CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A new hotel and residential building could be coming to downtown Charleston.
On Wednesday, the Charleston Board of Architectural Review will consider a request for a two-building behind the middle section of King Street. The project will include a 6.5-story hotel on Society Street and a 6-story mixed-use residential building on George Street. A parking structure is also included in the proposal.
According to Charleston officials, a surface parking lot off of George St. would be eliminated as a result of the construction. King Street retailers told News 2 that these parking spots are used by shoppers and employees.
“A little nervous once construction gets started about how long it’s going to take and what we’re going to be able to do for our customers that park in that parking lot today,” said Gary Flynn, a partner, and CEO of M. Dumas & Sons which is located on the corner of King and Society. “We have to come up with some sort of a plan for the local customer that drives downtown to see us and right now we don’t have a really good option for them.”
According to Tyler McCormack, a stylist at Hampden Clothing, some of his co-workers park in the lot which is directly behind the store.
“It’s interesting, especially since there’s already such a limit of parking on the peninsula. We have such limited real estate,” said McCormack.
According to city leaders, it is not unusual for a privately owned commercial lot to be replaced by development. In fact, it is expected.
“We often use the term ‘highest and best use.’ Surface parking is generally not, in an urban environment like Charleston, is not thought of as the ‘highest and best use,’” said Robert Summerfield, the Director of Planning, Preservation, and Sustainability for the City of Charleston.
Despite the parking concerns, Flynn said he is looking forward to what this project could bring to that portion of King Street.
“It will give customers, our customers, a better chance of staying in our neighborhood for their hotel, for their restaurant, for a drink at a bar, for a place to hang out. There aren’t as many options right now in middle King. There are a few really good ones, but we could use a few more,” said Flynn.
The BAR meeting begins at 4:30 pm on Wednesday. News 2 reached out to Bittoni Architects, the applicant, but we have not heard back.