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Commercial Real Estate in Columbia, SC - 170 Properties Available

Columbia, SC Economic Overview

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Columbia is the capital and second-largest city of South Carolina, and is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S. Columbia is home to over 131,000 residents and a relatively young demographic—the median age is just 28.

The 1990-2000s saw an enormous revitalization of the area, especially its downtown core, that has triggered significant economic growth and expansion. Columbia enjoys a diversified economy, boasting a workforce of over 56,000 employees, and is home to corporate headquarters of major Fortune 1000 energy company, SCANA. The city also hosts the South Carolina state government and the University of South Carolina (USC). The Columbia commercial real estate market continues to expand due to its accessibility by three major interstates, well-established base of the region’s major employers, and growing population of millennials and young professionals, bringing new and rising attention particularly to its Central Business District (CBD).

Columbia’s diversified economy boasts over 30 companies with international ties to 13 countries. Global businesses have come to Columbia to take advantage of the strong transportation network and thriving quality of life. Since 1988, these companies have invested over $1.5 billion into the local economy, adding flavor and diversity to the local scene. Growth in the area continues to attract new and innovative companies looking for an educated and productive workforce. The region’s economy is supported by industries such as advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, information technology, insurance technology and services, military and defense, alternative energy, and transportation/logistics. The USC and Columbia Technology Incubator helps to recruits, develop and launch local technology driven companies. Low costs of doing business and extensive transportation infrastructure make Columbia an ideal place to do business, no matter the sector or industry.

Columbia, SC Commercial Real Estate Market

The expanding commercial market in Columbia is largely driven by its accessibility by three major interstates, I-20, I-26, and I-77, making the CBD an easy to navigate commercial market. The recent boom in activity in the CBD has spurred new attention from employers, with many choosing to locate here, including Palmetto Health, Wells Fargo, Aflac, Seibels, and AgFirst Farm Credit Bank.

There are now few available large locks of traditional office space and a lack of development in the pipeline, which encourages expanding office users to consider repurposing older buildings into office space.

Increasing demand has brought the occupancy rate to a record high of 90.6%. There is currently no office development of significant size under construction or planned for the Columbia office market, causing rental rates to increase as much as 11.5% between 2015 and 2017. In addition to the downtown core, the major Columbia office submarkets include Northeast Columbia, and St. Andrews.

Downtown Columbia is home to both historic building re-development, and modern buildings, including a special line of projects along Main Street. Historic sites can be found along the Congaree Vista, Gervais Street, and the South Carolina State Museum. The Downtown Columbia office market includes an existing inventory of just over 4.7 million square feet of office space in roughly 50 buildings.

Northeast Columbia is one of the fastest growing areas in Greater Columbia due to its proximity to desirable residencies and currently hosts many large companies like Providence Hospital Northeast, RBMG, Bose Corp, and Siemens Diesel Systems Tech. The Northeast Columbia office market includes an existing inventory of just over 1.2 million square feet of office.

St. Andrews is a census-designated place with a population of 20,493 in the area. The St. Andrews office market includes an existing inventory of just over 2.1 million square feet of office space.

Columbia, SC Office Sales Volume

Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.

Columbia, SC Office Transactions

Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.

Columbia, SC Commercial Inventory Breakdown

Office Spaces

Total: 12,475,783 SF

Data provided by Yardi Matrix, properties over 50k SF, includes office with retail

By square footage range:

  • 50k to 100k SF: 4,180,173 SF / 33.51% of total office
  • 100k to 500k SF: 8,295,610 SF / 66.49% of total office

By class:

  • Class A: 4,975,241 SF / 39.88% of total office
  • Class B: 6,676,410 SF / 53.51% of total office
  • Class C: 824,132 SF / 6.61% of total office


Total: 6,388,531 SF

Data provided by Yardi Matrix, properties over 50k SF

By square footage range:

  • 100k to 500k SF: 5,383,187 SF / 84.26% of total industrial
  • > 1M SF: 1,005,344 SF / 15.74% of total industrial

By class:

  • Class A: 250,000 SF / 3.91% of total industrial
  • Class B: 5,827,177 SF / 91.21% of total industrial
  • Class C: 311,354 SF / 4.87% of total industrial

Employment in Columbia, SC


Columbia boasts a low unemployment rate of 3.4%, with state government playing the role of lead employer. Other employers in the area include firms in transportation and logistics. Professional and business services jobs include advanced manufacturing, healthcare, insurance and information and technology, green energy production, and research at USC.

According to the BLS, the industries in Columbia, SC metro area with the highest employment numbers include:

  • Government currently employs 87.300, growing at a yearly rate of 1.5%;
  • Trade, transport, and utilities currently employs 75.400, growing at a yearly rate of 2.3%;
  • Professional and business services currently employs 48.800, growing at a yearly rate of 0.8%.

Education in Columbia, SC

Nearly 40% of the population in the area, aged 25 and over, has earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher, making human capital abundant among the growing population of millennials. The region’s centers of higher education include four technical colleges, six independent senior colleges, and a nationally ranked research university, the University of South Carolina. The university has 350 degree programs and enrolls 31,964 students throughout fifteen degree-granting colleges and schools. It is an urban university, located in downtown Columbia.

Columbia is also the site of several extension campuses, including those for Erskine Theological Seminary, South University, and the University of Phoenix.

Commuting Time in Columbia, SC

Employees in Columbia, SC have a short average commute time of just 14.5 minutes, compared to the national average of 24.8 minutes. Additionally, only 1% of the workforce in Columbia, SC have "super commutes" in excess of 90 minutes.

Columbia is nationally ranked among the top five cities for highway connectivity with an interstate network that includes I-20, I-26, I-77, and I-95. This puts Columbia within 24-hour ground access to more than 66% of the U.S. market.

The Port of Charleston is located less than two hours away and is the largest container port on the U.S. Southeast and Gulf coasts. Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) is home to the UPS Southeast Regional Air Hub and provides excellent air shipping access.

The Comet, officially the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority, is the agency responsible for operating mass transit in the Greater Columbia area. COMET operates express shuttles, as well as bus service serving Columbia and its immediate suburbs. The city is served daily by Amtrak station, with the Silver Star trains connecting Columbia with New York City, Washington D.C., Savannah, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami.

Columbia Demographics


  • Total Population132,236
  • Male Population(51.3 %) 67,861
  • Female Population(48.7 %) 64,375
  • Median Age28.30


  • Average Household Income$69,516
  • Median Household Income$43,650
  • Median Income Under 25$19,500
  • Median Income 25-44$49,996
  • Median Income 45-64$56,188
  • Median Income Over 65$37,310

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