Archive for the ‘Village at Sandhill’ tag
I was having lunch at Panera in Sandhill Saturday when I heard someone in an adjacent booth talking about a clothing store that had closed shop recently. I didn't catch the name, but when I stepped outside I saw that it must have been Talbots on the other side of the street that sparked the conversation.
As I hate shopping for clothes in general, and am even more clueless about women's clothes, I really had no mental picture of where Talbots fit on the retail map. A bit of googling however revealed that it is a somewhat upscale chain largely for women over 30, and has been struggling financially for a while now.
There 's an old story, probably apocryphal, about a feed company that hired a top ad agency to design a campaign to sell its dog food. The ads were brilliant, won awards and everyone loved them, but sales plummeted. The company finally hired a troubleshooter who investigated and issued a succinct report: "The dogs don't like the dog food".
The Wall Street Journal gives as delicate a version of that quote as I have ever heard in the words of Talbots's CEO:
The predominant factors impacting our results were an inconsistent customer response to our merchandise assortments..
The article also goes on to posit a lose/lose situation:
The apparel retailer has been trying to freshen the look of its merchandise and broaden its appeal beyond its core audience of older women. But the approach may be turning them off while also not bringing in new customers.
Other papers speculate that the chain may be heading for a takeover, and mention that it is closing 110 of its 568 stores.
Talbots had three stores in the Columbia area. This one, one on Forest Drive and one on Saint Andrews Road. I drove by the Forest Drive store this evening and it is still there. I have not been by the Irmo location.
I had been wondering about this vacant lot at Fore Avenue just past Husqvarna and across from Sandhill for a while, but it seemed that whenever I was in the area I would forget exactly where it was and drive past it.
Given the poster I found in the ditch, I thought for a minute it might have been a trailer operating as a botique, but instead, and unsurprisingly, it turned out to be another of Two Notch Road's many car lots.
It's obviously been closed for more than a few years as the whole lot is becoming verdant and overgrown (even including small trees). There are for-sale signs just past the paved frontage, but it's not clear to me whether it includes this lot, or just the wooded area at the next corner (Two Notch & Burmaster Drive). In theory these should be valuable properties due to the Sandhill proximity, but given that Sandhill can't even get full occupancy at present, "in theory" may be the operative words.
Virtual Growth / Blue Cross & Blue Shield / Parcone Development Corporation, 10261 Two Notch Road: 2000s 17 comments
Commenter Megan asked about this place several months ago, and nobody had any response. I finally got a chance to go out there on a nice sunny day and take a look around. What I found is really odd.
This building sits more or less at the intersection of Two Notch Road and Fashion Drive (google maps claims the street is Fashion Lane) which is the stop-lighted Two Notch entrance to The Village at Sandhill. It's in a Sandhill outparcel called Sandhill Station with a Cici's Pizza and Christian bookstore.
However, while the Cici's building is obviously newly built, it was, for some reason, built flush up against this older building. In fact, depending on how you want to define "building" you could almost say it's one building with a new part and an old part.
There is no indication of what this older building was. It obviously dates back at least 20 years, and would probably at one time (before Fashion Drive) have been counted as being on Two Notch Road (albeit on an access road on the wrong side of the tracks). It has the look of a light manufacturing operation of some kind. If you look at the google satellite image here, you can see that it had a huge employee parking lot, some of which is in use by Sandhill Station now, and some of which is sort of going to seed.
I can't imagine why things worked out this way unless Sandhill planned to buy and knock down the building, but it fell through in the crash. The new part is well maintained, but the old part is heavily vandalized, tagged and overgrown. I suppose it is still within the realm of possibility that it could be rehabilitated with some intense TLC, but it seems unlikely, and the new businesses can't be happy about the image it gives them -- surely if it were under the control of Sandhill Station, it would be gone.
Even new, most of the building would have been pretty pedestrian, but the glassed in staircase entrance is actually quite attractive, especially with the bright aqua color scheme.
(Hat tip to commenter Megan)
UPDATE 12 May 2011: OK, given the address commenter Badger dug up, 10261 Two Notch Road, I can find a little more information, and have changed the post title from the generic "Building".
The first reference I find to that address is a press release from September of 2000 saying that a New York based Internet business called Virtual Growth was going to bring 300 jobs to that location. Of course that date was just about the burst date for the Internet Bubble, so I don't know if Virtual Growth ever arrived or not. (BTW, in computer terms, something is "virtual" when it appears to be there when it is in fact not..)
Next, it appears that Blue Cross & Blue Shield ran a Medicare operation out of that location.
I don't know when they left, but I surmise that their move left the building's owner, Parcone Development Corporation in a bind, because I find this note in the Columbia Star from May 2006 saying that Regions Bank was forclosing on Parcone, and that the property was to be sold at auction on 5 June 2006 at high noon. Judging from the current condition of the property, I suspect they did not find a buyer. This Property valuation for 2009/2010 is consistent with that, in that it still lists Parcone as the owner. However that doesn't square with the announced terms of the auction which stated that anyone except Parcone could participate..
I first wrote about this building in a closing for The Village Bistro in August 2009. After that operation closed, La Fogata Mexican Restaurant set up shop, lasting at least a year, and apparently closing around the start of March this year.
I never managed to make it to La Fogata though I do like Mexican food. It's just a good ways from Forest Acres, and if I'm not in the mood for Moe's or a Mexican Mexican place like San Jose or Casa Linda, I usually end up at El Chico, headed the other way from town. Commenter Kp who tipped the closing says it was pretty good though.
(Hat tip to commenter Kp)
UPDATE 23 March 2011 -- Well, the signage is down and the place is up for lease again:
Golf Etc. at The Village at Sandhill, just south of Panera is gone now, and is already almost another mattress store. I actually had a picture of this place as Golf Etc., but appear to have deleted it in a fit of absence of mind.
I have to admit that I personally find golf (at least the kind without windmills and dinosaurs) much more soporific than mattresses anyway.
Corked at Sandhill is out of business. Their web site is still up and announces the closing, though it doesn't list the actual final day. I have no idea of Corked's circumstances, but it seems to me that, in general, Sandhill would be a poor place for a beer and wine shop in that it's not near home, or on the way home, or easy to get into and out of if it is on your way home. I would think 9 times out of 10, it would just be easier to stop by a grocery store -- Sandhill is a shopping destination, not somewhere to zip into and out of.
(Hat tip to commenter Cheryl)
From The State:
Developer Alan Kahn blames the economy. Three of the Northeast Richland center’s large retailers filed for bankruptcy protection recently and some of its 118 tenants have been slow to pay rent, he said.
Well, as a man walking up to the closed doors said, "Another one bites the dust." In fact, as I went to take these pictures, a number of customers dropped by to find the place closed. I heard one woman talking to a friend on her cellphone saying in effect, "They had the best salmon, but every time I came here, the portions were smaller". That may have been her imagination -- I've always heard that the actual cost of food ingredients is a very minor component of your restaurant bill.
At any rate, The Village Bistro apparently closed quite recently: The interior still looks ready to go, and their web site is still live for now. I never made it there, but it appears they had a pretty good menu. Most of the entrees are off my beaten track, but I could see lunching on the greek salad or Angus burger.
I'm not sure what this says about Sandhill. They also recently lost Shane's Rib Shack but that chain apparently has bigger problems. I walked around that part of the Village a bit, and Wild Wing appeared to be doing a good business, but of course Brixx is still closed for repairs, and it was past lunch time, so Which Wich they wasn't really available for comparison either.
UPDATE 10 March 2010 -- It seems the next step for a building already outfitted for a restaurant (if it doesn't become a Lizard's Thicket) is to become an Asian buffet or a Mexican restaurant. In this case we get La Fogata Mexican:
Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, 486 Town Center Place (Village at Sandhill): 14 July 2009 (temporary) / 16 December 2011 (final) 11 comments
Well, this is unpleasant news:
Columbia Fire Department firefighters were dispatched at 11:09 p.m. to 486 Town Center Place, the location of Brixx Wood Fire Pizza, where a fire had spread up a flue from a pizza oven, Assistant Chief Aubrey Jenkins said.
Brixx is one of my regular after 10pm Tuesday night pizza hangouts (Pizzeria Uno on US-378 is the other), and it's pretty much a roll of the dice that put me at Uno on the 14th rather than enjoying the fun here. Luckily, nobody was hurt. I'm a bit surprised that the news story states that the fire was post closing -- Usually they don't close until midnight or 1am.
I think Brixx is a bit of a frustrating place in that they have a good concept and very attentive staff, but the food execution could be better. They have lots of different combos and some more unusual ingredients, but often when I get a custom pizza, the extra stuff on top is not hot, and the crust and sauce are acceptable, but not great. (Landolfi's at Pawleys Island is the best brick-oven pizza in SC, arguably the best pizza in SC period). Anyway, the sign on the door says closed until further notice, but I hope they come back soon and better than ever.
While I was in there once, one of the wait staff mentioned that the people living upstairs had been complaining about the noise at night -- I suppose that's the good old days now!
These pictures are not very good because at first there was a group of men standing under the front awning with clipboards making some sort of assesment of the situation and I didn't want to just walk up and stick my camera under their noses, snapping away. After that, it started to rain, and I had to stand under an awning at Which Wich. There were some sort of hoses running to the upstairs apartments, but given my angle you can't see them.
UPDATE 20 July 2009: OK, some more pictures, a bit closer:
UPDATE 21 December 2011:
Well, Brixx is closed again, this time for good. I had not been there too much lately because my situation had changed, and I could get to some closer places that closed earlier. However, I did make it there several times after they re-opened, with the last time being on Sunday 11 December 2011. It still wasn't my favorite pizza in town, but a perfectly acceptable one, and my toppings were all nice and hot the times I got back there recently. The waitresses were always good about keeping the tea refills coming too.
(Hat tip to commenter Sidney)
I was out at Sandhill today -- the first time I had been there during the daytime for quite a while. I took the opportunity after having coffee and a snack at Panera to walk a circuit of the place (except for the Bi-Lo wing) and see how things were going (and get a bit of much needed exercise). There are quite a few empty storefronts, but most (that I haven't already done closings for) seem to have been never occupied rather than closed. Shane's Rib Shack is the exception. I'd say its closing is pretty recent because all the branding, fixtures and decor are still in place. Of course, given that the Beltline location closed recently, I suppose I'm not really surprised this one has gone as well.
UPDATE 8 Sept 2010 -- well it's now an Al Amir bringing that local chain back to the Northeast & Clemson Road: