Jun
02

Old Fire Headquarters to be Renovated into Office and Retail

By
Revival for historic building

June 02, 2008

By Jeff Wilkinson – The State

Once slated for demolition, the old Columbia Fire Department headquarters is about to become home to one of the city’s premier architectural firms and what could be one of the most unusual businesses in the Vista.

The Stevens & Wilkinson architectural firm plans to move into the renovated second floor of the historic Senate Street building.

And A Taste of the South — a 15-year-old St. Andrews mail-order business — will move into the first floor. Owners Elie and Pam Abikhaled plan to open a South Carolina-only specialty food and gift shop as well as a restaurant, bar and cooking school.

The fire station’s bay doors will open up the building for sidewalk shopping and dining.

In the future, there are plans for condos and more retail and office space on the lot around the fire station.

“This is going to be a top-notch development,” said Fred Delk, executive director of the Columbia Development Corp., which guides investment in The Vista and is helping with the project. “We’re going to do it right from Day 1.”

A news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. today to announce the project. Groundbreaking for the renovations is set for July 1.

Delk compared the renovation of the landmark building with the conversion of two Gervais Street icons, the old Confederate Printing Plant into a grocery store and the old Columbia Mill into museums and offices — key projects that helped build momentum in the old warehouse district.

The fire station is a block from the city’s new convention center, downhill from the State House and across the street from the new Hilton hotel.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.thestate.com/local/story/421796.html
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