CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston County Library auditorium was filled with community members as officials talked about the Union Pier Redevelopment Plan.
Representatives from Lowe Enterprises and the South Carolina Ports Authority presented their plans to revitalize Union Pier.
“The work here is first to identify what are some of Charleston’s vulnerabilities,” one presenter said, “so that we can make sure that we understand this place to be able to formulate a plan for the future.”
Planning for future development in the Holy City includes taking into account the strong possibility of flooding, which is why Thursday’s session focused on the proposal’s resiliency and stormwater management.
“When we approach projects that have a deep need to lean into a resilience approach,” the presenter said, “we create a framework, and our framework sits in layered protection, holistic thinking and ecological sensitivity.”
Developers say when planning, they also tried to remain cognizant of the unique greenery that borders Charleston’s shoreline.
“Anybody being here knows that it’s a place that thrives on the salt marshes,” the presenter said, “the edges. Those are the components that Charleston really thrives on, so how do we make sure we’re being sensitive to that?”
After listening to the presentation, both neighbors and city officials had concerns; many dealing with the amount of green infrastructure present in the latest concept.
“There’s no mention of a real plan to incorporate the green infrastructure,” one community member said. “How much? Where will it be? How will we fund it? A lot of details left to the imagination right now.”
“We saw a lot of this green and naturalized shoreline in pockets,” Charleston Waterkeeper Andrew Wunderley said. “I’d like to see that continue all the way through the project.”
However, developers say there’s a substantial amount in their plan.
“There’s this big park that’s at the top of this screen,” another presenter said, “that’s the size of White Point Gardens floating out in your harbor. The green area there in the middle of the plan, that’s the size of Washington Square Park.”
There will be two more public information sessions discussing the Union Pier Redevelopment Plan. The dates, times and locations of those meetings have not been announced at this time.