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New development to bring 566 homes to Blythewood

Melinda Waldrop //October 26, 2020//

New development to bring 566 homes to Blythewood

Melinda Waldrop //October 26, 2020//

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Arabella Spring, a new residential development planned for Blythewood, will bring 566 single-family homes to 220 acres. (Photo/Provided)

A new residential development will bring 566 single-family homes to Blythewood.

Arabella Spring, with frontage on Heins Road and Langford Road, will feature detached homes on 220 acres, 75 of which will be dedicated to community green space.

Atlanta-based asset management and development company St. Bourke is spearheading the project, which also includes Civil Engineering of Columbia and Lexington-based Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

Adam Mitchell, portfolio manager for St. Bourke, said the project sketch received approval from Richland County’s design development team earlier this month.

“We kind of talked through it and showed them our ideas, and they were on board,” Mitchell said. “They really liked it and were happy to see it come through. …. We’re getting some reports updated — wetland reports, topography — and we’re trying to narrow in on that plan. We’re going to work around the wetlands. The plan’s probably going to change a little bit, but not significantly enough where we’d have to go through their review team again.”

A message left with Richland County’s development office was not immediately returned.

St. Bourke is a subsidiary of property owner and international property investment group Drapac Capital Partners. Drapac purchased the Blythewood property in late 2013 or early 2014, Mitchell said.

Mitchell said maximizing the land’s natural features was a key priority in the planning process. Plans include a central six-acre park along with various “pocket parks” and walking trails.

“We looked at rolling hills, the topography, and laid it out. … It helps reduce development costs if you work within what the land gives you,” he said. “That’s the whole intent of Richland County’s open space plan provision, is to keep the land the way it was and do minimal development but still have the ability to create something that future residents will enjoy.”

Houses will range from $200,000 to $300,000 in the community, named after Dr. Matilda Arabella Evans, the first Black woman licensed to practice medicine in South Carolina. The name emerged after three rounds of brainstorming different concepts, Mitchell said.

Phase I will feature around 190 homes, Mitchell said.

“Our goal is to partner with a home builder or a land developer to do that work for us,” he said. “In designing the site, we spoke to a lot of them, just to get their input on the plan and see if they had any feedback they could provide.”

The project will use local contractors and other construction-related firms, Mitchell said.

“That’s something that our company values, no matter where our project is, if it’s in Colorado, Illinois, South Carolina or North Carolina,”  he said. “We make sure we use local consultants who know the project, know the big players in the area.”

Arabella Spring is St. Bourke’s first Columbia-area development. The company has a few earlier-stage projects in the works near Bluffton, Mitchell said.

“We saw the Columba market, we saw it growing, we saw the multiple homes being built, a lot of big-name builders in the area,” he said. “We just focused our time and energy where we think a market has legs and is really moving.”