(Columbia, SC) – The Columbia Housing Board of Commissioners has voted to enter a contract with Clearinghouse Community Development Financing Institution (CCDFI) to buy the Celia Saxon Shopping Center on Harden Street in Columbia, SC. The Board approved a $2.5 million purchase agreement for the sale.
“We are ecstatic to engage Clearinghouse CDFI in our efforts to create a sustainable plan for the Celia Saxon Shopping Center and one that the community will be proud of,” says Mathews. “CCDFI has a deep understanding of the socio-economic issues faced by low-income communities and other targeted populations, including African American, Hispanic/Latinx, and Native American. It has funded $1.5 billion in total loans for over 1,820 community projects over the past 20 years. These projects have created or retained more than 16,500 jobs and benefit over 1.5 million individuals. Working hand-in-hand, the impact of what they will create in our community will be transformative,” concludes Mathews.
Columbia Housing opened the shopping center in 2008 to serve the needs of the residents in the area; but the center never quite found its footing—and failed to turn a profit. In 2019 Columbia Housing decided to put the center up for sale.
Established in 1996 to serve low-income and disadvantaged communities in Southern California, CCDFI has expanded its service area to address unmet credit needs throughout the United States. CCDFI provides economic opportunities and improves the quality of life for lower-income individuals and communities through innovative and affordable financing that is unavailable in the conventional market. CCDFI motto is that it always leaves a community in a much better place than they found it.
CCDFI has not released much information about its future development of the site—only that it will likely be retail.