Sep
24

Details on Columbia Arcade Redevelopment Released

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Columbia arcadeVeteran retail developer Ron Swinson wants to bring energy back to Columbia’s historic downtown Arcade. To do that he plans to restore the historic building, reopen the basement that once housed the Columbia Down Under entertainment venue, and recruit new retail and office tenants.

Swinson, a former principal of CBRE in Columbia, bought the building in July through his company Peach Properties for a little over $1 million. He expects total investment in the project to be around $2.5 million. Partners in the venture include his son, Ross Swinson, and son-in-law Brad Shelf.

“Our goal, to the extent it is economically feasible, is to restore the entire building to pretty close to what we feel and think, and the pictures show, is original,” Swinson said. “I’ve always liked the Arcade. It is sort of this hidden gem on Main Street that just seems to have gotten overlooked,” Swinson said. “We are trying to change the energy in the Arcade for everyone.”

In recent years, the Arcade, a turn of the century shopping mall, has been home to a number of local artists’ studios, a handful of retailers and offices as well as Swanson’s Deli, a local sandwich shop. While Swinson said he is willing to work with any of the current tenants to remain, he knows the mix will change. Some of the artists have already begun to move out.

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