New Apartment Complex to Replace Graffiti Covered House

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COLUMBIA - One local construction company is continuing plans for development on the corner of Walnut Street and College Avenue. Trittenbach Construction will build an apartment complex in place of existing houses in the area, including one house marked with graffiti.

The house has not always looked like this. Less than a month ago, people gathered at the house the night the residents moved out to demolish it themselves. As the night went on, the graffiti artists spray painted all sides of the house.

Some residents have come to refer to the house as the "graffiti house" and are anxious for developers to tear it down.

Walnut Street resident Alex Silverman said, "There's a lot of nice people who live around here, and everybody's kind of concerned about it."

Silverman said he is also looking foward to more housing options downtown.

Plans for the new complex are currently in the design stage. Before carrying out plans, developer Jon Odle must apply for a demolition permit from the city of Columbia.

Steve MacIntyre of the Department of Planning and Development said other city committees need to look at the property before construction can begin.

"The houses that are being torn down are over 50 years old I imagine," MacIntyre said. "That would require going to the Historic Preservation Commission, and that gives them a two weeks inspection period in which they can inspect the homes and do any research that they would like to do with it."

He said the commission does not have the option to prevent demolition.

Developers will build a 4 story, 100 unit complex on the 2.5 acres of land, but will have to give some of the land to the city for landscaping and road expansion near the complex.

The city and developers are unsure when construction will begin, but they hope to make more progress in July.