At least three new businesses moved one step closer to opening in Five Points when Columbia’s zoning board on Tuesday allowed the developers to proceed without the up-to-36 parking spaces that city law normally would require.
The Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously voted to allow the owners of a pair of vacant, adjacent buildings in the 900 block of Harden Street to renovate the buildings, with hopes of bringing tenants, despite having no on-site parking available for the businesses.
Street parking spaces are available in front of the building where Richard Burts and Elizabeth Ward, the owners, plan to introduce a spa-like business, a personal training business and a service-oriented business – all locally owned.
The businesses are planned for the center of a strip of commercial buildings across Harden Street from the shopping center anchored by Food Lion and Office Depot.
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Plans for the mixed-use development also include an open-air courtyard to be surrounded by the new storefronts, plus constructing a second story with up to eight office or residential spaces.
“I think that this idea is a good one,” Burts told the zoning panel. “Unfortunately, it does have the parking variance attached to it. I don’t see any other way of developing the property.”
Burts said receiving the parking variance was the largest remaining hurdle but that the plans might still need to be reviewed by the city’s design board. The project’s price tag will come to at least $700,000, he said.
The new businesses should be able to open around August, Burts said. Already in the block are an Orthodox Christian, another business called The Unexpected Joy, the recently opened leasing office for the Station at Five Points apartments and longtime businesses Hipwazee and El Burrito.
The zoning board also approved a special exception to replace the vacant Church’s Chicken on Devine Street with a Take 5 Oil Change. The facility would be Columbia’s first Take 5. The chain also has facilities in Rock Hill, Spartanburg and Greenville, according to its website.