Key corner in Columbia’s Five Points sold, eyed for redevelopment

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A main corner in Columbia’s Five Points shopping and nightlife district has been sold and could be redeveloped in the future.

Columbia’s Cason Development Group said in a Wednesday release that it had purchased the 5,200-square-foot property centered at 701 Harden St., where Men’s Wearhouse is located. That building wraps around to Devine Street, where it also includes Sushi Yoshi and the Carolina Barber Shop.

“We have a long-term outlook on Five Points,” said Cason Development Group’s Taylor Wolfe said in the release. “Investing in Five Points is something we want to continue to do, and with the city’s focus and tax credits that are available we believe we have the tools necessary to be a part of that positive shift.”

The group did not offer specifics about its plans for the Five Points location, noting that it acquired the property for “future redevelopment” and that it is “evaluating long-term plans.”

Richland County records indicate the previous owner of the property was Columbia’s Gloria Burg.

Cason Development Group President Frank Cason said the shopping and nightlife district appears to be at an “inflection point” and that the group wants “to be a part of the solution to create a sustainable urban district for the next fifty 50 years.”

Five Points does appear to be in a moment of transition. There are more than 30 empty storefronts in the neighborhood. Iconic restaurant Yesterday’s closed amid the pandemic, as did Grilled Teriyaki restaurant. And many of the district’s famed college bars have been engaged in a seemingly never-ending battle with residents of nearby neighborhoods and the law firm of Democratic state Sen. Dick Harpootlian.

Those neighbors and Harpootlian’s firm have consistently opposed renewal of alcohol licenses for certain bars in an attempt to curb what they see as bad behavior coming from the nightlife district.

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