South Carolina State Museum

Columbia, South Carolina
Proposed Use: Office Space
Completed: 1978 Renovation completed - Sold and donated to tenant 1997
Size: 380,000 Square Feet

The historic building located in the Congaree Vista is currently home to the South Carolina State Museum and the South Carolina Department of Revenue. This building was constructed in 1892 and was the first electrically powered cotton mill in the world. After Mt. Vernon Mills ceased its operations in Columbia, SC in the 1980's, the property was listed in the National Register of Historic places, but was an eyesore in a crucial location in the Congaree Vista.

A limited partnership (now a 70% owned subsidiary of Foster/Saad) renovated the property at a cost of $25 million and leased it to the State of South Carolina on a net lease basis. The partnership generated $8 million in tax credits, which were syndicated to investors. What had been an industrial relic became a stunning, nationally awarded anchor to the Congaree Vista redevelopment and probably Columbia's major success story of the last half century. In 1997, the State of South Carolina exercised its option to purchase the building at a fair market value.