Couple to establish independent, boutique style hotel in Columbia’s Main Street historic district

Former Powell Furniture Co. building on Sumter Street, built in 1920, will be converted to part of a boutique-style hotel cluster in downtown Columbia.
Former Powell Furniture Co. building on Sumter Street, built in 1920, will be converted to part of a boutique-style hotel cluster in downtown Columbia. The Boudreaux Group

Three historic properties in downtown Columbia will be converted into a 41-room boutique-style hotel, developers said Monday.

The properties, whose backyards adjoin one another, include the former Powell Furniture Co. building located at 1519 Sumter St., the former Western Auto building at 1222 Taylor St., and the Rose Talbert building located at 1224 Taylor St.

The $10 million project, which will be known as Hotel Trundle, is being developed by a local couple, hotel developers Marcus Munse and Rita Patel. Columbia-based Mashburn Construction Co. will build the project.

Munse and Patel, who both have architectural degrees, wanted to establish a non-branded hotel property in the Capital City, because they think it will thrive here, they said.

“We live, play and work here – love it, and we really want to support our community,” Patel said. “Our guests will be leisure, corporate, hopefully some government officials. We really want to use the space as a platform for community, supporting all different types of people events.”

The absence of royalty fees to a corporate entity will open up more local opportunities to cater to the local community, help promote other businesses and their local products, and provide new experiences, the couple said.

“One of the beauties of being unbranded is we really have the ability to listen to the guests and respond to that with whatever we want to do, without having that red tape,” Munse said. “We can make it what we want.”

Preservation, of course, is at the top of the agenda. “The buildings themselves are gorgeous. Everything is just original – beautiful brick, stamped tin-roof ceilings – it’s just gorgeous. We want you to leave our space feeling relaxed, energized and just itching to re-decorate your place.

“We’re very, very, very excited and in love with the project,” Patel said. The hotel is planned to open in the fall of 2017.

The second floor of the Powell Building will house the Boudreaux Group architecture and planning firm, which is designing the hotel property and will be the only other tenant on the site besides the hotel, according to Lee Mashburn, president and CEO of the construction company.

Conversion of the three, two-story buildings, which comprise about 23,000-square feet, has already begun, according to David Wiesendanger, an architect at the Boudreaux Group.

“We’re going to take the existing buildings that are there, they’re going to be completely renovated, we’re taking out the stuff that’s really not natural to the building, and keep any historical character that we can to really use it as an amenity to the rooms and to the buildings,” Wiesendanger said.

The lobby of the hotel will face Taylor Street, and each of the three buildings will feature boutique rooms on the ground floors. A small addition of six rooms will be made to the Rose Talbert building, Mashburn said. And the ground floor of the Powell building will also feature a fitness center.

The properties will be renovated under the guidelines and standards of the South Carolina Historical Preservation Office and the U.S. Park Service, Mashburn said. The Powell building, constructed in 1920, already is listed on the Main Street historic district and applications will be made to add the others to the registry, he said.

Earlier this year, the three properties, which basically adjoin the new city garage between Main and Sumter streets, had been considered for possible office and retail space. The development is an offshoot of the strong downtown office and retail market – and the expansion of the Main Street historic district designation to side streets downtown.

The historic district designation allows owners to draw down federal and state tax credits against the costs of renovating and preserving the properties.

“We’re real excited about it because, a hotel is just great for downtown. It brings new business downtown, it brings new transient customers who spend money, and these are three historic buildings, which is also very cool for downtown,” said Matt Kennell, executive director of the City Center Partnership.

The company will use historic tax credits to restore them in a very proper way, Kennell said. “We’re just really excited about it,” he said.

Roddie Burris: 803-771-8398