 20 years.

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