Education

Developer ‘100 percent’ sure 688 USC students will have beds before classes start

Empire Columbia, housing designed for University of South Carolina students, is expected to be ready for move in by August 10, developer Park7 said Tuesday.
Empire Columbia, housing designed for University of South Carolina students, is expected to be ready for move in by August 10, developer Park7 said Tuesday.

Despite a delay in construction, the newest luxury complex for University of South Carolina students is set to open by Friday, one of the project’s top developers said Tuesday.

Roughly 100 students were set to move into 688-bed Empire Columbia last Friday, but the building wasn’t ready, said Beejan Savabi, a partner at Park7 Group, the company that owns that property. Students who were affected by the delay are either being offered a prorated rebate on their rent or being housed in a hotel paid for by Park7, Savabi said.

“For the most part, everyone is moving in on time, except for the handful supposed to move in last Friday,” Savabi said. “(It is) for sure, 100 percent, going to be open by the time school starts.”

The building is located at 1015 Assembly St., just a block from the State House. It’s popular too, Savabi said. Every bed in the building is full, and there’s already a waiting list for next year, he said.

Sophomore Patrick Ellis was supposed to move into Empire last Friday, but now plans to move in on Aug. 10. The Lowcountry resident said he chose to receive a rebate rather than stay in a hotel.

Between 30 and 40 students are being housed in hotels, Savabi said.

Park7 also built Park Place, another student housing complex on Huger Street.

In an exclusive tour given to The State, Savabi promises the wait will be worth it. The fountains on the rooftop pool are running. The adjacent jumbotron is hooked up. The weight room and golf simulator are ready, and Park7 just got clearance from the city to move furniture into the movie theater.

Empire pool.JPG
The rooftop pool at Empire Columbia, a 688-bed luxury complex geared toward University of South Carolina students, is expected top be ready for move-in by August 10, developer Park7 said Tuesday. Lucas Daprile

All that’s left to do is paint, install landscaping and move in furniture, Savabi said.

“This is going to be the best property in Columbia,” Savabi said.

Correction: The original article incorrectly said Park7 built Aspyre, another housing complex designed for USC students. The article has been updated.

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