COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Mayor Steve Benjamin discusses candidly the city's and the developer's immediate, short-term and long-term goals regarding the embattled Bull St. campus, and the 181 acres that come with it. The future of the former site of the state's mental hospital begins today, according to Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. First, Upstate developer Bob Hughes, Hughes Development Corporation, Greenville, is now authorized to close the $15 million sale of the 181-acre property by the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. Step two, Benjamin says, allows the site, that has largely been dormant for a decade, to finally take new shape. "Now that we have resolved our internal, family issues as a City, it frees up Mr. Hughes to share more and more about what the Bull St. campus will look like," said Benjamin. That process could take some 90 days, according to the mayor. It's a timeline paving the way for the third step, which is breaking new ground. "End of year, the beginning of 2014, we will see some construction happening at the site," said Benjamin. Benjamin claims due to the City's budget surplus, it is capable of funding the project, one he believes will provide a substantial return on investment in the form of a $1.2 billion dollar economic impact and more than 11,000 new permanent jobs. "We'll keep our eyes squarely on the future." To keep up with the City's progress of the Bull St. Development Project, visit www.columbiasc.net.