Ground Broken: 17-Story Tower Set For Main


June 18, 2008

By Jeff Wilkinson – The State

An Atlanta developer Tuesday broke ground for a 17-story, $57 million office tower at the high-powered corner of Main and Gervais streets across from the State House.

The Gervais & Main tower, being built by Holder Properties, will house three of Columbia’s premier firms: Edens & Avant real estate development and management company, National Bank of South Carolina and McNair law firm.

The tower is good news for Main Street after SCANA announced it will move its headquarters across the river to Lexington County and iconic Main Street clothier Lourie’s decided to close.

“It’s a sign of the strength of downtown even in a tough economy,” Columbia Mayor Bob Coble said.

The three firms will fill all of the office space in the 400,000-square-foot tower, making it a safe bet for Holder president and CEO John Holder even in a shaky economy.

“It’s about having three great, well-capitalized tenants,” Holder said prior to a lunch for 300 of the firms’ employees on a steamy, tented parking lot at the site on Tuesday. “It was a fairly easy deal once all three were in the boat.”

The new tower is a power bond for the three firms and a bit of one-upmanship on their competitors.

Law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough partnered with BankMeridian in the Meridian tower on Main Street in 2004. And the Nexsen Pruet law firm moved into the new First Citizens building on Main Street in 2006.

But the new tower’s location across from the State House is a trump card, especially for NBSC and McNair.

“It’s one of the most high-profile corners in our state,” NBSC president and CEO Chuck Garnet said.



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