West Columbia is experiencing an unprecedented rate of growth.
That was the message from Mayor Tem Miles Tuesday as he addressed the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast at Stone River, Tuesday.
West Columbia is the second-fasting growing municipality in Lexington County. B.J. Unthank, economic development director said West Columbia’s population increased more than 19 percent in the last five years. He also said the number of business licenses issued by the city has risen by 26 percent in 2021.
“We’ve had such a good run,” Miles said, “and I’m excited to stand here and tell you we have as much stuff in the hopper in various stages of approval or bringing about to the public as we’ve had over the last eight year period.” Miles then joked that he could not share any details or “let the cat out the bag” regarding some of the proposed projects.
Miles then turned the microphone over to Unthank for a presentation.
“There is no better time in history to be in West Columbia,” Unthank said. “This has been such a great run.”
He made note of two new public parks, the Interactive Art Park on Meeting Street and Carraway Children’s Park at Riverwalk. “That investment in public spaces has really helped to spur private investment,” Unthank said.
He also said there are reasons West Columbia is experiencing rapid growth. Among those reasons Unthank listed are: a business friendly city hall; a lower cost to do business; a one-stop shop permitting and planning process; a clean and safe community; and he said West Columbia is in the path of development as the area around it expands.