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Stantec-designed Orangeburg Railroad Corner Development breaks ground in South Carolina

Mixed-use project will include housing, retail, and a Civil Rights museum


The City of Orangeburg, South Carolina, broke ground yesterday on the Orangeburg Railroad Corner Development. The 1-acre brownfield site will transform 12 historic, city-owned parcels into mixed-use commercial and residential spaces through new construction and reuse of heritage structures. Global integrated design firm Stantec collaborated on the project with the public-private partnership (P3) of the City and Orangeburg University District Partners (OUDP) to bring the community’s vision to fruition.

Stantec is serving as planning, environmental, design, and engineering lead in collaboration with local architecture firm Studio 2LR. The project aims to revitalize the area and facilitate economic growth with new commercial and retail space. Designed to reflect the city’s heritage, Railroad Corner mixes elements of the area’s historic aesthetic with modern touches.

Stantec worked with the City and OUDP—a development group consisting of Luna Development and HBCU Community Development Action Coalition, Orangeburg County, as well as South Carolina State University and Claflin University—to design student housing located on the site. The housing supports enrollment growth of the schools and is designed to embrace the spirit of both universities.

“The Orangeburg Railroad Corner project represents a turning point for the local community. These dormant spaces hold so much potential to breathe new life into this part of the city and we’re honored to play our part in helping unlock that potential,” said Amy Worsham, brownfields asset transformation leader for Stantec. “Spaces like this exist in cities across the nation, and we believe the Railroad Corner will set an example for the possibilities that other communities may discover as well.”

Design, funding, and collaboration
Stantec led the Railroad Corner project using its Asset Transformation and Brownfields model—a partnership approach to help communities transform underutilized properties and districts into valuable destinations. Leaning on local and national expertise from its offices across the US, the firm applied a holistic approach that started with conceptualization and will continue through construction, assisting with funding gaps, partnerships, and overcoming revitalization challenges along the way.

The Stantec team included a collaboration of industry disciplines including community development, landscape architecture, surveying, civil engineering, environmental services, transportation engineering, and buildings architecture and engineering. To support the brownfield’s redevelopment, Stantec assisted the city in acquiring a $500,000 Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Assessment Grant and coordinated with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for funding environmental remediation.

Civil Rights history
The Railroad Corner project also includes the construction of the Cecil Williams South Carolina Civil Rights Museum, designed by Studio 2LR and developed by Orangeburg County. From 1950 to the early 1970s, Orangeburg was a center of the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina. Its history is marked by events like student-organized sit-ins at a department store lunch counter in 1960. The city is also the site of the Orangeburg Massacre. In 1968, law enforcement officers fired into a crowd of student demonstrators protesting racial segregation at a local bowling alley. The event left three students dead and 28 wounded. It was the first deadly confrontation between law enforcement and university students in the nation.

“It is difficult to overstate the importance of this project to our community,” said Sidney Evering, Orangeburg city administrator. “The fact that so many organizations and partners on the federal, state, and local level have worked together to get us to this point is a testament of the significance of Railroad Corner. We are extremely cognizant of the role Railroad Corner has played in our past and very excited about its revitalization and the role it will play in the future of our community. I could not be prouder and more appreciative of the way our community has come together to support this project. I believe it is a harbinger of the positive growth that is coming to Orangeburg and will serve as a catalyst for future development.”

A phased approach
The groundbreaking kicked off the first of four phases for the Railroad Corner project. The first phase focuses on developing residential, retail, and commercial space as well as the Civil Rights Museum. Phases 2 and 3 will expand residential and commercial spaces and connect the development to the universities through a pedestrian bridge over the adjacent railway. Phase 4 will focus on further improving mobility and connectivity to downtown and the universities.

Learn more about Brownfield Development at Stantec.

About Stantec
Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.

We care about the communities we serve—because they’re our communities too. This allows us to assess what’s needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what’s never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.

We’re designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

Stantec trades on the TSX and the NYSE under the symbol STN.

Media Contact                                                                                               

Ben Carter
Stantec Media Relations
Ph (813) 326-9221

Mary McAnnally
Stantec Media Relations

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