Bull Street: The center of a new downtown

Originally posted at: http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article13726739.html

baseball-night

For nearly 200 years, the state asylum on Bull Street was the centerpiece of care for the mentally ill in South Carolina. Now, in what is considered the biggest and most important land deal in modern Columbia history, the 165-acre campus is to be transformed into what boosters claim will be an economic behemoth.

It is a billed as a job creator of the first degree, equivalent to Boeing or BMW, with thousands of homes, stores and offices adding a new heart to the city center, alive with people living, working and playing.

Already, a new $37 million baseball stadium is rising from the site’s center. And developers are promising dozens of new stores and hundreds of homes.

But, if successful, Columbia Common, as it is called, also will be the centerpiece of a new downtown – affecting the diverse neighborhoods around it, transforming them as well. Will it be everything everyone hopes?

Columbia, meet your new neighbor