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Former armory in downtown Columbia becoming boutique hotel

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Armory Hotel

A rendering of what the 1219 Assembly St. building is expectd to look like after conversion to the The Armory Hotel. Provided

COLUMBIA — A building in downtown Columbia that served for almost 60 years as a National Guard armory is slated to be converted a boutique hotel, according to plans filed with the city.

The building at 1219 Assembly St. in the Vista is used as office space and a bank branch now, with the name of one tenant, the Hussey Gay Bell engineering and architecture firm, on the side. 

From its construction in 1905 until 1964, however, it was a guard armory, where weapons and equipment were stored.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an example of a more modern armory building in a 20th century style, rather than the more medieval style used in other buildings.

The current plan would take the office building and make it into a 34-room boutique hotel called The Armory. The plans for the $7.7 million project were filed with the city as part of a Board of Zoning Appeals request.

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An addition to the building would be added on the back of the current structure. That would house additional rooms and suites, plus some infrastructure. Atop the addition would be the 1,000-square-foot terrace, featuring a bar and kitchen area.

The project is being designed by Columbia's LS3P architectural firm. 

The board is being asked to give the project a waiver on the amount of parking that will be available. The application cites the public parking lots and street parking near the site, along with plans to use valet parking, as reasons that the easement should be granted. 

Traffic to the hotel will share an alleyway with the adjacent Cola's restaurant.

The zoning board should hear the parking request at its next meeting on Nov. 5.

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