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Village at Sandhill loses 2 clothing retailers; Columbia airport reports a tough year

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Christopher & Banks

Christoper & Banks is closing its location at the Village at Sandhill near Columbia. Mike Fitts/Staff

COLUMBIA — Christopher & Banks, a women's clothing retailer that has gone into bankruptcy proceedings nationally, is closing at the Village at Sandhill in Northeast Richland.

The store has posted closing sale signs advertising all inventory on sale for 40 percent to 60 percent off. The Village at Sandhill location has been the retailer's only Midlands location.

The company filed for bankruptcy last week, saying it would close many if not all of its 449 physical locations. The company's filing said it would sell off assets to repay creditors.  The retailer said it’s already in talks with a potential buyer for its e-commerce business.

The retailer also operates outlet stores in Gaffney and Myrtle Beach.

This closing is the second in recent weeks to affect the Village at Sandhill based on a national bankruptcy. The retail center also recently saw its location of menswear retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers close. 

Jos. A. Bank's national parent company went through bankruptcy proceedings in 2020, as did many national retailers. The company announced plans for up to 500 stores to close as it entered bankruptcy in August, according to USA Today.

Jos. A. Bank continues to operate locations in the Midlands market in Harbison and at Trenholm Plaza. 

The Village at Sandhill overall weathered the tough retail times of 2020 pretty well, according to Patrick Palmer, director of retail for NAI Columbia, who represents much of the retail center.

Most losses at the village were related to national bankruptcies or cutbacks, such as to closing of its Victoria's Secret location.

Airport seeks to look past tough 2020

The past year was a brutal one for the travel industry, and Columbia Metropolitan Airport was no exception, according to a year-end report.

The airport saw airline revenue drop by 35 percent, while parking revenue dropped by a steep 56 percent. These were major contributors to the airport running a $9 million deficit on the year.

The airport did get one of its key goals accomplished, attracting a low-cost carrier in Florida-based Silver Airways. The airline brought service to Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa and, the airport expects, better rate competition.

Other projects from 2020 also could help the airport in the future. The airport worked with Magnus Partners on an adjacent development site, the 803 Industrial Park.

Another project should help boost convenience for travelers as air travel is expected to grow in 2021: a digital parking system designed to show arriving travelers where open parking spaces are, reducing the need to search the aisle for a parking spot.

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Student tower gets second OK

A 17-story student housing tower on Assembly Street at Washington has, for the second time, received approval to go ahead from a Columbia review board.

The $80 million tower went back before the Design/Development Review Commission in November with revisions to its initial design. Those changes, however, did not meet the approval of the committee initially.

Members thought the redesign, driven in part by cost concerns, sacrificed much of the building's exterior appeal, including a much lower percentage of windows and glass.

On Thursday, the latest revisions were approved with little debate by the committee, which gave the project a special work session in late November to iron out problems. 

This should be the last permitting hurdle for the project. Developers are hoping for it to be open for the fall 2023 college semester.

The building's current name, The Edge, might stick or be replaced by another moniker, according to Jay Case, operating partner of CRG, the Chicago-based company leading the project.

Space on spec in Blythewood

The Carolina Pines Industrial Park in Blythewood is growing, thanks to Collett Industrial.

The company is constructing a building of almost 200,000 square feet in the park "on spec," meaning that no primary tenant has been found yet. That's a sign that the company sees a strong need for warehouse or industrial space in the area.

The building will have 42 doors tall enough for trucks to dock and is expected to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Companies that currently have facilities at Carolina Pines include Belk and Husqvarna

Charlotte-based Collett is using Colliers International South Carolina to lease space in the spec building.

Jay Rodriguez contributed to this report.

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Have any Midlands business news to share in the column? Reach Mike Fitts at mfitts@postandcourier.com

Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mikefittsat140

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