Breaking down the Columbia’s Design/Development Review Commission annual report

Columbia’s Design/Development Review Commission was busy in 2023 and we’re chatting through the highlights and major developments around the city.

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The Standard, the 17-story student housing tower, under construction. | Photo by COLAtoday

Columbia’s Design/Development Review Commission (D/DRC) released its Annual Report for 2023, outlining key developments and architectural transformations across the city. Today, we’re breaking down some of the highlights.

What is the Design/Development Review Commission?

Established in 1999, the D/DRC serves as the city’s quasi-judicial architectural review board, overseeing projects within historic districts, urban design areas, and designated landmarks. The D/DRC sees that Columbia’s architectural landscape evolves thoughtfully, balancing preservation and progress.

Finlay Park

The updates to Finlay Park include a revitalized fountain and new walkways. | Rendering from the City of Columbia via the design team, Stantec + LS3P.

Ongoing developments

Several projects approved by the D/DRC in 2022 are still in progress.

Completed projects

  • The Standard | This 16-story private student dormitory located on the corner of Assembly + Washington Streetsthat houses ~700 students.
  • South Carolina State Credit Union | Located at 800 Huger St., near Columbia Craft Brewing, the credit union underwent renovation + a three-story addition.
W.B. Whaley House

Construction on the historic W. B. Smith Whaley House was completed in February 2023. | Photo by Mashburn Construction

Historic preservation

In 2023, the Design/Development Review Commission (D/DRC) reviewed various historic preservation cases. The Bailey Bill certifications (47% of cases) and new constructions (24% of cases) were among the top issues reviewed.

Fun fact: The 16 Bailey Bill projects that received final certification in 2023 resulted in a reinvestment of more than $3.8 million. Read more about D/DRC’s involvement in historic preservation on the report (pages 8-15.)

Get involved

As of this month, the D/DRC has several open positions.

  • Community Representative (2)
  • Realtor
  • Architect

Stay up-to-date with the D/DRC through its meetings. Find its agendas + minutes.

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