H&LA Development Update: Columbia, South Carolina

Our recent research for a project in Columbia, South Carolina revealed some exciting new hospitality-related developments happening in the area. These developments will have an impact on tourism, employment, and the general economy in Columbia and the surrounding areas in 2024 and beyond.

  • A large-scale student housing development called Campus Village opened on the University of South Carolina campus in Columbia in August 2023. Construction on this project first began in May 2019, and the four-building complex is now capable of housing 1,808 students. With a total cost of $240 million, Campus Village is the largest construction project in the university’s history.
  • Georgia-based Southeastern Development has announced plans for a $100 million redevelopment of the Richland Mall in Forest Acres, South Carolina, just east of Columbia. This project will create a 32-acre mixed-use development with apartments, retail, a brewery/taproom, and a large outdoor event space. The first phase of this project is expected to be completed within the next three to four years.
  • A new mixed-use development called Colite City is planned in West Columbia, on the former site of the Colonial-Hites sign company. This project’s 150,000-square-foot first phase will include an event space, a food hall, office space, and studio space for artists and designers. Envisioned as an incubator for innovation and entrepreneurship, Colite City is expected to open in mid-2024.
  • In July 2023, a new indoor pickleball facility called 24 Hour Pickleball opened in Lexington, South Carolina, west of Columbia. Now the largest dedicated pickleball facility in the state, it features eight indoor courts, four outdoor courts, and an outdoor space for food trucks. 24 Hour Pickleball operates as a members-only club and will host tournaments and league play all year round.
  • A large indoor sports complex has been proposed for a site in Irmo, South Carolina, northwest of Columbia. The Nexx Level Sports Center would include eight basketball courts, 16 volleyball courts, a fitness center, and a climbing course. A sports complex of this type would be able to host tournaments year round, drawing youth athletes and their families to the area and significantly benefiting nearby hotels and restaurants. As of our research date, this project was in the early planning stages, and it remains unclear when it will be completed.
  • A new AESC electric vehicle battery plant is now under construction in Florence County, South Carolina, about 80 miles east of Columbia. Representing a total investment of $800 million, the 1.5-million-square-foot plant is scheduled to open in 2026 and will create more than 1,100 new jobs. Positioned to support the growing popularity of electric vehicles, this new plant will have a significant economic impact on the region for years to come.