Join SOCO, The Iron Yard and Project Partners for Opening Day at the Historic Bakery at BullStreet, Oct. 7, 2016

SOCO and The Iron Yard Join Spirit Communications, Hughes Development Corporation, 1×1 Design and Buchanan Construction Services in Celebrating the Launch of S.C.’s First Urban Gigabit Community

Oct. 3, 2016 (COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Opening day festivities, including a noon ribbon cutting, will be held on Oct. 7, 2016 at the Bakery at BullStreet, the latest historic building to be renovated as part of the 20-year redevelopment of the 181-acre former S.C. State Hospital campus in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. The first phase of the planned BullStreet Technology Village, the Bakery at BullStreet boasts gigabit-speed broadband internet service — powered by Spirit Communications’ world-class fiber and technology platform — for users at the SOCO co-work and event space and The Iron Yard Columbia web development school. The Bakery at BullStreet building is located at 1721 Saunders St., just across the street from Spirit Communications Park.

“We are two years into a 20-year plan to transform BullStreet into an integral neighborhood in downtown Columbia, filled with vibrant, walkable streets and a mix of residential, retail, restaurant and recreational uses,” notes Robert Hughes, COO at Hughes Development Corporation, master developer of the BullStreet district. “It has been incredibly energizing to work with this team to activate one of the most unique spaces on the campus – and I have to say, the view of the baseball stadium from the back porch of the Bakery is beyond cool.”

The Bakery’s new tenants, the SOCO co-working and event space and The Iron Yard Columbia code school, are serving as the trailblazers for the planned BullStreet Technology Village.

“To truly impact the city and make it prosperous, we need a community of doers and makers, and that’s exactly what we’re building at The Iron Yard Columbia at BullStreet,” says Heather Dughaish, campus director at The Iron Yard, a tech education school with 21 campuses nationwide. “We’ve got students in the classroom as we speak, and we’re accepting applications for our next Front-End Engineering class, which starts January 2017.”

SOCO, a co-working and event space founded in the Vista in 2013, is launching its second location at the Bakery. “We love this city; we love its people and we want to be a part of writing a new story for this place we call home,” notes Greg Hilton, co-founder of SOCO. “We want to build the largest community and platform in the Southeast for creators – independent workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs. Our customers want more innovative spaces where they can access the community, connections and resources they need to do incredible work. That’s why we’re adding a second location at the Bakery at BullStreet.”

“Congratulations to SOCO and The Iron Yard for their success in growing Columbia’s innovation ecosystem,” said S.C. Department of Commerce Sec. Bobby Hitt. “The combination of a homegrown tech talent business and a creative community hub, plus gigabit access, will create the right conditions for technology enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to create and be ready for the jobs of the future in South Carolina. We launched the Office of Innovation to support these kinds of initiatives and to help start and build high-growth businesses.”

Bakery at BullStreet Opening Day, October 7

Hughes Development, SOCO and The Iron Yard Columbia at BullStreet, along with project partners Buchanan Construction Services, 1×1 Design and Spirit Communications, will celebrate the repurposing of the Bakery at BullStreet with an all-day, public gathering on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016.

The public is invited to tour the newly renovated Bakery building, see what SOCO and The Iron Yard have to offer, co-work for free for the day and more. The schedule of opening day includes the following:

  • “Lighting Up the Gigabit” Ribbon Cutting (12 p.m.) – Join project partners and community leaders at noon for a short ceremony to celebrate the second life of this historic building and the launch of the region’s most powerful fiber connection.
  • Free Co-work Day (all day, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) – Join SOCO and members of the creative community for a free day of co-working with up to 10 gigabit internet speeds and learn more about becoming a SOCO co-work member.
  • The Iron Yard Open House (all day, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) – Drop in to talk to The Iron Yard code school staff about careers in web development and other programs and opportunities from The Iron Yard.
  • Bakery at BullStreet Launch Party ( 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m) – Enjoy beer, food trucks, lawn games and camaraderie at the free launch party at the Bakery at BullStreet, located at 1721 Saunders St., Columbia, SC 29201. RSVP online

Located a few blocks away from Spirit Communications Park on the historic grounds of the BullStreet Development, the Bakery at BullStreet contains 4,200 total square feet, including 2,000 square feet of collaborative space and 1,200 square feet of educational space with two classrooms, a community space and a space for private meetings and events. With beautifully preserved architectural features, 20-foot high ceilings, exposed ducts and lots of natural light, the Bakery at BullStreet space is conducive to creative thinking.

The Bakery at BullStreet will welcome and support the Midlands’ tech, creative and entrepreneurial communities. The venue will host several events in the upcoming months, including meetups for Columbia Women in Tech, Columbia Enterprise Developer’s Guild and Front-End Engineering; The Iron Yard Crash Courses; and Open Houses and free “Co-work Fridays” at SOCO on the first Friday of each month.

“Spirit Communications, SOCO and the Iron Yard are already off to a great start, as we are collaborating on a number of projects in the Vista,” notes Greg Guerra, EVP of Business Development and Strategy at Spirit Communications. “Given the success of our product launch at Spirit Communications Park, the next phase of gigabit deployment at SOCO is going to be a real technology showcase for Columbia.”

Renovating the Historic Bakery

A key location for immersive patient occupational therapy at the S.C. State Hospital from 1900 until the 1950s, the original bakery was constructed next to the laundry building, adjacent to the domed Babcock building. Individuals who were able voluntarily worked at the bakery, preparing baked goods for those on campus in conjunction with the central kitchen.

“Interior renovations to the Bakery presented challenges with old brick, stained wood and peeling paint,” says Davis Buchanan, founder of Buchanan Construction Services, a Columbia-based general contracting, design/build and consulting firm for commercial construction projects in S.C., Ga. and N.C. “The walls and floors allow the rich patina of age and the former uses of the building to become part of the new story.”

Buchanan continues, “All new plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems were added for the expanded offices. Historic elements of the old building (like the fuse box) were left exposed, and industrial enamel sinks were moved from other old buildings on the campus to create the eclectic feeling of the workspace. The old wood ceilings and beams were left intact where possible, and the Bakery retains its historic exterior with its sky light retrofitted with new glass and new windows throughout.”

1×1 Design, an architectural firm in Columbia, provided architecture, interior design and planning services during the renovation of the Bakery at BullStreet. “1×1 Design was thrilled to have the chance to work with transforming the ‘old’ bakery building into a space for some of the ‘newest’ companies and technology happening in our city,” says Asheley Scott, President of 1×1 Design. “It’s turned out to be an amazing space in which to work.”

“Everyone who has been involved in revitalizing the Bakery at BullStreet is passionate about creating well-planned spaces that bring the community together,” notes Robert Hughes, whose family-owned firm is known for aiding in the revival of Greenville’s downtown district, a process that spanned decades and was made possible only through the long-term collaboration of local leaders, the business community, area stakeholders and the public. Hughes adds, “We’re honored and humbled to be a part of the process of creating an entirely new district for shopping, dining, recreation and commerce in downtown Columbia, a city that is already growing so beautifully.”

About BullStreet

Located within blocks of Columbia, S.C.’s vibrant downtown neighborhoods, BullStreet is a 181-acre, mixed-use redevelopment of the former South Carolina State Hospital campus, set for completion on a 20-year timeline with an anticipated $1.2 billion annual economic impact. Master developer Hughes Development Corporation of Greenville, S.C., is using a new urbanist, form-based code, working closely with other developers who possess deep domain expertise to create a city-within-a-city, filled with spaces that maintain the integrity of the historic district; mix commercial and residential uses; create a walkable and bicycle-friendly place; provide parks and open space; maximize economic impact and increase the City’s tax base; and connect to the Midlands community. S.C.’s first urban gigabit community, BullStreet is home to Spirit Communications Park (awarded 2016 Ballpark of the Year by BallPark Digest), the First Base Building office/retail complex, the Parker Annex office building and the new Bakery at BullStreet building in the growing BullStreet Technology Village. BullStreet contains 125,000+ square feet of commercial/office and retail space and is zoned for up to 3.3 million square feet of commercial use and 3,553 residential units. For more information, visit http://bullstreetsc.com.

Press Contact: Tracie Broom, Flock and Rally, 415.235.5718,
Chloe Rodgers, Flock and Rally, 843.230.1611,

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