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Archive for the ‘I-77’ tag

Hobby Lobby, 5422 Forest Drive: 10 June 2019 (Moved)   16 comments

Posted at 11:36 pm in closing

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I was rather surprised by this closing, although East Forest Plaza has certainly had its share of turnover lately. The chain is pitching this as a relocation as noted in this press release, with the new location being at 2209 West Dekalb Street in Camden. I guess the management team could have relocated intact, but surely for the rank and file, those jobs are gone -- nobody is going to commute from Columbia to Camden.

(Hat tip to commenter Rashaad)

Written by ted on July 1st, 2019

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Payless Shoe Source, 5422 Forest Drive: March 2019   no comments

Posted at 11:11 pm in closing

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Payless filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on 18 February 2019, and will be closing all of its stores, which includes three locations here in the Midlands.

This store is in East Forest Plaza at the intersection of Forest Drive and I-77. I don't have it in these shots, but the Fallas in the same wing of storefronts closed late last year as well. I have put March 2019 as the closing date, but the linked article indicates some stores may last as long as May.

I have never been in this store, but I have bought shoes at Payless several times, and they seemed reasonable in both price and quality.

(Hat tip to commenter Tom)

Written by ted on February 27th, 2019

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Fallas, 5422 Forest Drive: November 2018   no comments

Posted at 11:35 pm in closing

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According to KEYT, the parent company of Fallas (and of Anna's Linens) went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August of 2018, with store closings starting on 9 August:

The National Stores, Inc says that they have also suffered financial setbacks from certain underperforming stores and that this has been exacerbated by severe weather in various regions, such as Hurrican Maria which resulted in prolonged, temporary closures to damaged stores and loss of revenue. The Company says they also suffered further financial losses resulting from the acquisition of Conway Stores. The strain on liquidity was worsened by the aftermath of the Company's data breach as access to operating funds diminished.

Apparently that didn't help much, and this store, which survived the initial wave of closings was put on a new list of closings starting 12 October 2018:

National Stores will begin a store closing sale at 184 of its remaining locations today. The store closing sales are being conducted by a joint venture consisting of Hilco Merchant Resources, Gordon Brothers and SB360 Capital Partners. The specific stores that will be closing are currently branded as Fallas and Factory 2-U stores across 12 states and Puerto Rico. The store closing process is the result of the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing by National Stores, Inc. and certain of its affiliates. As part of the restructuring, management at the retail chain has conducted a store rationalization process resulting in the shutdown of these specific stores.

Aside from this store, the South Carolina stores affected are Factory 2U stores in Spartanburg and Sumter.

This is the second time East Forest Plaza has been hit, as the Anna's Linens here closed due to bankruptcy in 2015. It's not clear to me if Anna's was owned by The National Stores at the time, but I don't think so. If that be the case, picking up the defunct chain can't have helped the new owners any..

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on November 19th, 2018

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Holiday Inn, 8105 Two Notch Road: Summer 2018 (reflagging)   10 comments

Posted at 10:52 pm in closing

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As commenter c noted, this Holiday Inn is currently between flags and operating simply as Columbia Northeast Hotel (owned by Mariot, but officially branded during construction).

I drove around the building and did not see any major work ongoing so perhaps the end is near (though there were some romm fixtures in the back lot).

To make matters interesting, the hotel across the street (in the last picture) has recently been reflagged as a Holiday Inn Express, so if you booked this one when it was a Holiday Inn, and you go looking for it in the area, you are going to be surprised..

(Hat tip to commenter AmericanColumbia)

Written by ted on August 23rd, 2018

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McDonald's, 5480 Forest Drive: January 2018 (open again)   7 comments

Posted at 10:42 pm in closing

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Well, here's the latest McDonald's to undergo the chain's current style makeover. This one is at East Forest Plaza, the Wal-Mart anchored strip at the Forest Drive/I-77 interchange.

In general these upgrades have been going pretty quickly, so I don't expect them to be shut for long.

I do have to say that I have found this store to be hard to get in and out of from Forest Drive. I've gotten coffee there a few times, but have kind of crossed it off my list.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on January 16th, 2018

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SouthTrust / Regions Bank, 5490 Forest Drive: Summer 2017   2 comments

Posted at 12:07 am in closing

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On my way to an appointment recently, I noticed that the Regions Bank branch in East Forest Plaza (the Wal-Mart shopping center at I-77) is now vacant. This is another sign of how banks are continuing to shed branches as more and more business is done over the Internet. I can see why this one was a candidate, as the place is rather hard to get in and out of. If you are not already going into the shopping center you might well think twice.

With the recent closure of the Sandhill branch, I believe this leaves Regions locally with only the main location on Gervais and a Harbision branch. Hmm, actually I don't see the Harbison location on their web site, so that may have closed too -- I'll have to take a look.

UPDATE 10 October 2017 -- Adding SouthTrust to the post title based on the comments. SouthTrust was acquired by Wachovia in 2004, so that would have been gone by 2005.

Written by ted on October 5th, 2017

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Fort Jackson Gate, Percival Road: 1980s   9 comments

Posted at 11:43 pm in closing

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I've been meaning to get back up in here for several years and see what is still left, but recently I've seen construction trucks going in and out, so I figured I had better go ahead and do it now, before whatever is left is gone..

As you may know, one of the main Fort Jackson gates used to feed directly into Percival Road, not too far west of Decker Boulevard. All the gates were (and probably still are) numbered, and I used to know the number of this gate, but can't now recall it. At any rate, my father was an Army Reserve member and then retiree, so my mother and we minor children had post access as a consequence. We would frequently go to one of the post theater (where they always played the national anthem before the show), or to the PX or library (which actually had a pretty good selection of SF books, many of which were not in the RCPL).

My memory is that at the top of the hill leading from Percival onto Jackson Boulevard and into the Fort, just past the gate to the left was an AFFES convience store, and a bit further down the road on the right was an AFFES fast food hamburger joint.

As some of you may recall, building I-77 took a *really* long time. Some wag wrote a letter to the editor at The State speculating that a troop of Boy Scouts with spoons could do it faster -- but finally it was done, and the new road cut through this entrance, which had by that point been closed for several years in anticipation of the event.

Looking at Google Maps aerial view of the site, apparently taken some while ago, I can see what appears to be a parking lot just before the I-77 barriers. I speculate that the convenience store was there, but it's possible that it was actually in the I-77 roadbed.

Several wars have been fought since this gate was closed, and Fort security is a good bit tighter now. The new gate comes out onto Percival over a bridge across I-77 east of Decker at Boyden Arbor Road, but I believe that access is somewhat restricted, and that the Forest Drive/Strom Thurmond entrance is now the main entrance for general traffic.

Let's take a walk:

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Written by ted on March 30th, 2017

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Saky Japanese Restaurant, 4963 Fort Jackson Boulevard: 4 October 2015 (temporary)   16 comments

Posted at 10:06 pm in closing

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Here's another Great Flood of 2015 casualty.

This little restaurant on the Fort Jackson gate off I-77 has been there under one name or another for years. Originally, it was Saki, then when the current owner, who was working for the former owners, bought it out, he changed the name to Saky. This is what The State had to say:

“Who expected all this rain and the flood?” Sun Suk said as repairs continue on the eatery on Fort Jackson Boulevard at I-77.

The 7,500-square-foot structure housing Saky was damaged by the same flash flood Oct. 4 that inundated homes in the King’s Grant neighborhood.

Saky bore the brunt of the flood on its side of the road.

Two feet of water came inside and a tree fell on part of the restaurant after the bank of a nearby creek eroded in the rush of water.

“I walked in and it was a little wet, so I thought maybe it wasn’t too bad,” Sun said. “Then I went in back and could see the sky from inside of the building, so I knew I had a big problem.”

The first picture is from some years ago, the others from after the flood, though I could not get too close.

Hopefully they will be back soon.

Thunder Road, Carowinds: 26 July 2015   4 comments

Posted at 12:52 pm in closing

UPDATE 21 March 2016 Wow, who would have thought this photo and letter would turn up at my house at this late date, but there we are: David Pearson's first ride crew on Thunder Road. See the text below for details.

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Grit Your Teeth
Bear The Load
Enjoy Your Ride
On Thunder Road
-- Burma Shave

I was on the first run of Thunder Road on 3 April 1976.

As it happened, I had won a phone-in contest on WIS Radio. I suppose there were similar contests on stations all over the Carolinas to fill both cars. It was not the first time I had been to Carowinds, I remember a school trip in particular, but it was not the quick jaunt from Columbia it is nowdays, as I-77 between Columbia & Charlotte was not yet finished and it was a longish two lane drive on US-21.

In its initial configuration, the two track coaster was promoted as a "race" between moonshiners and police with the trams on each track having automobile body front ends. For the initial ride, we contest winners were divided into two teams, one per car, and in the front seat of each car was a then prominent NASCAR driver. I'm afraid I didn't (and don't) really follow NASCAR so the names of our team leaders has totally slipped my mind. I have the feeling that our team was on the right hand track, and that we were the law, but I couldn't swear that to you. What I do remember in particular is the set of four Burma Shave signs, quoted above, which were between the two tracks as the cars were chain pulled to the top of the first hill. They gave you something to laugh about just before cresting the hill and that first precipitous descent.

At the time, my experience with roller coasters was pretty limited. My father did not trust the travelling coasters at the State Fair, so the only coasters I had ridden were the Swamp Fox in Myrtle Beach, and the mining themed Goldrusher also at Carowinds. There was really no comparison, and Thunder Road was a thrill ride far and above either (though I still love both the others). There was just something about that initial jerk and the clank of the chains as you went up that first hill, then teetered on top of the world for a second before the bottom dropped out..

I rode Thunder Road many other times over the years, though probably not any after the early 1980s. I totaly missed the era when they ran one of the trains facing backwards.

When I heard that Thunder Road was to be retired, I wanted to try and be on the last ride, but in the event I was on vacation that day, and while I seriously considered making the ten hour round trip drive, in the end I didn't. It would make a better story, but that's life.

I did go out last weekend though and get what pictures I could of the attraction before it is all torn down. The entrance is in what is now the Snoopy section of Carowinds while the main body parallels the water park area.

It's kind of sad how little of the original Carowinds remains. Really, I think the only two remaining original rides are the Eastern Airlines Skytower and the aforementioned Goldrusher. While I was googling some Thunder Road facts for this post, I ran across a teriffic site Carowinds The Early Years where most of the links above come from, and which you should definitely visit. Who could forget The Oaken Bucket, The Hillbilly Jalopies, The Powder Keg Flume, the awful food at The Grubsteak (You expect grubs to be good steak? we asked..), The Paddle Wheel Steamer, The Skyway and The Monorail?

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UPDATE 14 August 2015: My sister (who was also there the first day of Thunder Road though she did not have a first ride ticket) says she remembers that the NASCAR teamleaders were Cale Yarborough and David Pearson and that I was on Pearson's team. She has also found online sources saying it was Bobby Allison & David Pearson though that's not the way she remembers it (and all it takes is for one source to get it wrong and then be quoted by everyone else..)

I have also found a number of Youtube videos of Thunder Road. Here are a tribute video and then a front car POV video:

Anna's Linens, 5560 Forest Drive: July 2015   2 comments

Posted at 12:40 am in closing

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The standard-issue closing signs have gone up at Anna's Linens at East Forest Plaza. You know the ones -- we've seen them often enough here..

I'm not sure what the final date for this store will be, but as commenter Andrew noted, the whole chain is in Chapter 11 and liquidating:

“Over-expansion and excess inventory led to increased indebtedness and, ultimately, a default with the debtor’s long-time lender, Union Bank,” according to court documents.

(Hat tip to commenter Sidney)

Written by ted on July 8th, 2015

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