New Players for Columbia Student Housing Site

Student Housing will after all come to the Corner of Blossom and Huger Streets, after a previous project never came to fruition.

A $60 million student housing project proposed by New York-based Park7 Group for the corner of Blossom and Huger Streets has cleared the Columbia Design/Development Review Commission and now has the necessary approval to move forward with development.

The project site already has the necessary zoning in place due to its inclusion in the Innovista Design District, as well as previous initiatives to develop student housing on the site, according to a report by Columbia Regional Business Report.

The five-story dormitory project features 800 student beds, a courtyard, and parking, and is slated for completion by August 2015. Exterior design elements include corrugated steel panels and stucco.

The Park7 Group was founded in 2010 and includes three separate firms:  Park7 Development, Park7 Management and Park7 Capital. The privately-held company focuses on the development and management of student housing properties nationwide.

The project’s site is owned by Columbia businessman Ben Arnold, president of Arnold Companies, an owner and developer of commercial real estate in the Southeast.

As reported by MHN last year, Arnold Companies and Charlotte-based Monarch Ventures formed a joint endeavor a little over a year ago to develop a 600-bed luxury student housing project at the site. Named Monarch at USC, the project was supposed to receive tenants at the start of the fall 2013 semester.

There are several student housing projects under development or experiencing significant upgrades in Columbia due to massive demand generated by the University of South Carolina, which has increased its student body by 5,600 in the past decade. One of the projects is an adaptive reuse project by Core Campus LLC, which received its approval while Monarch waited for its plans to be approved by the city. Named Hub at Columbia, the $80 million luxury development has just recently started leasing.

Image courtesy of Core Campus