Columbia Development Boom
Local developers say this is just a hint of what's to come. One developer says the new Wal-Mart and Kohl's off of Grindstone Parkway will add 650,000 square feet of retail space.
Columbia developers and real estate agents met to discuss the building boom Thursday at the Economic Outlook conference. But they say retail space isn't the only construction that's booming.
Columbia is seeing a surge in medical buildings and new hotels as well. But the big question of the day was why Columbia?
One hotel developer says it's the makeup of the town that makes it a good investment.
"You're never going to see the university close it's doors. You've got more hospital beds per capita than anywhere in the continental United States, good insurance industry, no smoke stack industry and north, south, east, west, roads." Ken Wilhelm of the Hospitality Development Corporation said.
And if you think there are a lot of new strip malls and commercial development in Columbia right now, just wait. One developer says we should expect to see current businesses in Columbia open second, third and even fourth locations.
Oversaturation with this building boom doesn't seem to be a concern for the new businesses. Developers say one of the biggest battles of building commercial complexes in Columbia is the residential opposition.