CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston City Council decided on Tuesday a study should be conducted before moving forward with redevelopment plans at Sumar Street in West Ashley.
Sumar Street is a vacant 2.5-acre lot in the heart of West Ashley and is owned by the City of Charleston. It was back on Tuesday night’s city council agenda after months of back and forth on what should go there next.
Over the summer, city council reviewed three different proposals for the redevelopment of the space. A fourth option which proposes a civic center and green space was later added to the mix. It continued to spark mixed reviews from council members.
“The purpose of this civic center is to provide our citizens, our firefighters, our police officers a place to meet and celebrate. A place for us to have an alternative place to meet,” said Councilman Peter Shahid, who represents District Nine.
Councilman Ross Appel had different thoughts.
“I am never voting for a government building and a park at the ‘suicide merge,’” said Councilman Appel who represents District Eleven.
News 2 spoke with Councilman Jason Sakran of District Three ahead of the meeting. He suggested to his colleagues to the project on hold to allow for more public engagement opportunities.
“West Ashley residents deserve a fair process, and this is part of that. So, I think, you know, starting over, starting the engagement process over is fair, not only to West Ashley residents, but it’s a fair kind of compromise to my colleagues who have expressed a concern with the process to begin with,” Councilman Sakran said. “So, let’s put a pause on it and restart the engagement process.”
Council chose to go a different route. They voted in favor of sending to staff to determine how much square footage is needed for a civic space to include city conference and office space, city assembly and civic lawn, and civic support space. Sumar Street was formerly home to a Piggly Wiggly before it was demolished in 2018 following its closure a few years prior.