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.
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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.
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.
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.
In response to high demand from the community, the City of Orangeburg will host a third input session on Thursday, April 29 at 6:00 pm to solicit input from residents about the Railroad Corner Redevelopment.
Community members can participate by telephone using the information below:
Phone: (929) 436-2866
Meeting ID: 474 818 1118
Community members may also participate via Zoom using the following link: https://unc.zoom.us/j/4748181118
Share your input and help the city make critical decisions about the future of Railroad Corner.
Input sessions will be held on the following dates to solicit input from Orangeburg residents about the Railroad Corner Redevelopment project:
- Saturday, March 13 at 10:00 am - Event is closed
- Thursday, March 18 at 6:00 pm
Community members can opt to call into these sessions and participate by telephone or join by videoconference via Zoom. Call in and Zoom meeting details are provided below:
Phone: 1 929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 474 818 1118
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The City of Orangeburg is conducting a survey to learn what residents would like to see happen on the Railroad Corner.
The Railroad Corner is located at the intersection of Russell Street and Magnolia Street and is a primary investment area and key focus of city leadership due to its proximity to two neighboring universities and its highly visible location.
Take a moment to complete this brief survey, and help the city make critical decisions about this property’s future.