On April 14, Columbia residents will be presented with a new multi-use sports and entertainment venue, also the new home of the city’s new minor league baseball team, the Columbia Fireflies.
The new multi-use venue, Spirit Communications Park, will serve as the centerpiece of the BullStreet Commons development on the site of the former mental health campus on Bull Street.
BullStreet Commons calls for 414,000 square feet of retail space for shops, restaurants, plus apartments and offices. Hughes Development Corporation is heading up the project. According to a study commissioned by the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the 20-year project will generate about $2 billion a year in economic impact.
The construction of the First Base Building, which is the first office building constructed as part of BullStreet Commons, is underway and planned to be completed by April 2016, as well. Last year, the law firm Ogletree Deakins became the first tenant in the building.
A study conducted by engineers hired by Hughes Development looked at traffic and transportation solutions for the area. According to The State, the Bull Street property is projected to have 16 entrances. State transportation engineers must review the entire study, in order to approve the plan.
Other construction also underway:
- The 4,700-square-foot former bakery building, which will be home to the SOCO co-working space;
- Construction of a 20-acre public park;
- Conversion of the Ensor Building, a two-story brick building next to the stadium that once housed research labs and a morgue, into office and restaurant space;
- Renovation of the Parker Annex, which was bought by an unidentified third party who plans to occupy the second floor and lease the ground floor.