1 A St Anns

New housing in West Columbia’s River District in high demand, a boost for local businesses

Buyers are rushing to the West Columbia housing market and that is creating traffic for local businesses. 
Construction began on St. Anns Alley in February of 2020.

St Anns Alley, in the WECO River District, was billed as an in-town community of 34 single-family homes in the booming West Columbia River District.

Rob Shaw of Rob Shaw Gallery

The streets surrounding St Anns Alley are: Center; Spring; Herman; and Augusta. The community takes its name from the St. Ann’s Rescue Mission, a home for boys that sat in the area during the late 1800s. 

The effort has been a success. All 34 original homes have been sold. And St. Anns Alley was such a success that its developers acquired additional land to build eight new St Anns Alley homes. Construction on those homes is not complete, but seven of the eight have already sold.

Why are the homes so desirable?

“St. Anns Alley is in a fabulous location,” said Jeffrey Wheeler, of the Wheeler and Wheeler Group of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the company marketing the houses.  He also said  St. Anns Alley is within easy walking distance of the West Columbia Riverwalk and restaurants, like D’s Wings, Cafe Strudel and Savage Craft Ale Works. In addition to hospitality venues, Wheeler said the SC State Museum, several antique shops and Riverbanks Zoo are in close proximity.

Direction signs at St Anns Alley

“It’s just an unbelievable urban location,” Wheeler said, “and there’s the benefit of the lower tax rate in West Columbia.”

Because of the demand, and rising value of St. Anns Alley houses, Wheeler said he expects more developers to be attracted to the area and he anticipates more residential development.  

West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles also said he expects more growth in the future and not just in the River District.

“People want to live in the River District,” Miles said, “and we’re spreading that same energy into other parts of West Columbia.” 

Wheeler said St. Anns Alley attracts buyers of diverse ages. The houses have sold to young and single professionals, as well as empty-nesters, and recently married couples. 

The influx of new homeowners is good for other businesses.

Crowd at Savage Craft Ale Works

“We’ve had quite a few new customers come in who have moved into the new homes around here,” said Rob Shaw of Rob Shaw Gallery and Framing at 324 State St. Shaw said much of the new business he gets has come from residents of the Brookland development at the corner of State and Meeting Streets. 

The Brookland development includes apartments in buildings overlooking the Congaree River. It’s a multi-million dollar project that has parking for residents in a four-acre live-work-and-play complex. And more than 50 luxury apartments will soon be available in Brookland. 

Shaw also said there are not many chain stores in the area and that’s good for him. “The people who live around here support local businesses,” he said.

Victoria Porter, manager of Savage Craft Ale Works at 430 Center St., said it’s not just the shops that attract clientele from the new housing in the River District. 

“There are a lot of Savage Craft customers walking up and some are riding bikes, or they are in golf carts,” she said.  “We get some on those little skateboard looking things with one wheel and we get families running with strollers, along with dog walkers. You have to assume they are coming from homes close by.” 

The pedestrian-like traffic can come to Savage Craft for a craft beer and some of them stay to dine, said Porter. Some come for a drink and then they go over to D’s Wings at 415 Meeting St. to eat. “With more residential properties around us, the better it is for all the businesses,” said Shaw.  “It helps me and it helps everyone else,” he said. 

The idea by West Columbia City Council to recruit more residential opportunities was devised in order to generate traffic and create customers for West Columbia businesses. And that is what is happening.

Below is a list of some West Columbia shops:

  • State Street Trading Co.
    134 State Street
    (803) 550-9048
  • Old Mill Antique Mall
    310 State St
    (803) 796-4229
  • Three Rivers Antiques
    615 Meeting St
    (803) 814-2102
  • 763 Meeting Street Antiques
    Antique furniture store
    763 Meeting St
    (803) 796-1516
  • Meeting Street Interiors
    614 Meeting St
    (803) 791-0008
  • Attic Fanatic
    251 Charleston Hwy
    (803) 828-4036
    1217 Augusta Rd a · Near Mooneyhan’s Auto Service
    (803) 821-8208
  • Parks Furniture Antiques Ltd
    3131 Sunset Blvd
    (803) 791-4071
  • The Elephant Trunk
    2931 Platt Springs Rd
    (803) 791-8765
  • The Warehouse SC
    312 State St
    (803) 834-7557

West Columbia restaurants:

  • Grecian Gardens Restaurant – 2312 Sunset Blvd – 803-794-7552
  • Cafe Strudel – 300 State St. – 803 – 926-5255
  • West Columbia Fish Market – 529 N. 12th St. 803-851-1171
  • Compton’s Kitchen – 1118 B Ave – 803 791-0750
  • Breads and Such – 1220 C Ave. – (803) 851- 0566
  • Buttercream Dreams – 1230 C Ave. – (803) 708-4485
  • Hite’s BBQ – 240 Dreher Rd. – (803) 794-4120
  • The Original Brunches – 2245 Leaphart Rd – (803) 791-7477
  • Jimmy’s Mini Mart/Citgo – 812 Meeting St. – (803) 794-0090
  • Maurice’s Piggie Park – 1600 Charleston Highway – 803-796-0220J
  • Nick’s House of Pizza Restaurant- 1082 A Sunset Blvd – 803-794-9240
  • DeLuccas 1720 Sunset Blvd. – 803- 926-5255
  • Ariana’s Greek Restaurant – 1720 Sunset Blvd. – (803) 796-4430
  • Lizard’s Thicket – 2234 Sunset Blvd. 803 – 794-0923
  • True BBQ – 1237 D Ave – (803) 791-9950
  • Jin Jin Chinese Restaurant – 469 Sunset Blvd. (803) 739-8888
  • Chick-fil-A -2299 Augusta Rd. – (803) 939-1600
  • Rush’s 2332 Sunset Blvd. – (803) 796-5034
  • Breakfast at Ruiz – 116 State St. – 803 -550-9681

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