Answers to frequently asked questions via Robert Hughes, BullStreet Project Manager & President of Hughes Development Corporation:
There is much to share from behind the scenes at BullStreet, and given how quickly things are moving on our end, we have decided to create this list of frequently asked questions to better share the good news.
BullStreet is a 20-year, 181-acre development project in the heart of downtown Columbia. BullStreet’s front door is at the intersection of Elmwood Avenue and Bull Street, one mile from USC and the S.C. Capitol Building. It is a mixed-use redevelopment of the former South Carolina State Hospital campus, with an anticipated $1.2 billion annual economic impact. Hughes Development Corporation (HDC) is serving as the project’s master developer, and we are deeply invested in working with the Midlands community to build a one-of-a-kind new neighborhood – a city within a city. At completion, we expect this project to be full of an engaging mix of local and national shops and restaurants, high-quality entertainment, comfortable residences, public art and beautiful parks.
BullStreet is a 20-year project because it’s 3.3 million square feet of space (roughly the same size as the entire office market in the central business district of Greenville, S.C.), and no city in the country the size of Columbia is growing quickly enough to absorb that much area in any timeline shorter than that. Our aim is for BullStreet to be a catalyst to grow Columbia even more rapidly than the current yearly average. A lot can change over a 20-year period, especially in a growing city like Columbia, S.C., so it’s hard to imagine diving into a public-private partnership over such a long timeline. However, we all agreed it would be worth it if the result is transforming an abandoned site of this size into a new downtown district.
As of this writing, the BullStreet development project has been underway for a little under three years, which is less than 15% of the way into our 20-year projected timeline.
Although it is hard to see its extent in places, incredible progress has been made at BullStreet. Districts the size of BullStreet take decades to develop. Luckily, we are uniquely positioned to outperform other districts in similar-sized cities because of the work done before development officially began. For five years prior to April 2014, we worked through some of the more difficult parts of the development process (land take-down schedule, zoning, infrastructure agreements, etc.) and created a strong public-private partnership with the City of Columbia.
As the master developer, we are committed to seeing the BullStreet neighborhood become a one-of-a-kind destination in South Carolina and have a great working relationship with the City of Columbia, which is key to making that happen.