BY JEFF WILKINSON
September 18, 2017 01:41 PM
Updated September 18, 2017 04:40 PM
The North Main/Cottontown area, which is becoming a new commercial corridor in Columbia’s growing downtown, is getting a new business. Amsterdam, an Edgefield-based custom wood supplier, will open its first design center and retail showroom in the 4,500-square-foot building at 2222 Sumter St. next to Indah Coffee Company.
The building’s owner, Cason Development Group, is also talking with another boutique retailer about leasing space that adjoins the Indah building, according Frank Cason, president of the Cason company. Cason added he is exploring other redevelopment opportunities in the Cottontown neighborhood.
“The neighborhood itself and the people that live there provide incredible support and a base for unique businesses,” Cason told The State. “The proximity, mixed with the feeling of being in a neighborhood, creates a great atmosphere.”
The Design Center at Amsterdam will be the first new non-food retailer in the area since a renaissance of new businesses in the North Main/Cottontown area began about two years ago. “We’re trying to thoughtful about the balance of food and beverage, true retail and office,” Cason said. “You need all of those to have a commercial neighborhood.”
The Sumter Street property is between Franklin and Jefferson streets and just around the corner from The War Mouth restaurant at 1209 Franklin St., which Cason renovated from an abandoned auto repair shop. Cason owns four buildings in the area, which is roughly defined by Elmwood Avenue, North Main Street, Franklin Avenue and Sumter Street. It is a cluster of 1940s through 1970s one- and two-story buildings that used to house car dealerships, mechanic shops and other service industries.
A building at 1223 Franklin St., just a down block from The War Mouth, is under renovation for a brewery.
Cason said he is negotiating with a women’s clothing boutique, two restaurants and a small office user for the neighborhood. “We’ve got a few thing working,” he said. “But nothing we can announce right now.
Amsterdam Lumber Co. will be moving into its new digs within the next month, Cason said. It specializes in reclaimed wood and thermally treated new lumber that can be made into furniture or customized for uses such as floors, ceilings and wall panels.
“It’s a lot of mantles, beams, heart pine floors, hard to find stuff,” Cason said. The Design Center at Amsterdam will be upfitted using the company’s products. “The intent is to create a unique and comfortable place where builders can bring clients to not only view the company’s products, but also work on customizing patterns and colors,” Amsterdam Lumber Co. chief executive Martijn Van Zadelhoff said in a news release.
Cason purchased 2222 and 2238 Sumter St. from Joe W. “Bill” Dunn in 2015, according to the news release. The buildings had been the home of Dunn Electric Co.
Indah Coffee Company and Circa Barber Shop opened in May at 2238 Sumter St.
Until recently, 2222 Sumter St. had housed a maintenance facility for Loomis Armored US, part of the international cash handling company.