CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Plans for two full-scale hotels in downtown Charleston are moving forward after months of delay and dozens of meetings. The two hotels could be the last of their kind coming to the Charleston peninsula.
Work resumed earlier this week on the more than 200 room Cooper Hotel just days after plans were approved for another downtown. City leaders say it’s a clear sign of tourism demand in the Holy City.
City leaders say construction, specifically hotel development is picking up after the pandemic in Charleston.
“A re-interest if you will in pursuing hotels or accommodation-type projects particularly in a place like Charleston,” said Robert Summerfield, Director of Planning, Preservation, and Sustainability for the City of Charleston.
The Cooper Hotel is set to be Charleston’s newest waterfront luxury hotel after a slowdown because of COVID-19. Just last week, the City’s Board of Zoning appeals approved plans to build a 175 room full-service hotel replacing The Alley, a popular downtown bowling alley.
But city leaders say they could be the last of their size built on the peninsula.
“Acknowledging that these bigger hotels have impacts and not trying to create a concentration of those,” says Summerfield. “The overlay limits what the number of full-service hotels can be.”
Summerfield says the hotels are so important for the city’s tourism but have to be limited for livability.
“It’s important that we don’t create this congregation of large hotels, that we spread them out to the extent that’s possible,” says Summerfield.
City leaders say the Charleston Peninsula has reached its maximum limit for full-service hotels with more than 175 rooms after approving the latest plan. They say smaller boutique hotels can still be built on the Peninsula. For now, the focus remains on making these hotels some of the best Charleston has to offer.
“Maintaining our tourist economy and providing for that to be robust what is it to be while one hundred percent trying to maintain that livability for our residents,” says Summerfield.
City restrictions capped the number of full-scale hotels to eight. City leaders say the one approved for Spring Street last week will be the last one of its size approved on Charleston’s peninsula.