Railroad Corner Redevelopment


The Railroad Corner Redevelopment

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.


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.



Solicitation for Development Partner Proposals
Solicitation for Development Partner Proposals
Railroad Corner Development Scenarios Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet for Development Scenarios
History of Railroad Corner - Dr. Barbara Jenkins
History of Railroad Corner - Provided by Dr. Barbara Jenkins
Perkins & Will: Mid-Design Working Session Presentation
Perkins & Will Presentation: Aug 26, 2021

Project Updates

Railroad Corner Redevelopment - Developer Responses
Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The City of Orangeburg is pleased to announce that on Friday, June 10, 2022, the city received three responses to its “Solicitation for Development Partners” for the redevelopment of the Railroad Corner in downtown. The redevelopment of the Railroad Corner is part of a broader effort by the city to revitalize the Russell Street commercial corridor. Proposal responses were received from the following development groups:

  • JDH Development
  • Orangeburg District Partners
  • Odeidra Williams

The solicitation period opened on Monday, March 14, 2022, and closed on Friday, June 10, 2022. Developers had roughly 90 days to prepare a proposal for the project. The City of Orangeburg and the Development Finance Initiative (DFI) advertised the Railroad Corner Redevelopment project through the following platforms: 

  • DFI & City of Orangeburg Websites
  • Local newspaper (Times & Democrat)
  • Columbia Regional Business Report
  • Local stakeholder and developer list serves

Additionally, DFI was available throughout the process to provide additional information and answer questions for developers regarding solicitation requirements and public interests.

DFI had direct communication about this project with close to 40 firms across the U.S. 53% of the total firms contacted were in the state of SC, and 26% of the total firms contacted were known to be Minority/ Women Business Enterprises.

DFI, in partnership with the City of Orangeburg, is currently performing due diligence on developer proposal responses. The city hopes to select a development partner for the redevelopment of the Railroad Corner in Q3 2022.

Solicitation for Development Partner Proposals
Monday, March 14, 2022

The City of Orangeburg and the Development Finance Initiative (DFI) are pleased to release the Solicitation for Development Partner Proposals for the redevelopment of the Railroad Corner. DFI has worked with the city since December 2020 to create a financially feasible development opportunity at the Railroad Corner site. The Solicitation for Development Partners provides more details and submission requirements as well as an Executive Summary. Proposals are due Friday, June 10, 2022.

For questions about this opportunity, please contact Sonyia Turner via email, turner@sog.unc.edu, or phone, (919) 375-2621.


Council Endorses Scenario B and Proposed Public Participation
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

On Tuesday, January 18, Orangeburg City Council endorsed the redevelopment Scenario B and the proposed public participation for the redevelopment for the Railroad Corner. To learn more, read here.

Railroad Corner Public Input Sessions - Nov 15 and Nov 16
Monday, November 15, 2021

What: Railroad Corner Redevelopment - Development Scenarios


  • Monday, November 15 at 12:00 pm: Location: Claflin University Dining Hall **student-focused**
  • Monday, November 15 at 6:00 pm. Location: City Gym (410 Broughton Street, Orangeburg, SC)***
  • Tuesday, November 16 at 9:00 am. Location: City Gym (410 Broughton Street, Orangeburg, SC)

***Note: the 6:00 pm public input session will be live-streamed.

The City of Orangeburg is soliciting community input on the development scenarios for the Railroad Corner Redevelopment. 

The city and DFI will hold public input sessions on Monday, November 15 at 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm, and on Tuesday, November 16 at 9:00 am for the public to provide input on potential development scenarios for the railroad corner site. The city and DFI will use the input from these sessions to help inform the selection of a preferred development program.

In addition to these input sessions, a survey will be made available through the City of Orangeburg’s official webpage for the Railroad Corner redevelopment project (https://www.orangeburg.sc.us/railroadcorner), starting November 1, 2021 – December 10, 2021.

Download the Railroad Corner Development Scenarios Fact Sheet here!


August 26 | 4:00 pm - Council Working Session and Mid-Design Update
Thursday, August 26, 2021


What: Railroad Corner redevelopment update and working session on site connectivity and pedestrian safety

When: 4:00 pm | Aug. 26, 2021

Where: Gymnasium (410 Broughton St., Orangeburg, SC)

On Aug. 26, the City of Orangeburg, DFI and Perkins&Will will hold a working session with City Council members, agency officials and elected representatives from the County of Orangeburg and the State of South Carolina, as well as leaders from Claflin University and South Carolina State University. The purpose of the working session is to give an update on the progress of the Railroad Corner and provide an opportunity for the elected officials and representatives to give feedback concerning design and connectivity to the site. Specifically, we will explore traffic patterns and consider ways to improve pedestrian connectivity and safety around the Railroad Corner site, in particular the intersection of Russell St., Magnolia St., and the railroad tracks. Pedestrian safety emerged as a key public concern during the first phase of community engagement.

Future public engagement sessions

Following the August working session and the finalization of the architectural design concepts for the Railroad Corner, the City and DFI will conduct the second phase of community engagement. Scheduled for the fall, the public input sessions will seek feedback on the latest predevelopment updates for the site, including design concepts, historic preservation and pedestrian connectivity and safety, among other salient topics.

Once the public engagement dates are finalized, DFI and the City will share them with the community through a variety of communication channels. In the meantime, please visit orangeburg.sc.us/railroadcorner to stay up to date with the Railroad Corner redevelopment process.


Guiding Public Interests and Architect Selection
Wednesday, May 19, 2021

On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, the Development Finance Initiative provided City Council with an update on the Railroad Corner Redevelopment project. The presentation included a high-level market analysis update and findings from the Phase 1 Community Engagement process the City and DFI undertook. At the end of the presentation, Council endorsed the following Guiding Public Interests for the project:

The Railroad Corner Redevelopment should…

  • Provide a catalytic mixed-use development that connects downtown to the universities and serve as a gateway to downtown.
  • Respect the historical significance and context of the site and integrate this history into the development.
  • Consider options for preserving the State Theater building.
  • Incorporate engaging street level uses attractive for students and the community.
  • Enhance walkability to increase pedestrian activity from the universities to the Railroad Corner and along Russell St.
  • Optimize public investment and maximize private investment.

DFI also introduced the architect team that will be working on the project, Perkins & Will. Malcolm Davis from Perkins & Will was present and introduced the firm and the type of work they do.

A copy of the memo DFI prepared for the May 18 Council meeting along with their presentation can be found in the "Documents" section of this webpage.