Cason Development Group and Cohn Corporation are expected to start work in August on restoring and renovating 1813 Main St. for 28-30 market-rate apartments. The project is the first of a number of Columbia historic renovation projects the two firms plan to partner on.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to get involved in another historic renovation project in Columbia,” said Frank Cason, president of Cason Development Group. “The building sat vacant for more than five years and most people did not realize there was a historic, mid-century modern façade hidden behind all of that stucco. It will be fun to bring this old office building back to life and convert it to apartments,” said Cason.
The project repurposes the historic Klondike Building next to Jefferson Square and across the street from Main Street United Methodist Church. Cason and Cohn are partners in the project. Davis Architecture is the architect. Cason and Cohn purchased the building in 2019 and expect the project to be completed in Spring 2022.
The one- and two-bedroom high-end apartments are expected to attract young professionals and empty nesters who want to live in an urban environment. “Student housing has its place, but these units are designed for post graduates,” said Cason. The renovated building will also have a retail space of about 1,000 square feet that Cason thinks would be appropriate for a small upscale bar, wine shop or boutique.
The renovation will create the first apartments on the 1800 block of Main Street. “We are so pleased that Cason Development Group and Cohn Corporation are redeveloping this fine building into market-rate apartments,” said Matt Kennell, president and CEO of the City Center Partnership, the downtown public space management, economic development and marketing organization. “This is a major step toward the full redevelopment of the northern portion of Main Street and ties in well with the success of other Cason developments north of Elmwood,” Kennell said.
Built in 1961 by the Klondike Corp., the building was initially used for federal government offices and renovated in 1983 for office condominiums. The team intends to restore the structure to its original mid-century modern appearance, including its entrance off Main Street. The building will also have adjacent surface parking and the residents’ entrance will be off the parking lot.
The building was designed by the Columbia architectural firm of Lafaye, Fair and Lafaye, which also did Main Street’s Tapp’s Department Store, and was built by the Congaree Construction Co. Cason and Cohn have obtained the original floor plan from the Caroliniana Library at USC to use as a resource. They have applied to have the building placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the building has been granted city landmark status by Columba City Council. They have also applied and have been granted preliminary approvals for Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, the State Abandoned Building Tax Credit and the Bailey Bill.
About Cason Development Group
Cason Development Group is a commercial real estate development firm located in Columbia, South Carolina, focused on projects in the Columbia area as well as tenant-focused development outside Columbia. Cason Development Group LLC, 2144 Sumter Street, Suite B, Columbia, SC 29201
About Cohn Corporation
Cohn Corporation is a full-service real-estate solutions firm that provides business solutions for a variety of real estate customers through construction, development and property management services.
Cohn Corporation, 1556 Main Street, Suite 300, Columbia, SC 29201