Vacant Laurel Island to see development

VIDEO: Charleston Peninsula to see new Lorelei island get developed

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Laurel Island will be seeing some changes. Friday night was the first look at what will be done to revamp the unused island on the lower Charleston Peninsula.

The island was made from dredge spoil, and later used as a landfill. Soon it will be home to an outdoor amphitheater, kayaking, retail, and much more.

"We're gonna look at everything from shrimp boats to crabbing docks to places to fish, places to do stand-up paddle board and kayaking and we really want it to be a broad array of ways for people to enjoy the water," Lorelei Project executive LeGrand Elebash said.

He said the island will also be used as place to live, shop, and eat.

"We know we need something that is a robust main street, retail-oriented street. Food and beverage and shopping. But we want a mix of uses vertically. So we want residences and offices, loft offices above that main street retail. We really want to connect people to the waterfront," Elebash said.

The ten-year project will also include a large hotel and conference center that faces the water. All of the island will have a view of the Ravenel Bridge.

Housing will also be on the island, but it's not sure how much will be available. Some people raised the concern of the housing being affordable for everyone.

"I don't know what they're definition of affordable housing is. They said that fifteen percent of what they're building will be affordable housing but the price point is what really counts," Pat Sullivan said.

Elebash said to have a great community you need people from all types of life to live there.

"To have a great community you really need people there from all points of their life stages. From young, hardworking people with their first job or people further along in their career. We need a broad array of housing types and sizes which will help us accomplish affordability," Elebash said.

There is also the concern over the additional traffic, "One of the first thing I thought of when I heard about this development was you look at how many people are going to be living there and how many cars does that mean. And then are we gonna have back up on the Ravenel bridge of people trying to get over to Lorelei. The Ravenel bridge is already jammed," Sullivan said.

Bridges could be the answer to keep the traffic problem down.

"we are looking into the opportunity with the city of finding a cross street where we can create a bridge that goes over the railroad and allows traffic to move on and off the island," Elebash said.

The project is expected to break ground in 18-24 months and is expected to take ten years to complete.

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