New Owner for Columbia’s Palmetto Center?


New owner for Palmetto Center?

April 7, 2008

The buzz among one-time suitors and Main Street watchers is that the Palmetto Center — the soon-to-be-former HQ for energy giant SCANA — has been sold to an out-of-town outfit.

No word on whom, and the building’s sales agents at Grubb & Ellis/Wilson Kibler are mum.

Village at Sandhill developer Alan Kahn said his bid for the 20-floor building was rejected.

Downtown developer Al Saad expressed interest this fall but passed because he couldn’t see how to make enough money from the 450,000-plus square feet that will be emptied in fall 2009.

He and Ryan Hyler, research director for commercial real estate firm Colliers Keenan, said a major corporation is needed to fill the equivalent of 10 percent of downtown’s total office space.

The Palmetto Center could take 10 to 15 years to fill with smaller tenants, Hyler said.

And chances of converting the offices to housing — condos or apartments — are slim these days with the softening real-estate market, Saad said.

His suggestion: USC should move its law school there.

Objection, the USC barristers barked.

The school looked at the Palmetto Center but is aiming for the old Columbia art museum site at Bull and Senate streets.



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