Ground broken for multi-million-dollar Brookland project

The flowing water of the Congaree River symbolizes life, and the leaders of West Columbia have embraced the river.

That’s what Matt Mundy said as ground was broken for Brookland.

Local officials, developers, and others break ground Tuesday on the long-awaited Brookland project. (Photo by Terry Ward)

Mundy is a developer with Estates and Co., the company overseeing the anticipated Brookland project. It has a price tag of more than $40 million and is being planned for construction across from the Congaree River at State and Meeting streets.

He said it is the “most-impactful project Estates has ever done.” Mundy also said it will be a catalyst to spur more investment in the West Columbia Vista.

Brookland will include retail, office, and residential development. Capital Prime is an upscale steak and seafood restaurant that has announced it will build at Brookland. Representatives from the restaurant were on site for the groundbreaking.

“We think we have a landmark project here,” said project manager Teresa Hodges before the first shovels of dirt were turned.

At the ceremony, West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton chronicled the effort of the city to patch together four acres from nine different land owners in order to make way for a gateway into West Columbia from the Gervais Street Bridge.

Horton reminisced back to the days when West Columbia was named “Brookland,” and said 120 years after the city was established it is once again “embracing Brookland.”

Hodges mentioned that the site is where the New Brookland Mill Village store once stood.

She also said the complex, with a panoramic view of the Columbia skyline, would include a rooftop lounge and saltwater pool.

Mundy noted that the effort to revitalize the area was first visualized by the late-Mayor Mac Rish.

Horton said the plan to develop the site endured a recession, and lukewarm, even timid, suitors.

But it all came together for Tuesday’s groundbreaking.

Brookland will include a 30-foot-wide linear park with trees that connects the river to State Street, said Hodges. She also said construction would commence soon.

Mundy said the project would attract 200 jobs, $8 million in spending power, with $2 million of private money invested in public spaces.