Press and Media

Unique Senior Living Opportunity Coming to BullStreet Neighborhood: Merrill Gardens


The second BullStreet neighborhood residential project in as many months was announced; the latest is Merrill Gardens at BullStreet, an intergenerational seniors’ community featuring independent living, assisted living and memory care apartments.

A joint venture of developers from Seattle, WA and Charleston, S.C., chose the BullStreet neighborhood because of the uniquely urban experience being created on the former S.C. State Hospital Campus. The senior living apartments will sit just down the third base line from the Spirit Communications Park baseball stadium and across from the new 20-acre public park, allowing residents to enjoy the walking trails and playing fields in the park during the day and the 300+ events per year at the ballpark at night.

Merrill Gardens at BullStreet will have full kitchens, expansive common areas, a rooftop deck and sports bar and pub. Amenities like these are not typical for senior living developments, but are a key part of the developer’s strategy of creating one-of-a-kind living opportunities for seniors. While residents will have access to 24-hour dining and staffing, active wellness programs and scheduled transportation, residents will also be encouraged to be active members of the BullStreet neighborhood and enjoy the retail, restaurant and entertainment offerings as the site develops.

Rendering 1 of BullStreet Senior Living-Merrill Gardens-photo

“The Bull Street project has allowed us to fulfill our vision of providing seniors with an active and authentic lifestyle in a community in which they are already familiar,” said Clayton Mozingo, Principal and CEO of Second Fifty Communities. He continued, “In partnership with the Hughes Development team, highlighting the rich Columbia landscape as the backdrop of this site has been an exciting experience given the positive change in the area.”

Merrill Gardens, which is being built on 2.66 acres of BullStreet property at the corner of Freed and Gregg Streets, will have 196 units. Construction for the first phase of 115 units will begin later in 2017, with 81 units of phase 2 beginning soon after the first phase is completed.  Residents are expected to move in when the first phase opens in 2019.

Rendering 2 of BullStreet Senior Living-Merrill Gardens-photo

The project will be a joint development of Pillar Properties of Seattle, Washington, its sister company, Merrill Gardens, and Second Fifty Communities of Charleston, South Carolina. The companies also are developing Merrill Gardens at Carolina Park in Mt. Pleasant.

The announcement comes about six weeks after the unveiling of plans for 28 luxury town homes, called TownPark at BullStreet.

“These apartments will be the best located senior housing units in Columbia. The addition of Merrill Gardens fits our vision for BullStreet perfectly, allowing us to provide living opportunities for all age groups,” said Robert Hughes, president of Hughes Development Corp. and master developer for BullStreet. “We are creating a dense urban environment that reflects the diversity and rich character of our city, which is very important to us. We found the best, most experienced companies in the country to incorporate vibrant, interconnected senior living into the neighborhood.”

Rendering of BullStreet map with senior housing location

About Pillar Properties and Merrill Gardens:

Pillar Properties and Merrill Gardens are both privately held family companies owned by the R.D. Merrill Co in Seattle, WA.

Merrill Gardens has been a leader in senior living for 24 years and continues to set the standard for quality. Merrill Gardens currently has 28 operating communities in six states with five new communities under development, including Merrill Gardens at Columbia. For more information visit

Pillar Properties is the developer for sister-company Merrill Gardens, tasked with driving the strategic growth initiatives and expanding the portfolio of senior housing assets with a nationwide footprint.  Pillar Properties is currently managing an active development pipeline of over 1,500 units that will be delivered over the next few years.  For more information, visit

About Second Fifty Communities:

A privately-owned company in Charleston, Second Fifty’s mission is to help seniors to embrace life and live connected to others who share their hopes, commitment and desire for a more healthy, rewarding and fulfilling experience in their retirement years.

Second Fifty is dedicated to elevating the standards for personal care and connectedness across all of its senior living communities. For more information, visit

About the BullStreet Neighborhood:
The BullStreet Neighborhood is a 20-year, 181-acre project to transform the historic S.C. State Hospital site into a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood district in downtown Columbia, S.C. The state’s first urban gigabit community, BullStreet is home to Spirit Communications Park, where the Columbia Fireflies Minor League Baseball team has hosted more than 390,000 guests to date, as well as the First Base Building (the largest private office building constructed in Columbia, S.C. since 2009), home to Ogletree Deakins, TCube Solutions and Founders Federal Credit Union. Bone-In Barbeque restaurant opens in the Ensor Building in Fall 2017, and 28 residential townhomes are planned at TownPark at BullStreet, adjacent to the renovated Parker Annex office building. The award-winning Bakery at BullStreet building is home to the SOCO cowork and event space, the Central Energy Facility is the future home of Downtown Church, and plans are underway for a new USC Health Sciences campus. Follow @BullStreetSC on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and learn more at