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14-story apartment tower proposed for downtown

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the edge 1
The two-story, nearly 4,200-square-foot former location of a hair salon could be razed to make way for a 14-story apartment tower at the corner of Assembly and Washington streets, next to the Richland Library. (Photo/Chris Cox)
By Chris Cox
Published Nov. 9, 2015

A 14-story, multi-family apartment complex has been proposed for the corner of Assembly and Washington streets next to the Richland County Public Library.

The Edge, a project headed by Chicago-based developer Clayco Realty Group, is scheduled for an informational presentation at Thursday’s meeting of the Design/Development Review Commission. It was deferred from a previous presentation in October, according to DDRC agenda documents.

the edge 11-9 rendering
The contemporary design of the proposed apartment tower at Assembly and Washington streets could face “stern criticism,” according to a city staff report. (Image/Provided)
Committee members recommended Clayco postpone its request “based on the number of significant concerns that need to be addressed.” Its contemporary design may be a hard sell, recommendations noted, due to the massiveness of the building with minimal detailing on the upper facades. That “will likely face some stern criticism,” the staff wrote.

The committee also noted that the jumbled pattern of windows on the upper façade might have been an attempt to distract from the structure’s lack of detail, a similar approach seen on a recent proposal that was not well-received, the staff said. Corner buildings on a public street should also feature entrance to street-level shops or lobby space, staffers added.

Neither applicant Russ Caplin nor any other Clayco representative could be reached for comment on the plans. It remains unclear what the timetable is for this project, assuming it receives DDRC approval.

The site at 1401-1413 Assembly St. was the former location of the now-closed Angeline’s Beauty & Wig Salon. Russell and Jeffcoat lists the 4,180-square-foot building, constructed in 1940, for sale on its website for $495,000.

Scott Altizer of Carolina One Commercial Real Estate, who is representing the buyer, could not be reached for comment.

Before 1950 the building was part of “Black Downtown,” an area where African-American professional offices and businesses like the Greenleaf Café and Owen and Paul’s Tailor Shop were located, according to Historic Columbia.

Reach Chris Cox at 803-726-7545 or on Twitter @chrisbcox.

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