Richland County, City of Columbia OK redeveloping former Kline Steel Site

Hotel, retail, office space and structured parking planned for key downtown intersection

 A joint initiative by Richland County and the City of Columbia continues to pave the way for economic growth, with an estimated $92 million project taking shape downtown.

Greenville-based Windsor Aughtry Co. will redevelop the former Kline Iron & Steel Co. location at Huger and Gervais streets into a mixed-use development with two hotels, retail space, an office building and structured parking.

The project includes 35,000 square feet of commercial and retail development space and 75,000 square feet of office space for the four-acre property.

The two hotels will include a seven-story, 146-room AC Hotel by Marriott with a rooftop bar, and a second hotel with 114 rooms.

Windsor Aughtry got approval for the project through the Commercial Development Incentive Program (CDIP), a city–county initiative. The County approved the deal at its meeting Tuesday.

The development will lead to more than 250 full-time equivalent jobs. The scope of the project, along with its proximity to the Congaree River and downtown, should boost investment and economic activity for nearby properties.

“This is precisely the type of development we envisioned when we crafted the incentive program,” said Paul Livingston, Chair of County Council.

Since Kline Steel closed in 2004, the property has been eyed as an opportunity for development and a cornerstone for helping expand the Vista westward and connect it to Columbia’s riverfront.

“The Kline property has a longstanding, historical significance to the City of Columbia, and this project will serve as a catalyst for future development in our city,” Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said.

CDIP was approved in 2019 to help spark major developments that tax challenges previously stifled. The initiative works to reimburse developers who invest in public infrastructure. Two other projects, at Bull Street and the site of Capital City Stadium, have also been approved through the program.

 

About the City of Columbia Office of Economic Development

As the leading economic development agency for the City of Columbia, the office focuses on recruiting new business, retaining and expanding existing industry, and supporting job growth through entrepreneurship and innovation. Columbia is one of the fastest-growing cities in the Southeast and an ideal place for commercial development. With a world-class workforce, high quality of life, low-cost corporate environment and extensive transportation infrastructure, Columbia is positioned to assist companies in gaining a competitive edge in the global marketplace. Learn more about the Office of Economic Development.

About the Richland County Economic Development Office

The Richland County Economic Development Office (RCEDO) was formed in 2012 with the mission of enhancing the quality of life for Richland County residents. The office has a staff of five economic development professionals with more than 85 years of combined experience. RCEDO accomplishes its mission by focusing on three proven economic development strategies: (a) business recruitment through actively marketing the County as a competitive location to do business, (b) supporting existing business and industry through its Existing Business Program, and (c) identifying and developing new business and industrial sites and buildings where companies can locate and grow. Learn more about the Economic Development Office.