Dozens of new houses set for up-and-coming State Street, West Columbia river district

A new, 34-home housing development is being built in the heart of West Columbia’s booming River District.

The two- and three-story, single-family homes are replacing older housing stock in a two-block tract bounded by Center, Shuler, Augusta and Herman streets. The houses will range from 1,100 square feet to just over 1,600 square feet and are priced from $232,950 to $249,000.

Called St Anns Alley, the development is one block from State Street and a short walk to the Congaree River and the city’s riverwalk amphitheater.

“Easy walking distance to the trails, close by to restaurants,” said Jeffrey Wheeler, of the Wheeler & Wheeler residential brokerage firm, which is the marketing the houses. “The arts, museums, antiquing. It’s just an unbelievable urban location.”

The development is the latest in what has become a building boom along the West Columbia-Cayce riverfront.

The Brookland apartment complex, with about 200 units, opened in September on Meeting Street in an area previously called “the Pit” between State Street and the riverwalk amphitheater. It also houses the new upscale “Frenchish” restaurant Black Rooster.

The Flow condominiums a block away on Sunset Boulevard is doubling its size to 24 units.

The 186-unit Indigo at the Brickworks is being completed in Cayce on Knox Abbott Drive.

And across the street from Indigo, the 224-unit Advenir at One Eleven, formerly Tremont, opened in 2016.

In addition, several new restaurants, a park and a planned brewery are boosting West Columbia’s profile as a destination.

Former S.C. Secretary of Commerce Joe Taylor, a co-developer of St Anns Alley with Mark James and Tyler Baldwin, credited lower taxes, a more stream-lined permitting process and looser regulations than neighboring Columbia for the city’s progress.

“West Columbia is pistol hot,” he said.

The new development takes its name from the St. Ann’s Rescue Mission, a home for boys, that was located in the area during the late 1800s.

The homes are two or three bedrooms and two and a half baths, Wheeler said, adding each house will have its own yard and two parking spaces.

There are four basic models with varying interior layouts and color schemes, each designed to fit in with the community, he said.

The homes feature 9-foot ceilings, fiber cement siding exteriors and extensive trim and quality finishes, according to marketing materials.

West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles said he expects growth in the city center to continue.

“People want to live in the district,” he said. “We want to try to find a way to spread that energy up Meeting and Center streets into the heart of West Columbia (and) we’re going to continue that up into Triangle City.