NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A portion of the former Charleston Naval Base could be the future site of a downtown area in North Charleston.
“We want to develop into what would be the closest thing we would ever have to a major downtown high-rise, a lot of people located within the area, waterfront. And in order for that to work, we need one master plan,” said Mayor Keith Summey.
The City of North Charleston is in search of a Master Developer to purchase and transform a 70-acre portion of the navy base. A Request for Qualifications was released late last week.
According to the RFQ, leaders envision what they call a “dynamic, high density, mixed commercial/residential use development,” to stand along the Cooper River next to Riverfront Park.
Mayor Summey told News 2 this would include retail, hotels, and high-rise apartments.
This is part of a larger plan to redevelop the navy base which ceased operations in 1993. Other projects are already in progress including the Navy Yard redevelopment and the Olmsted Park Plan.
Developers behind the Navy Yard Charleston announced on Monday they started construction on the redevelopment of two historic storehouses. The project will turn Storehouses 8 and 9 into restaurants, shops, offices, and residential space.
This is a collaboration between Jamestown, Weaver Capital Partners, WECCO Development and Piedmont Private Equity. They anticipate the project will be completed in 2024.
As for the RFQ, developers must submit their proposals by March 17. Leaders plan to make a decision at the end of April.
“This is our last chance to do something on riverfront. While we have rivers on both sides of the city, we’ve never really had waterfront that we could do a lot with. This is an opportunity to do that and we will maintain ownership of the waterfront itself so that it can be public accessed,” Summey explained.
He said work on the project could begin within the next 18 months.