2015-06-12 / Business

Innovista Greene Street Corridor expected to transform the heart of USC

From Staff Reports

Artist’s renderings by Sasaki Associates Artist’s renderings by Sasaki Associates Area leaders broke ground Thursday on the Innovista Greene Street corridor, a project expected to transform the heart of the University of South Carolina, creating a milelong corridor for new business and residential development.

Ten years in the planning, the revamped Green Street’s signature is Foundation Square, a raised tree-lined public plaza across from the Colonial Life Arena, at the intersection of Greene and Lincoln. Plans call for a planting of 121 trees that include a mix of ginkgo, black tulip magnolia, shumard oak, bald cypress, and kwazan cherry. The landscaping plan also calls for benches and decorative lighting.

The first major construction to break ground using Richland County’ penny transportation sales tax, the project’s $10 million Phase One is a three- block stretch of landscaping and roadway work along Greene Street from Assembly to Gadsden. LAD Corporation is the contractor working on the project. Construction is scheduled for completion early summer of 2016.

The work will include converting Greene from a four-lane and twolane road to a three-lane road with sidewalks and dedicated bike lines. The project is being done in conjunction with construction of two university affiliated dorms, housing

880 students, between Blossom and Greene streets.

City and county officials gathered Thursday at the USC soccer practice at Greene and Gadsden Streets to launch the effort that in Phase Two will connect the USC campus to the Congaree River, bridging the railroad tracks where Greene Street dead ends now.

The final piece of Phase Two is to finish out Williams Street, which now runs parallel to Huger Street in fits and starts along the Congaree River.

Williams will be extended through undeveloped property belonging to Columbia’s Guignard family and run beside a 70-acre Waterfront Park, to be built on Guignard land where Greene Street crosses Huger.

Richland County council moved the Innovista Greene Street corridor to the top of the penny sales-tax list after USC had decided to move early on design and funding work on the effort. Council decided the work was shovel ready and worthy to advance the project on the work list, with plans to repay the university from the salestax program.

The Innovista Greene Street corridor is part of the Sasaki Plan, a planning guide commissioned by USC for the redevelopment of some 500 acres between campus and the riverfront.

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