Ayme Rushing, a Columbia attorney, will open a 3,000-square-foot store called Local Yocal at 1712 Main St. in the Law Range Building. The store will be an upscale version of a neighborhood market, said Rushing, a private defense attorney and former prosecutor in the Richland County Solicitor's Office.
“We will offer local produce, meats, cheeses, a fresh-pressed juice bar, sandwiches and salads to go, along with many other grocery items,” Rushing said in a statement.
She added that the city’s Office of Business Opportunities and City Center Partnership, an organization that promotes economic development for the Main Street District, helped in putting together the project.
“We are super excited about Local Yocal opening in the Main Street District,” said Matt Kennell, president and CEO of City Center Partnership. “This upscale grocery concept will bring an important amenity to the residents and businesses located in the Main Street District.”
Tina Herbert, of the city government agency, said that the Local Yocal project is an “example of how public funds can help draw private investment in needed areas.”
The grocery is the latest example of how redevelopment is turning Main Street into “an 18-hour district, attracting new hotels, restaurants and retailer,” according to a new marketing study by Bryana Mistretta, research coordinator for Colliers International South Carolina.
“A resurgence in the downtown area as a place to live, work and play is creating a vibrant, eclectic Main Street,” the Colliers study said. “Higher residential density, new anchors and the expansion of entertainment and cultural venues are all drivers increasing interest in urban retail to serve the area. In turn, this has inspired a wave of redevelopment of the retail corridor.”
The study noted downtown Columbia has seen a boom in population driven by multifamily development for students and young professionals. The report added that 862 market rate apartment units and 3,522 student beds have been added downtown since August 2015.
“This wave of multifamily and student housing translated to more than 5,000 new residents in Columbia’s downtown area. Additional housing is proposed that would add another 4,500 residents to the region’s core,” the report said.