BAR defers Downtown Waterfront Hotel

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Wednesday night the Board of Architectural Review deferred the final approval to begin constructing the Waterfront Hotel as an extension of Waterfront Park. 

The effort to revolutionize the iconic Joe Riley Waterfront Park is now on hold. Wednesday, two representatives of Lowe, the company trying to build the Waterfront Hotel, pled their case to the Board of Architectural Review. They were hoping for the final approval of the hotel’s design to begin construction, however, the approval was deferred. 

“It will be a definite benefit and a good addition to the city but the materials really need to support that design and that’s really what they’re after,” City Architect, Dennis Dowe said.  

Dowe said the board is mainly concerned about the building’s materials. 

“They want authentic materials like you see on many buildings you see in Charleston like wood,” he said. 

As far as the design, the BAR loves it according to Dowe. The hotel would have 225 rooms with several amenities like a ballroom, a full-service spa, a rooftop bar, retail spaces, and a cafe. It would sit where the old South Carolina State’s Ports Authority sat on Concord Street. 

“This project is located at the extension of Waterfront Park, so it’s really a part of Waterfront Park, so it has to be as good as it can possibly be,” Dowe said. 

Although materials may not sound important, Dowe said certain materials will help preserve Charleston’s history. 

“If we were to allow buildings that were unrelated to the architecture of Charleston it’ll start to diminish the importance of the historic districts,” Dowe said. 

The development company will now take the BAR’s recommendations into consideration, address their concerns and try to get final approval at a later date. As of Wednesday, the development company denied News 2’s request for an interview. 

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