Railroad Corner Redevelopment

Milestone timeline:

DFI Engagement
Completed: Dec 1, 2020
December 2020
Project Update #1
Winter 2021
Project Update #2
Summer 2021
Program Recommendation
Summer 2021
Solicitation Approval
Summer 2021
Development Partner Selection
Winter 2021

The City of Orangeburg engaged the Development Finance Initiative (DFI) in December 2020 to analyze the redevelopment feasibility of the Railroad Corner, and assist with attracting private investment for the redevelopment of the site.

Railroad Corner is located between Orangeburg's downtown core and the two area universities, Claflin University and South Carolina State University, making it a strategic location to create an attractive and welcoming gateway between the campuses and downtown. The City of Orangeburg intends to see the development include a range of public and private uses that would potentially occupy existing buildings as well as new infill construction. 

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Background and Process

The Railroad Corner site includes eleven parcels covering about 1.25 acres. The site is bounded by Russell Street to the South and Boulevard Street and Magnolia Street to the East, with two parcels located across Treadwell Street to the West. There are eight buildings currently located on the site parcels, many of which are currently vacant or distressed.

The redevelopment of Railroad Corner is part of a more general city effort to revitalize the Russell Street Corridor, which includes the building of a new county library and conference center, as well as a new commercial kitchen to be located at the Orangeburg market pavilion. 

DFI will conduct feasibility analyses and identify several options for development while regularly seeking feedback and engagement with the City of Orangeburg leadership. Once a redevelopment scenario has been endorsed by the City, DFI will identify development partners with the experience and track record to make the vision a reality.

About DFI

DFI, a program of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s School of Government, partners with local governments to attract private investment for transformative projects by providing specialized finance and development expertise. DFI’s scope of services for the City of Orangeburg includes a predevelopment process, solicitation of a private development partner, and assistance with negotiations of a development services agreement with the selected partner. 

DFI’s pre-development process involves several key components – public engagement, a tax parcel analysis to understand current conditions in downtown, a site-specific market analysis, site analysis and planning, and a financial feasibility analysis. This process is used to help the City of Orangeburg identify a final development program that meets both public and private sector interests and find the right development partner to realize its vision for the Railroad Corner site.

Railroad Corner

Project Updates