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Richland County Council not moving forward on "Richland Renaissance" redevelopment plan

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH)--A controversial multi-million dollar redevelopment plan has been put on the shelf.

The Richland Renaissance project has been put under the microscope since late last year. Taxpayers knew very little about how it would play out and now it seems it's going to stay that way.

In a special called meeting Thursday night, Richland County Council voted to stop moving forward on the plan and went back to the drawing board. The move comes after $8 million was already spent on properties for the Renaissance Project:

  • Dillard’s – $2,000,000
  • Burlington – $1,590,000
  • Sears – $2,821,000
  • Old Antique Mall (Start Center transit component) – $750,000
  • Havertys (Start Center component) – $1,050,000
  • All Medical (Judicial Center component) – $630,000

At this time it is unclear on what the next move will be, but here is what we know so far:

The project was given an initial price tag of $144 million.

Before Thursday night's vote, council members said that investment will not be lost.

The major sticking point that derailed the project was a piece of property near the Dutch Square Mall. The Council chose not to move forward on buying the land during their meeting Thursday, and that's when the council chairwoman said the project couldn't happen without it.

"We need to look at all the rest of the Renaissance because we haven't input on the court house and the other pieces so if that's the case, we need to kill the Renaissance and start over. I make a motion to kill it and start all over," said Chairwoman Joyce Dickerson.

After that vote, Councilwoman Dalhi Myers request a list of how much money was already used in a project they "decided to throw down the hole".

No further information was provided during the meeting.

The next meeting is scheduled for June 5.

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