It's being called the largest urban redevelopment project east of the Mississippi and perhaps in the nation.
And officials with the City of Columbia expect it to bring big changes to the Capital City.
After two-and-a-half years of negotiations – and a decade of public discussion – Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin has announced an agreement has been reached with Greenville developer Bob Hughes to transform 181 acres of property where the state mental hospital used to be along Bull Street.
Benjamin says plans call for a new central city mixed-use neighborhood that could contain everything from apartment-style residential units to a stadium for minor league baseball, concerts and other events.
The mayor says the city is committing to build two parking garages on the site, but only when Hughes or other developers agree to various private development benchmarks in what some say might end up being $1-billion worth of investment.
Hughes isn't saying much about specific plans until after Columbia City Council approves the unique agreement.
That's supposed to happen by the middle of next month following two council meetings on July 1st and 9th where the public can comment on the deal.