Columbia City Council moves foward on apartments, downtown beautification

Monday, February 21, 2011 | 10:55 p.m. CST; updated 12:10 a.m. CST, Tuesday, February 22, 2011

COLUMBIA — City Council approved a student-oriented apartment complex and moved forward the renovation plans for the Avenue of the Columns on Monday night.

The Grove

Construction of a 632-bedroom apartment complex on the northeast corner of Rock Quarry Road and Grindstone Parkway can move forward.

The City Council unanimously approved The Grove, a student-oriented apartment complex. The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the plans at its meeting Jan. 20. 

The complex plans include two entrances – one entering from Rock Quarry Road and one from Grindstone Parkway.

"We started construction on Feb. 11, and if everything goes according to plan we anticipate moving students in on Aug. 20," Jason Chudoba, a media relations consultant for Campus Crest, said.

Campus Crest, a national firm based in Charlotte, N.C., owns The Grove and operates 27 similar student-housing properties in 11 states across the country.

Avenue of the Columns

A resolution from the City Council declared the renovation of the Avenue of the Columns in downtown Columbia is "necessary to the welfare and improvement of the City." The $625,400 project will include new trees, landscaping, sidewalks and lighting along Eighth Street between Walnut and Elm streets and down Broadway between Seventh and Ninth streets.

The streetscape renovations have been in the works for nearly eight years. The plan was finished in 2005. The renovations were supposed to coincide with the city hall construction, but the plan was put on hold when initial bids were too expensive.

The plan will be paid for with a combination of city funding, contributions from adjacent property owners and funds transferred from other downtown projects.

A public hearing on the plan will take place at 7 p.m. March 7 at City Hall.

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