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Historic Renovations Creating New Office Space in Columbia

Bowen Horger
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

  By now, most people in our state have heard about the huge re-development of the old state mental hospital property on Bull St. in Columbia.  The first phase being the completion this spring of Spirit Communications Park, home of the Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball team.  But there’s a lot more going on, including the renovation of many historic buildings on the property, such as our next guest’s project: turning the remaining portion of the more than 100-year-old former African-American asylum into office space.

Mike Switzer interviews Bowen Horger with Diversified Development in Columbia, SC.

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.