Property

SCDOT buying property to make room for Carolina Crossroads

SCDOT provides relocation benefits including replacement housing, moving costs, closing costs, storage costs and reimbursement for mileage.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Every piece of jewelry sold at Steve and Mary Jarrett’s business is made by hand. “That’s what we do, something different than what everybody else does,” said Mary Jarrett-Hart. 

Their business, Jarrett and Hart Goldsmiths, has been a staple in Columbia for nearly 40 years. The couple attributes their success to their loyal customers. 

“We are very heavily supported by the community,” said Jarett-Hart.

The store front, which doubles as their home, is located close to the intersection of I-26 and St. Andrews Road. An area that will soon be the Carolina Crossroads project to fix what is known as ‘malfunction junction.’

To make room for the new roads and ramps the State Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is acquiring property, including the Jarrett’s.

Based on a residential appraisal SCDOT offered them $179,500, an offer much lower than what the Jarrett’s believe the property is worth. 

“We basically thought it was kind of a joke, really,” said Steve Jarrett. “We, in our mind, thought it was a half a million dollar piece of property. “

“It’s how we make our living and we don’t want to not have a business anymore.”

The Jarretts said they have hired attorneys to negotiate a higher price. 

According to SCDOT, offers are based on sales data and property appraisals. SCDOT said in more than 90% of cases, they are able to come to a deal with landowners. 

RELATED: Progress being made on Leesburg Road widening project

If they can’t agree on a price, SCDOT can acquire the property through eminent domain, which allows the government to take private property and convert it into public use. Jarrett-Hart said it hurts to have no choice but to sell. 

“There’s nothing we can do. That keeps us up at night,” she said. 

SCDOT also provides relocation benefits including replacement housing, moving costs, closing costs, storage costs and reimbursement for mileage. Though for the Jarrett’s, their lifetime of memories is priceless. 

“I don’t want my legacy of 48 years to be that we’re the exit onto the interstate,” said Jarrett-Hart. 

The Jarretts have until the summer to negotiate. Once the deal is finalized they’ll close their doors and turn the neon sign off forever.  

“We’re basically having to start over,” said Jarrett.

SCDOT will continue acquisition through at least 2023. The department is still in the process of contacting property owners. 

To learn more, click here.

RELATED: Plans for ‘Malfunction Junction’ released to the public

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