One of Columbia’s busiest street corners is set to get a makeover — just in time for it to be taken out.

On Tuesday, the Columbia City Council approved Columbia Real Estate’s request to install and maintain private landscaping on a portion of city property outside their storefront at the southeast corner of Providence Road and Broadway.

This same piece of city property is planned to undergo construction within the next year in order to build two other substantial projects previously approved by the city.

In 2015, the city approved the gateway project, a group of landscaping and art installations that will be installed on popular street corners around the city. The next year, the city approved the restoration and expansion of Flat Branch Park. Both of these projects will overlap with the same street corner as the proposed new landscaping.

Park Planning and Development Superintendent Mike Snyder said that the goal is to have the park completed by 2021.

“It’s the 200th year anniversary of Columbia,” he said.

The landscaping will also incorporate extensive amounts of greenery into the surrounding plots on the street corner, which is now currently only filled with mulch.

“It’s a very real possibility that the landscaping project could be removed in about a year,” Snyder said.

Deb Sheals, a historic preservation consultant helping to oversee the creation of the two projects, says the business is aware of the renovations the city has for that corner of its property.

“It’s actually something I checked into to make sure when it came up to make sure those people knew that we were planning on the gateway,” Sheals said.

Sheals says she actually spent about an hour one day verifying with the company that the area will be dug up by the year 2020.

“They know the park’s coming. They know it will be removed, but they really wanted to beautify that spot in the meantime,” Sheals said.

Columbia Real Estate did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

  • Public Life reporter, fall 2019 Studying Print and Digital News - News Reporting Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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