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Old 04-09-2009, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Augusta, GA ''The fastest rising city in the southeast''
7,157 posts, read 11,942,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhenaton06 View Post
It does appear that downtown Columbia has seen more investment than downtown Augusta in recent years. That doesn't necessarily mean it's in better shape, but I assume that's his/her perception.
I probably would agree with you about Columbia's more investment downtown than Augusta before 2005. But from 2006 and into the future I seriously doubt.

Last edited by nortonguy; 04-09-2009 at 02:28 PM..
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:08 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 11,875,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nortonguy View Post
I probably would agree with you about Columbia's more investment downtown than Augusta before 2005. But from 2006 and into the future I seriously doubt.
Here are the biggest projects that were constructed/are under construction in downtown Columbia since 2004:

• the 17-story, $62 million Meridian office building (2004)
• the 142,500 sq ft convention center (2004)
• the 9-story, $40 million First Citizens Bank headquarters (2006)
• conversion of historic 12-story Barringer Building into apartments (2006)
• the 18-story, $60 million office building at Main and Gervais streets (U/C)
• the 8-story, $32 million full-service convention center Hilton (2007)
• conversion of historic 15-story Palmetto Building into boutique Sheraton (2008)
• 1520 Main, $7 million 29-unit residential development (2006)
• renovation of 1441 Main office building (U/C)
• Adesso, $43 million, 110-unit condo development (2007)
• 132-room, $15 million Springhill Suites (U/C)
• 93-room Staybridge Suites (U/C)
• City Club, upscale residential development consisting of 46 townhomes and 8 condos (either still U/C or recently completed)
• first phase of $120 million CanalSide residential development, initially consisting of 175 apartments (2008)
• Lofts at Printers Square, 11-unit, LEED-certified luxury condo development (U/C)
• Renaissance Plaza, $25 million residential development with 17 live/work units and 55 condos (2005)
• Battery at Arsenal Hill, 44 townhomes and single family homes (2008)
• Courtyard at Arsenal Hill, 7 upscale home neighborhood (2007)

This list is far from exhaustive and doesn't include USC related projects, like the new ballpark which recently opened and the downtown research campus under construction, greenway-related projects, or streetscapings. Some of those not listed can be found here (http://www.thestate.com/livinghere/story/427330.html - broken link). I also didn't include the projects that are planned, have been approved, or postponed.
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:19 PM
 
215 posts, read 404,370 times
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I do not have time to fully analyze everything you mentioned, BUT Adesso for one is failing miserably.. They just reduced their [SIZE=2] “Sorrento” floor plans from 395K-435K to 250K. Columbia can build all day (the city is in debt...) but isn't the true test of a city not how much debt they can pile up, but how successful they are?

Canalside?? I doubt you can even mention that as a project... I heard the CEO and CFO speak and the project is on hold at 1/5 complete. The wonderful city of Columbia decided to open up a homeless shelter next to their ritz new lofts... basically haulting the project... and they did not meet the pre-sale requirements so they are now for lease only.

Augusta could do the same and pile up debt, but that is just not the case.. White's Building & Enterprise Mill are doing great... thanks to the help of devoted Augusta residents making it happen.

I was talking to a Realtor who is listing a Columbia home in summerchase (big suburban community) that the family bought in 1995 for 179K.... They decided to list today for 169K. Negative price appreciation in over 10 years?? Imagine if someone had bought a 4 bedroom home on Walton Way 14 years ago... it would have at least doubled, if not tripled.
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:50 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 11,875,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AugustaREGroup View Post
I do not have time to fully analyze everything you mentioned, BUT Adesso for one is failing miserably.. They just reduced their “Sorrento” floor plans from 395K-435K to 250K. Columbia can build all day (the city is in debt...) but isn't the true test of a city not how much debt they can pile up, but how successful they are?


Why are you talking as though these are public projects? Adesso is a PRIVATE development, so how is the city compiling debt if it fails? Furthermore, the timing of this project wasn't exactly the best: right before we slid into a recession.

Quote:
Canalside?? I doubt you can even mention that as a project... I heard the CEO and CFO speak and the project is on hold at 1/5 complete. The wonderful city of Columbia decided to open up a homeless shelter next to their ritz new lofts... basically haulting the project... and they did not meet the pre-sale requirements so they are now for lease only.
Firstly, CanalSide is probably the most responsible project that's recently been built, from a private developer's point of view. They waited to see how the market would respond to prior residential developments, and based on that, they tweaked the development by breaking it up into phases and making the first phase residential; I could name a few projects here in Charlotte--which is far ahead of both Augusta and Columbia--which did the same thing. Secondly, there is no homeless shelter open next to this development. One location near CanalSide, of several others, was mentioned as a potential site for a shelter, but the decision to locate it elsewhere was finalized months ago. Why are you offering outdated, false information?

Quote:
Augusta could do the same and pile up debt, but that is just not the case.. White's Building & Enterprise Mill are doing great... thanks to the help of devoted Augusta residents making it happen.
And several other developments--the majority, actually--are doing well in Columbia. You took a few exceptions out of many examples and attempted to extrapolate them into a norm. Sorry, but that won't work. And I can guarantee you that there are projects in Augusta as well that have had false starts, weak sales, have been cancelled, etc. just like in Columbia. But I forgot: Augusta is a real estate agent's dream and the envy of Georgia, while Columbia is a hellhole with nothing more than a statehouse, Ft. Jackson, and USC.

Quote:
I was talking to a Realtor who is listing a Columbia home in summerchase (big suburban community) that the family bought in 1995 for 179K.... They decided to list today for 169K. Negative price appreciation in over 10 years?? Imagine if someone had bought a 4 bedroom home on Walton Way 14 years ago... it would have at least doubled, if not tripled.
And what's that supposed to mean? That a house in any city shouldn't depreciate in value during a severe recession caused by the collapse of the housing market? Are you even listening to yourself?

And by the way, Columbia's office market is stable and local employment and housing markets began to show signs of improvement in the first quarter of this year. Home sales for the Columbia region increased 29.5% from January 2009 to February 2009.

Look, if Augusta is a better fit for you, then that's a great thing. But you're being totally disingenous by only criticizing Columbia and only praising Augusta as if the former is hell and the latter is heaven. At least attempt to present a balanced view of things. Both cities have their positives and negatives.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Augusta, GA ''The fastest rising city in the southeast''
7,157 posts, read 11,942,661 times
Reputation: 772
Well what i can remember
$100 million Heart and Vascular center 2008
$135 million cancer center u/c
$200 million dental and medical school u/c
$6 million medical commons u/c
$50 million Saint Sebastian u/c
$80 million judicial center u/c
$40 million whites building 2008
$30 million Enterprise mill 2006
$70 million health and science building 2006
$10 million energy plant 2006
$3 million streetscape project 2007
$35 million library u/c

Other projects that were completed since 2006 or U/C. James brown townhome community, Green building, Emporium condos, Go Green building, Woolworth building, ESI headquarters, SRP Bank, Toole engineering, 88 room Holiday Inn Express, 100 room Comfort Inn, homes on laney walker and bethlehem, Richmond county health dept, Ar johnson buildings, laney high school football stadium.

Last edited by nortonguy; 04-09-2009 at 05:42 PM..
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:43 PM
 
215 posts, read 404,370 times
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You clearly won that last round. Great post... I lost on a lot of levels (no sarcasm).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhenaton06 View Post
But I forgot: Augusta is a real estate agent's dream and the envy of Georgia, while Columbia is a hellhole with nothing more than a statehouse, Ft. Jackson, and USC.

And what's that supposed to mean? That a house in any city shouldn't depreciate in value during a severe recession caused by the collapse of the housing market? Are you even listening to yourself?
Side note - I am a Realtor in Columbia, SC (and before you say how can you sell people on a place you dislike - I work with investors, and on that front with the military base and usc there are TONS of great investment opportunities in Columbia)... and what I meant by that is almost ANY house you bought in Augusta in 1995 has increased in value AFTER the recession.

The entire Sand Hills area was a product of sprawl and 'to fast to quick' growth.

I am pointing out the negatives of Columbia, and praising Augusta to prove my point. There are TONS of negatives of Augusta (professional sports, dilapidated Harrisburg, public transit, consolidated nightlife - talk about sprawl, and so on). Columbia also has some positives (as previously mentioned river, USC, etc).

Living in both cities... for some reason I truly get excited about seeing Augusta in the future... while in Columbia... I don't.

You are right though... it is personal preference, and if my time on this site convinces one person to move to Augusta I feel that it is time very well spent. AND I feel that the person will not have made a bad choice!

I wish the best for Columbia in the future though, and hope it continues to evolve into a great city. For now though, I am picking Augusta to live, work, and play.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:46 PM
 
215 posts, read 404,370 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nortonguy View Post
Well what i can remember
$100 million Heart and Vascular center 2008
$135 million cancer center u/c
$200 million dental and medical school u/c
$6 million medical commons u/c
$50 million Saint Sebastian u/c

....
Nice additions , and another thing I keep harping on... I am not saying Augusta is bigger than Columbia (so these figures need to be referenced in terms of population, use, private or government (the financial strain/debt it puts on the city).

I would like to think I am semi-plugged into real estate in both cities, and I have never heard about personal investments in major Columbia projects like I do in Augusta. Who knows though.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:51 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 11,875,943 times
Reputation: 2698
^A lot of those projects are institutional in nature. Nothing wrong with that (MCG in particular is an important fixture in the local landscape, there's no denying that), but they aren't a reflection of the private investment flowing through a community--which is why I left out the projects associated with USC in particular from the Columbia list. And I know that some of those aren't downtown projects.

One that's not downtown, though, that I'm glad to see happening is revitalization along Laney Walker. I remember having to ride through that area when I was younger to get to my aunt's and uncle's home in Hephzibah and how run down it was. It served as my first impression of the city, but I'm glad it's getting cleaned up.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:02 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 11,875,943 times
Reputation: 2698
Quote:
Originally Posted by AugustaREGroup View Post
The entire Sand Hills area was a product of sprawl and 'to fast to quick' growth.
OK, now I'm with you on that one. That's Richland Northeast for you--although it does seem that the Village at Sandhill has been relatively successful (minus the condos--not the best idea IMO).

Quote:
Living in both cities... for some reason I truly get excited about seeing Augusta in the future... while in Columbia... I don't.

You are right though... it is personal preference, and if my time on this site convinces one person to move to Augusta I feel that it is time very well spent. AND I feel that the person will not have made a bad choice!

I wish the best for Columbia in the future though, and hope it continues to evolve into a great city. For now though, I am picking Augusta to live, work, and play.
Thanks for the balance. Like they say, it's different strokes for different folks.

While I think both cities are headed for great things, Augusta, I think, suffers from being in the same state as Atlanta, which is where the vast majority of business investment in Georgia winds up. Columbia, on the other hand, is pretty much on equal footing with Greenville and Charleston economically speaking. Also, Columbia has carved out a new economic niche--hydrogen fuel cell technology--which it is vigorously pursuing, leveraging its existing strengths in the process (state government, USC) and combining that with downtown revitalization via USC's downtown research campus, Innovista. This is mainly why I think Columbia has a bright future because for the first time, it seems to be capitalizing on all of its strengths. If the leadership in Augusta hasn't done so already, they should map out Augusta's economic future and try to tie the city's strengths into that. That would go a long way into turning the city into a year-long live-work-play location.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:05 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 11,875,943 times
Reputation: 2698
Quote:
Originally Posted by AugustaREGroup View Post
I would like to think I am semi-plugged into real estate in both cities, and I have never heard about personal investments in major Columbia projects like I do in Augusta. Who knows though.
How about Tom Prioreschi of Capitol Places? If any one person can be said to single-handedly help put people on the streets downtown via residential developments, it would be him. He's rehabbed several historic buildings downtown and has plans for at least one other. The development arm of his company just announced yesterday that they are going to convert a former downtown Class C, 8-story office building into senior apartments--and this was after the initial plans for that same building fell through. The city should erect a statue of the guy downtown.
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