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BullStreet District’s Burgeoning Tech Sector Adds Another Innovator

The BullStreet District’s vibrant technology sector — fueled by gigabit internet from Segra— is welcoming one of the state’s most successful leaders in user experience (UX) strategy and design, truematter.

Headquartered in the Midlands, truematter has moved its offices from the WECO Building on West Columbia’s Meeting Street to another area landmark: downtown Columbia’s historic Ensor Building, the two-story, neoclassical brick building adjacent to Segra Park — home of the Columbia Fireflies Minor League Baseball team.

Truematter’s 13-member team occupies 3,600 square feet — the entire second floor — above Bone-In Barbeque, the popular chef-driven restaurant and cocktail bar. A regional leader in UX, truematter was founded in Columbia in 2002 by Rusty Farrell and Dean Schuster, who have been business partners for 20 years.

Truematter’s user experience consulting team serves a client base that ranges from regional organizations to major corporations and Fortune 500 companies and makes complex websites, apps, and software easy for everyday people to use. The firm is also a leader in developing accessible digital products for people with disabilities. Truematter serves clients in sectors including healthcare, insurance, energy, financial services, software and app development, commercial development and more.

Truematter joins global tech giant Capgemini and the SOCO creative community as major technology innovators to call the BullStreet District home. The gigabit infrastructure, the result of a strategic partnership with Segra, makes the district an ideal destination for high-tech businesses. Access to this rapid internet service is still relatively rare and the partnership with Segra makes it easier and more affordable for tech companies like truematter to execute high bandwidth activities at BullStreet.

“The character of the BullStreet District really matches our company and team well,” said truematter president Rusty Farrell. “From the very first time I laid eyes on BullStreet, I liked the energy of the place. That energy is what ultimately brought us back when we were looking for truematter’s new home. I’m confident in the future of BullStreet, and truematter has made a commitment to be part of that future. We’re excited to see what happens next.”

Located between Segra Park’s entry plaza and the First Base Building — the largest private office building constructed in Columbia since 2009 — the Ensor Building was built in 1938 and originally used as a research laboratory for the S.C. State Hospital campus until its closing in 2005. The building was not on the original list of buildings required to be preserved per the BullStreet District’s development agreement with the City of Columbia, but master developer Hughes Development Corporation was able to establish a way to preserve the building in 2014 and completed its full renovation in 2018 with Studio 2LR Architecture and Buchanan Construction Services.

“Truematter is a tier one company that blends the art and science of making digital products and services easier for people to use,” said Robert Hughes, president of Hughes Development Corporation. “They emphasize that they do one thing, and they do it better than anyone. They are the most recent company to recognize the benefits of the new infrastructure at BullStreet and join a family of innovators and entrepreneurs in South Carolina’s first urban gigabit community.”

Now five years into a 20-year development timeline, the BullStreet District — known as the largest urban redevelopment project on the East Coast — is showing continuous progress. Recently, news broke that a Starbucks will open in 2021, adjacent to the REI Co-op retail store that is scheduled to open in 2020. Meanwhile, the Merrill Gardens active senior community is nearing completion, construction on the district’s 20-acre public park is rolling forward, and major infrastructure changes are underway to straighten Freed Drive and clear land for the future University of South Carolina Health Sciences Center.

Learn more about truematter at http://www.truematter.com and explore the happenings across the BullStreet District at http://www.bullstreetsc.com/.

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Sharon Sanders

Sharon Sanders is Co-Founder, Co-owner of the The MinorityEye. She is also a Digital Engagement Strategist and a Curator of information at The Minorityeye and the President of Clairvoyant, LLC which specializes in strategic communications and multimedia services. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Argosy University and she specializes in “Online Consumer Psychology.” Sharon provides companies with research and insight into the processes underlying consumer behavior in online environments…

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