Monticello Road revitalization to welcome DQ/convenience store
By Bob Holmes
It will soon be time to “Grill & Chill” on Monticello Road at the local Dairy Queen.
Columbia International University has entered into an agreement with Jones Petroleum of Georgia for a Dairy Queen restaurant/convenience store combination, the first business establishment to become a part of CIU’s revitalization efforts along Monticello Road, the corridor to the CIU campus.
CIU has purchased seven properties transforming the formerly blighted area into a commercially-viable district. The DQ/convenience store combo will be situated on three lots at the corner of Monticello Road and Peeples Street just off Interstate 20. CIU cleared the properties of vacant buildings and a barroom earlier this year.
Additionally, across the street from the new Dairy Queen, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department will move into an existing building that is being transformed into a substation.
“We’re funding the construction of (the substation) to make the community safer,” said CIU President Dr. Mark Smith. “It’s a gift to the community.”
Smith says once Jones Petroleum begins building, the company hopes to complete the project in six to eight months.
“You’re looking at 50 to 75 employees that will be hired, and that’s going to be a real plus for this community,” Smith said.
Smith adds that negotiations continue with other businesses who are considering Monticello Road an excellent location for growth.
CIU is also poised to meet business and IT needs with the new William H. Jones Global Business & IT Center. One of the purposes of the Center is to provide a corporate training room for Columbia area business professionals to act as a catalyst for business development, especially along the Monticello Road corridor. It will also provide an opportunity for CIU students to advance their “revitalizing” skills in business in the United States or in international missions work.
The building alone adds a beautiful corporate touch to Monticello Road.
“We have a strong core value at CIU that we are to give back to our local community,” Smith said. “As we take Christ to the nations, we must first start here at home. As president I commit to invest locally and be a part of our community.”
Columbia International University ranks #1 among colleges and universities in South Carolina by BestColleges.com. Excitement is growing on campus with CIU’s first baseball program in development, and online with CIU’s new Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. Request information on enrollment at CIU and Columbia Biblical Seminary or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.