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Real Deal Countertops | 818 Central Ave Unit A, Summerville, SC 29483

866-707-1414 843-832-0819 sales1@realdealcountertops.com

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The best countertops make a statement in your home that other features cannot. You've worked hard to incorporate unique designs and flavors throughout your home, so why should your countertops be any different?

At Real Deal Countertops, we aspire to combine the beauty and durability of natural stone with unrivaled, personalized attention to all customers. With the highest quality materials and the most helpful customer service, we give our clients the opportunity to make informed decisions that they feel good about for years. Our story in the countertop fabrication and manufacturing industry began more than 19 years ago, when Rafael Quedevez started out as a sales representative in Massachusetts. Working his way up through the ranks, Rafael soon made his way to South Carolina to open and manage his own companies. In 2013, we created real Deal Countertops. Since that time, we are proud to have served more than 5,000 customers in South Carolina and beyond.

Our leadership team combines more than 40 years of experience in the home remodeling service industry. Always striving to create a better product for our customers, we use the latest in robotics technologies and the sharpest minds in the business to craft countertops of unparalleled quality. Unlike other countertop companies in Columbia, SC, we only source the finest stone slabs in the world.

At Real Deal Countertops, we offer a wide range of styles and materials to choose from, including:

Kitchen Countertop Installation Columbia, SC

Quartzite

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Columbia, SC

Caesarstone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Columbia, SC

Silestone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops Columbia, SC

Marble

 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops Columbia, SC

Sensa

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops Columbia, SC

Pollar White

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops Columbia, SC

Vicostone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops Columbia, SC

Quartz

We are committed to ensuring that granite, marble, and other unique, exotic stones are attainable to all who desire them. If you're in search of a trustworthy counter company with a team of knowledgeable, helpful experts, you have come to the right place!

Most Popular Countertops in Columbia, SC

Choosing the best countertops for your kitchen is an important decision, but it doesn't have to be a hard one. One of the best ways to narrow down your search is to find out what kind of countertop material you'd like to use. While it's true that material and style trends change over time, there are several counters that have always been top sellers.

Some of the most popular countertops we sell include:

Marble Countertops in Columbia, SC

There's no way around it - marble adds jaw-dropping beauty to just about any room and is known for its good looks. It is a dense stone that comes in many different hues like greens, browns, pinks, greys, whites, and more. While marble countertops often have otherworldly beauty, they can be susceptible to stains and cracks. Marble is also considered one of the most expensive counters to choose from, though the truth is marble comes in a wide range of qualities and prices.

  • Pros: Stunning beauty, plenty of beautiful choices.
  • Cons: Not always used in kitchens due to chance of staining.
  • Popular Colors: Portinari, Shadow Storm, Super White, Lumen, Calacatta Linconni, Nobulato Honned, Shadow, Grey Imperiale Honed.
Kitchen Countertop Installation Columbia, SC
 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Columbia, SC

Granite Countertops in Columbia, SC

When it comes to popularity, granite countertops take the cake. Granite countertops usually contain a blend of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other minerals. Granite can add an edge of elegance and even a country-chic feel to your kitchen, making it a well-rounded stone. Granite is durable and scratch-resistant, though it can require sealing and DIY chip repair.

  • Pros: Luxurious, rich look featuring natural stone that is durable, heat resistant, and scratch-resistant.
  • Cons: Hard material that may require DIY chip repair and sealing.
  • Popular Colors: Blue Jeans, Creama Pearl, Alure, Galaxy White, Luna Pear, Steel Grey, Ubatuba, Oro Brazil.

Quartz Countertops in Columbia, SC

Quartz is a manufactured material that represents one of our favorite four-letter words: easy! If you're looking to add a high-end feel to your kitchen or bathroom, quartz is an excellent material to consider. Like granite, quartz countertops can add a decadent vibe to any room. Unlike granite, you may not have to seal quartz quite as often (if ever).

  • Pros: Quartz countertops come in plenty of colors to choose from and are easy to clean. They are also strong, scratch-resistant, and don't require sealing.
  • Cons: Quartz is not as heat resistant as other materials like granite counters. Sharp corners tend to crack, but that can be remedied with rounded corners.
  • Popular Colors: Noble Grey, Raw Concrete, Frosty Carrina, Shitake, Pebble, Pietra Grey, Sierra Madre, Arctic.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Columbia, SC
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops Columbia, SC

Silestone Countertops in Columbia, SC

A manufactured material made from quartz crystals, Silestone countertops are equal parts gorgeous and practical. Known for being a durable, non-porous choice, Silestone is resistant to stains, scratches, and even some forms of bacteria. Homeowners who choose Silestone do so because they can get a high-end look without having to worry too much about maintenance. Silestone counters look great in many different homes, from contemporary abodes with modern accents to vintage-looking kitchens.

  • Pros: Silestone countertops are non-porous, meaning germs and bacteria can't lodge themselves inside this material. This makes Silestone counters great for kitchens and bathrooms alike. This material also comes in a wide variety of colors and resists scratches and chips. Overall, Silestone is an excellent choice if you want to make a solid long-term investment without much upkeep.
  • Cons: While Silestone is great if you're looking for a low-maintenance counter option, it can be sensitive to harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Silestone is also not recommended for outdoor use since the resins used to make the material do not do well with UV light.
  • Popular Colors: Daria, Gray Expo, Lagoon, Calacatta Gold, Arctic, Blanco City, Gris Expo, Desert Silver

Quartzite Countertops in Columbia, SC

Not to be confused with quartz countertops, which are manmade, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that is quarried much in the same way that granite is. If you're a fan of marble counters, quartzite mimics its looks without as much upkeep. Like granite, it is a very durable choice and adds an upscale feeling to almost any room you choose.

  • Pros: Since it doesn't require any special cleaners, quartzite looks great without much maintenance. When it gets dirty, soap and water should be all you need to clean. Quartzite is also a great long-term option since it doesn't wear down quickly at all.
  • Cons: Heat is required to form quartzite. However, you should avoid putting hot pots and pans on your quartzite countertops. Because quartzite comes in many different varieties, some forms of quartzite need to be sealed more often than others.
  • Popular Colors: Maya, Fusion, Locomotion, Callacata, Airy Concrete, Cocada White
 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops Columbia, SC

Which Countertop is Right for You?

If you're just beginning your search for new countertops, it can be a little overwhelming trying to whittle down your options. We've got good news - with over 19 years in the industry, our team of experts has learned a thing or two about countertops. When you come to the Real Deal Countertops showroom, one of our goals is to educate you about our products and your countertop options, so you can make an educated purchasing decision.

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops Columbia, SC

How Will You Use Your Countertops in Columbia?

The first and perhaps most crucial part of your countertop choice should stem from how you and your family use your countertops. For example, if you have kids, your counters will probably see a lot of activity. Between standard eating times and "in-between" meals that teens are known for, your counters might double as food prep stations. As such, you might need a countertop material that is resistant to most food and beverage stains. If you own a rental property that sees a lot of foot traffic from strangers, you might want to consider an economical material that is also durable.

  • Do you cook a lot?
  • Do you host a lot of parties?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
Once you figure out exactly how you'll be using your countertops, you can begin to narrow down your choices.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops Columbia, SC

How Much Upkeep Is Too Much?

Be realistic and honest with yourself about this question. Before you fall in love with how a countertop material looks, be sure you understand how much upkeep is needed. Some materials require more care, while others don't need much at all.

Keep these points in mind:
  • Materials like quartz only need to be wiped down occasionally.
  • Materials like granite, marble, and limestone will need to be sealed at least once a year.
  • Some materials may be durable but aren't stain resistant.

The bottom line is this: Assess the maintenance demands that come along with the materials you're looking at. Marble countertops in Columbia, SC are elegant, but if you'e unwilling to keep them looking their best, why bother buying the material?

You should be aware that most countertop materials will require some form of upkeep, even if it' minimal. To help keep your counters in pristine condition, consider these care and precaution tips:

  • Many common foods contain acids that will dull or even damage the surface of stone countertops.Use coasters to protect your counters, especially if you'e drinking something with citrus juices or alcohol.
  • Do not place scalding hot pots or pans directly on your countertops.
  • Use mats or trivets to place under hot dishes.
  • If you spill liquid on your countertops, blot the spill with a paper towel ASAP. Wiping the spill will cause it to spread.
  • Use mild soap and plain water to clean up stains.

Which Colors and Materials Match Your Home's Aesthetics?

For many homeowners, this question is almost always top-of-mind. After all, you want to choose colors and materials that fit well with other features in your home. When selecting your countertop materials, try to choose a tone that contrasts with your other amenities, like your cabinets. Don't go for a perfect match. As an example, black granite is a beautiful contrast to white cabinets.

Consider these questions when choosing your countertop materials:
  • Are there one or two colors that you love more than others?
  • Does your choice go well with the color of your kitchen's walls?
  • Do you want to switch up your kitchen's style or keep it the same?
  • Will you be painting your kitchen a different color in the future?
  • Will you be replacing your appliances soon?
 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops Columbia, SC
Kitchen Countertop Installation Columbia, SC

Real Deal Countertops Pro Tip:

Because your home's accessories and paint job may change with time, your countertops should have a versatile color. That way, you won't have problems matching them with new paint colors or appliances.

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Columbia, SC  Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Columbia, SC

Countertop Remodeling Done Right

At Real Deal Countertops, our #1 priority is your satisfaction. Unlike some countertop companies in Columbia, we make it a point to exceed our customer's expectations. We strive for excellence with every transaction we complete and pledge to faithfully implement innovative techniques to ensure that our products remain affordable. With the help of Real Deal Countertops, remodeling your kitchen and bath will be painless and easy.

The appearance of a kitchen or bath depends on the right countertop selection, proper fabrication, and expert installation. Are you interested in granite countertops in Columbia, SC? Maybe quartzite is a better choice for your family. Whatever you choose, know that our skilled installers and fabricators will make a template so that all custom pieces fit perfectly in your home.

What Clients Say About Us

Ready to get started? Have questions about our inventory?

We're here to help answer all your questions. Please feel free to give our office a call today at 866-707-1414 Before you know it, you will be ready for your new set of Real Deal Countertops!

Contact Us

Latest News in Columbia, SC

DHEC orders licenses suspended for 2 Columbia assisted living facilities

Two Reese's Community care homes in Columbia were issued emergency suspension notices on an emergency basis.COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two assisted living facilities in Columbia have been cited by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) as posing an immediate threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the residents who live at them.Reese's Community Care Home 1 at 1203 Muller Ave., and Reese's Community Care Home 2 at 717 Cindy Dr.,...

Two Reese's Community care homes in Columbia were issued emergency suspension notices on an emergency basis.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two assisted living facilities in Columbia have been cited by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) as posing an immediate threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the residents who live at them.

Reese's Community Care Home 1 at 1203 Muller Ave., and Reese's Community Care Home 2 at 717 Cindy Dr., both in Columbia, have been issued emergency suspension orders after DHEC staff conducted an inspection on the facilities on Dec. 8-9 and Dec. 12 and found the following violations:

Residents who had been living at the facilities -- mainly senior citizens -- have been relocated with the assistance of local and state authorities. The residents' families have been notified and local officials -- including the S.C. Office of Ombudsman, the S.C. Department of Social Services, the S.C. Department of Mental Health, and the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services -- are continuing to work with the families.

DHEC's report describes the findings in part: "The Facility was in deplorable condition. Bed bugs and roaches were throughout the Facility and on residents. Traces of insect residue and attempts to treat the insects were throughout the Facility. The interior and exterior of the Facility was unclean and cluttered. The Facility's food supply was insufficient in terms of quality and quantity. Furthermore, residents had not been administered medications ordered by physicians and/or authorized healthcare providers. The lone staff member present at the Facility had inadequate training, was unable to render care/services to the residents, and failed to demonstrate working knowledge of the appropriate regulation."

The full report is attached below:

DHEC also cited Bowles Community Care Home No. 1 and No. 2 of Charleston County, administering emergency suspension orders against those facilities as well. The McClellanville assisted living facilities had violations including:

Gwen Thompson, DHEC’s Director of Healthcare Quality, said, “It is the responsibility of community residential care facilities to operate in compliance with all applicable laws. Our ultimate goal is for all of our state’s community residential care facilities to operate in accordance with these laws, which exist to establish standards for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the residents they care for. If a facility creates a dangerous living condition, we will take immediate and decisive actions to protect residents, who are always our top priority.”

DHEC regulates South Carolina’s community residential care facilities (also known as assisted living facilities) to ensure they provide quality care to their residents as required by law and regulation. The agency routinely monitors the compliance of these facilities through inspections, incident reporting, and complaint investigations.

DHEC encourages the public to use an online complaint form if they suspect any type of wrongdoing at a healthcare facility or service regulated by DHEC. Anyone unable to submit a health facility complaint online can call DHEC at 1-800-922-6735 and indicate that they wish to file a complaint against a health facility or service, and DHEC will follow up as needed.

A new 4-star hotel and apartment complex could be coming to the Vista

What could be the largest hotel in the capital city, along with nearly 200 new apartments and an underground parking garage, could soon be built near the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.The proposal from longtime Columbia developer Ben Arnold’s Arnold Companiescomes several months after Arnold’s plans for a much larger project in the same location fell through.The massive project, dubbed Vista Depot Hotels and Apartments, is the latest attempt to add hotel rooms around the convention center. Arnold’s p...

What could be the largest hotel in the capital city, along with nearly 200 new apartments and an underground parking garage, could soon be built near the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

The proposal from longtime Columbia developer Ben Arnold’s Arnold Companiescomes several months after Arnold’s plans for a much larger project in the same location fell through.

The massive project, dubbed Vista Depot Hotels and Apartments, is the latest attempt to add hotel rooms around the convention center. Arnold’s proposal would entail a 301-room hotel, a 183-unit apartment complex and a 380-space subterranean parking garage.

It would see the first-of-its-kind dual-branded Hyatt House and Hyatt Centric hotel built at the intersection of Gervais and Wayne streets in downtown Columbia’s Vista district. Arnold is hoping to build a 4-star, full-service hotel and says when finished, it will be the largest hotel in the capital city.

The California-based architecture firm Kollin Altomare Architects is also involved in the project.

Arnold had previously been in talks with Columbia and Richland County leaders for a much larger project that would have involved expanding the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center along with constructing three luxury hotels and a massive parking garage.

That project had an estimated value of $511 million but relied on city money to expand the convention center and city and county assistance on paying back the cost of building the parking garage.

That deal fell through when Richland County leaders balked at the cost of the parking garage after several months of back and forth.

Arnold’s new proposal is still a massive development for Columbia. The hotel portion of the development promises roughly 10,000 square feet of rooftop restaurant and bar space with a retractable roof for indoor and outdoor options.

In addition to the 301 new hotel rooms the project aims to develop, Arnold also plans to build 183 market-rate apartment units behind the hotel modeled after another of his projects, The Palms apartments.

“We feel like Columbia can handle more of that kind of housing,” he said of The Palms, which opened on Lady Street in April. Arnold said that project has been successful, with tenants ranging from empty-nesters to downtown workers.

The proposed apartment complex, called The Residence at Vista Depot, would be on the southwestern portion of the property, facing Wayne and Pendleton streets, and offer studios and one and two-bedroom units.

A pool terrace, yoga studio, fitness center and dog spa would also be included in the apartment building.

A 380-space garage would be built to support the apartments, the new hotel and Vista traffic in general. The garage would be below the new apartment complex, Arnold said.

Just behind the apartments, the University of South Carolina is developing another student housing complex at 737 Gadsden St. That combined effort will also see Wayne and Pendelton streets improved, Arnold added.

Construction on the Vista Depot complex could begin in early 2024, though Arnold says high interest rates and rising construction costs may delay the project. Still, he said he is positioning himself to move forward.

Between the hotel, apartments and parking garage, Arnold says the project will create 1,600 construction jobs and 160 permanent jobs.

Arnold said his previous plan for the trio of hotels to support the convention center would have benefited Columbia more, but “that opportunity went out the door.”

He believes the new project will still be an economic engine for Columbia while providing something the city doesn’t currently have: a full-service 4-star hotel. He added the hotel may still help support the convention center.

The city’s Planning Commission will consider the proposal at a Jan. 12 meeting. The city’s Design/Development Review Commission also will consider the project at a Jan. 19 meeting.

It’s unclear how Arnold’s proposal could impact future plans to expand the city’s convention center.

When expansion plans were still on the table, the state gave the effort $9 million. Later, when the deal fell through, Columbia had to return the money.

Arnold owns about 12 acres around the convention center, and his new project will be built on about 6 acres.

Local leaders have been split on whether an eventual convention center expansion is still in the cards. At least some local leaders still want to see it happen in the near future.

This story was originally published January 4, 2023 5:00 AM.

The 8 best New Year’s Eve events in Columbia to celebrate the start of 2023

It’s almost time to break out the bubbly.Another year is about to come to a close, giving people a chance to reflect on their latest revolution around the sun, look ahead to a possible new beginning and of course — party it up.Columbia has plenty of options to ring in the new year for those who want to brave the cold and the crowds.Here are eight of the best New Year’s Eve events in Columbia.Residents and visitors are encouraged to spend New Year’s Eve in Columbia for a spectacular firework...

It’s almost time to break out the bubbly.

Another year is about to come to a close, giving people a chance to reflect on their latest revolution around the sun, look ahead to a possible new beginning and of course — party it up.

Columbia has plenty of options to ring in the new year for those who want to brave the cold and the crowds.

Here are eight of the best New Year’s Eve events in Columbia.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to spend New Year’s Eve in Columbia for a spectacular fireworks display. Gather downtown around Main Street and Gervais Street at midnight to watch the night sky light up with vibrant colors.

Stop by The Grand on Main Street for a New Year’s Eve party featuring outdoor games, bowling, a DJ and a countdown to the ball drop. The VIP starts at 7 p.m. and general admission begins at 9 p.m. For more information about VIP booths or how to buy tickets, click here.

The lively Market on Main will hold a New Year’s Eve bash. Tickets will cost $50 for your choice of a 4:30, 4:45, 5 or 5:15 p.m. seating. There’s also later seating for 7:30 p.m. through 1 a.m. that will cost between $125 and $150 a ticket. Customers will provided a three-course meal. Alcohol will also be available a la cart. Customers will receive a 2-hour maximum stay from start of reservation time. To purchase tickets for the earlier seating or view the special menu, click here. For tickets to the later seating, click here.

Transmission Arcade at 1712 Main Street will host its third annual New Year’s Eve Party. The ticketed event will give customers exclusive access to the space from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. As part of their ticket purchase, customers will get a multi-course meal featuring specialty cuisine options, a specialty cocktail or other drink of equal value, a champagne toast at midnight and free play of the arcade games all night.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Dave & Busters Columbia will host a New Year’s Eve party that’s fun for entire families. Celebration admission is required to attend the early New Year’s Eve event at 6 p.m. to ring in the new year.

Celebration admission comes with access to the appetizer buffet, unlimited soda, coffee or tea, a $20 power card with 100 chips for redemption games, unlimited video game play for non-redemption games, party hats and noisemakers and more.

Dave & Busters Columbia is located at 100 Columbiana Circle, Ste. 5. To order tickets, click here.

Listen to live music as you ring in the new year at Foxfield Bar and Grille. Located at 406 Howard St., Foxfield will kick the party off at 6:30 p.m. Five local bands will be featured to rock the night away. Check the Foxfield Facebook page for more details.

Enjoy an upscale experience on Main Street at Smoked for a New Year’s Eve to remember. Tickets to the restaurant include Hors D’oeuvres, open bar (beer + select wine only), champagne toast at midnight, DJ and a photo of you when you arrive to the red carpet. To order tickets, click here.

Try something a little different this New Year’s by visiting The Venue at 1626 Main St. The night will feature dueling pianists, who will play throughout the night, from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. And of course, plenty of food and drinks will be available. Click here for reservations.

This story was originally published December 26, 2022 8:00 AM.

Some want to see Columbia’s Main Street become pedestrian-only. Could it happen?

A department store Santa Claus stood, hand on the switch, ready to pull.To Santa’s right, children and parents began a rallying cry: “FIVE, FOUR, THREE…”To Santa’s left stood Mayor Daniel Rickenmann, leading the countdown.“...TWO, ONE!”And then there was light. Or rather, lights — 28,000 of them, sparkling overhead.Downtown’s newest installation, a &ldquo...

A department store Santa Claus stood, hand on the switch, ready to pull.

To Santa’s right, children and parents began a rallying cry: “FIVE, FOUR, THREE…”

To Santa’s left stood Mayor Daniel Rickenmann, leading the countdown.

“...TWO, ONE!”

And then there was light. Or rather, lights — 28,000 of them, sparkling overhead.

Downtown’s newest installation, a “ceiling of lights” above the 1600 block of Main Street, lit up the street to applause in mid-December. It’s set to be a year-round feature, and there’s even talk of extending the reach of the lights in the future.

But it wasn’t children and dogs and couples holding hands that first traveled under the newly illuminated downtown banner.

They couldn’t, really. There was traffic.

As Columbia’s Main Street continues to blossom, and as the city and its partners invest more in making the downtown hub a destination, some residents have wondered if now is the time to make the roadway totally car-free.

“One step closer to making Main St. pedestrian only!” Transmission Arcade owner Josh Rainwater wrote on Twitter in response to the new light display.

“I literally said this out loud the moment I saw it,” another person agreed.

Matt Kennell, president and CEO of Columbia’s Main Street District, has heard this idea floated a few times before. He can understand the desire.

“It sounds good when it’s a beautiful day and there’s a lot of people downtown and lots of energy,” he said.

But despite Main Street’s growth over the last decade, Kennell said the corridor isn’t quite to the point of being able to support year-round foot-only traffic.

There just isn’t enough stuff there yet, he explained.

“It takes a lot of pedestrian activity, a lot of residential, a lot of just activity to make it work year-round,” he said.

There’s no question that making the area more pedestrian friendly is part of the reason for Main Street’s success over the last decade. In 2010, the city completed $12.8 million worth of streetscaping on Main Street, from Gervais to Blanding streets, according to previous reporting from The State. In the 12 years since, Main Street has boomed. Housing availability is growing exponentially, and retail and restaurants have found success, too.

The city has found opportunities to lean into that success, closing Main Street to vehicular traffic every Saturday morning for the Soda City Market.

But Main Street still likely isn’t dense enough — meaning there aren’t enough people and businesses in the immediate vicinity — to make a pedestrian-only plan work full-time, Kennell said.

Research seems to agree.

Researchers at Cornell University in 2020 conducted a wide-ranging study called “The rise and fall of the American pedestrian mall.”

They looked at 125 pedestrian malls that were created in the 1960s and ‘70s and found only 43 of the 125 were still in existence. In their analysis of the pedestrian commons, they identified a handful of indicators that suggested whether they would succeed or wither away.

They found that sprawl — the opposite of density, in planning terms — was a major factor in the failure of pedestrian malls. A simple Google mapping of Columbia will tell you that, indeed, the city is quite sprawling. In 2014, a study by Smart Growth America ranked Columbia as one of the most sprawling medium-sized metros in the country.

The researchers also found that without a major walkable attraction already nearby, car-less commons were also more likely to fail. For Columbia, that may be another barrier to the success of a hypothetical pedestrian mall.

The area immediately surrounding Main Street is notoriously unfriendly to pedestrians. Crossing Assembly Street to the west has been described as “daunting,” and Vista residents have been pushing for lane reductions on Gervais Street to the south.

The state Department of Transportation and the University of South Carolina are also expected to begin a streetscaping project on the portion of Main Street south of the capital. When all of that work is done, the entire corridor should be more walkable, regardless of whether cars are allowed on the streets, Kennell said.

The Cornell research did find that the presence of a college campus boosted the success of some pedestrian malls, such as in Boulder, Colorado, where the flagship University of Colorado is located, and Ithaca, New York, which has both Cornell University and Ithaca College.

Though, those communities are much different in size and layout than Columbia.

“Perhaps someday, if downtown keeps growing like it is, it would make sense to do (pedestrian only,)” Kennell said. “But I don’t think we’re ready yet to do it all the time.”

Former SC prison officer arrested after having sex with inmate, officials say

A Richland County woman was recently fired by the South Carolina Department of Corrections, and the former correctional officer was arrested on multiple charges after having sex with an inmate, officials said.Shanelle Betterson Eichelberger was charged with first-degree sexual misconduct with an inmate and ...

A Richland County woman was recently fired by the South Carolina Department of Corrections, and the former correctional officer was arrested on multiple charges after having sex with an inmate, officials said.

Shanelle Betterson Eichelberger was charged with first-degree sexual misconduct with an inmate and misconduct in office, S.C. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Chrysti Shain said in a news release.

Richland County court records show the 35-year-old Columbia resident was arrested on Jan. 6, but the arrest warrants weren’t released by the South Carolina Department of Corrections inspector general until Jan. 12, according to Shain.

Eichelberger was a correctional officer at Manning Reentry/Work Release Center, according to the release. The prison is a male-only, minimum security facility that currently houses 516 inmates, according to the S.C. Department of Corrections. It’s near Exit 71 on Interstate 20, which is the junction with U.S. 21/Wilson Boulevard.

On Dec. 21, 2022, Eichelberger had “sexual intercourse” with an inmate whose name was not made public, according to an arrest warrant.

A video of the sexual encounter was recorded on a cellphone, an arrest warrant said. Both Eichelberger and the male inmate admitted they were the people recorded in the video having sex, according to arrest warrants.

Court records show a $10,000 personal recognizance bond was issued on Jan. 9, and Eichelberger is not currently listed on the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center inmate roster.

Eichelberger is scheduled to appear in court again on Feb. 24, according to court records.

If convicted on the felony first-degree sexual misconduct with an inmate charge, Eichelberger faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, according to South Carolina law. A conviction on the misdemeanor misconduct in office charge carries a maximum punishment of a year behind bars, a $1,000 fine, and anyone convicted on the charge must forfeit the office, according to state law.

This story was originally published January 17, 2023 10:44 AM.

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