CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A parking lot in the middle of Market Street may soon become a hotel that developers say will rival a Ritz Carlton.
If approved, the seven story hotel will be built on a city block bounded by North Market, Pinckney, Church and Anson streets.
Developers say the plans call for seven stories, 135 rooms, 12 upscale condos, a rooftop penthouse, shops, a restaurant and a public park.
The hotel will be built in the historic Ansonborough neighborhood.
"My wife and I certainly can't speak for the rest of Ansonborough, but we are disappointed," Ansonborough resident Gil Baldwin said. "The hotel is pleasant to look at. I'm sure it will be somewhat of an asset but it's way to big."
"I think the plan is way too big. I think if it was broken up into two different buildings with a lot of landscaping I'd be okay with that."
The developers still have some hurdles to clear before the hotel becomes a reality. They need City Council to change the zoning to allow the number of rooms and stories.
They also have to prove to the Board of Zoning Appeals that the hotel won't severely impact traffic in the residential areas.
In a statement, project managing partner Tyler Morris said, "We understand the hesitation with the number of floors proposed, and we're committed to explore all options to create a project that Charleston can be proud of."
Morris also said developers will meet with community groups, neighborhood associations and the city to gather feedback and listen.
In an e-mail to Live 5 News, the president of the Ansonborough neighborhood association called the hotel "a property that will change the gateway to Ansonborough for many generations."
Gerry Schauer said he's hopeful the city and developer will reconsider the balance and produce a plan that is a real win-win.
The last big hotel in the market area is Belmond Charleston Place which opened in 1986.