Five Points Association Gains Neighborhood Support Sharing the Vision of Five Points

COLUMBIA, S.C. (July 8, 2019) – Starting with the announcement of new Executive Director, Kelsey Desender, the Five Points Association has had several weeks of added excitement. Earning a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, the return of Gibson's to their original Saluda Ave. storefront home, and the unveiling of the timeless Claussen’s Bakery as boutique apartments, to name a few, speaks volumes to the vitality of the renowned village.

As an advocate for the district’s businesses, the Five Points Association strives to guide development and improvements that will enhance the viability of Five Points. For over 100 years, Five Points has grown, evolved and been an icon in Columbia and beyond. And as it has, and will continue to do, the village is changing.

The Five Points Association expects compliance of all laws and regulations, by all businesses in the neighborhood. Period. While some may fear for the future of Five Points, the FPA sees the glass half full, of opportunity. The chance to breathe renewed life into pockets of Five Points is stirring enthusiasm, motivating positive change and creating the real story.

To launch the initiatives forward, the Five Points Association and the Coalition of Five Points Neighborhoods announced today, an agreement to work collaboratively to meet common goals. Gathering at least quarterly, they will discuss issues of mutual concern and seek solutions by looking at “best practices” from other vibrant communities. To continue furthering the progression of the thriving neighborhood, the partnership strives to increase parking, attract more restaurants and retail merchants, improve safety and ultimately build Complete Streets.

This Complete Streets concept adds bike lanes (increasing the usability of the centrally located Blue Bikes), enables efficiency for traffic, while adding wider sidewalks for pedestrians and outside seating, all while comprehensively fusing connectivity throughout the district.

So, spread the word – the vision and aspirations for Five Points. “Imagine expanding similar replicas of Saluda Avenue with its neighborhood feel, walkability, and friendly disposition,” explained Five Points Association Executive Director, Kelsey Desender. “In a nutshell – we want the streets of Five Points to be safe and accessible for everyone. Saluda Avenue is a blueprint for the safe, walk-able, livable neighborhood that both the Five Points Association and the Coalition of Five Points Neighborhoods strive for.”

The Five Points Association is a non-profit organization whose principle task is ensuring that Five Points stays an integral and important part of the city of Columbia. The Association has accomplished and endured many major infrastructure, development and beautification projects over the years to enhance the vitality of the neighborhood.

Not only is the Five Points Association concerned with the aesthetics of Five Points, but also the merchants, the patrons, and the residents. On average, the Five Points Association boasts more than 100 members each year. Merchants in the area stay involved in the annual events and charity functions as well as contribute to an overall sense of unification and comradery.

Each year the association raises thousands of dollars to support charities here in the Midlands hosting annual events including St. Pat’s in Five Points, JerryFest, and the Annual Chili Cook-Off, adding even more opportunities for patrons to enjoy Columbia’s favorite village.

The Coalition of Five Points Neighborhoods consists of ten neighborhoods adjacent to or in close proximity with Five Points and the main campus of the University of South Carolina. Representatives of these neighborhoods began meeting in 2015 to address several common issues, such as absentee landlords who do not maintain their properties, zoning matters and appropriate development in the area

The Coalition includes representatives from the following ten neighborhoods:

  • Wales Garden Hollywood Rosehill
  • Wheeler Hill Shandon
  • Olde Shandon Martin Luther King
  • Waverly Lyons
  • Melrose University Hill

Primary contacts for the Coalition:
Kit Smith – Wales Garden April Lucas – University Hill
(803) 414-1958 (803) 206-0876

Click here to view our Joint Statement.

For more information about Five Points, please visit

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