City of Charleston reviewing new Cannon Street hotel plans

VIDEO: City of Charleston reviewing new Cannon Street hotel plans

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Board of Architectural Review says designs for a new hotel at the gateway of the Charleston peninsula are back for review.

The BAR plans show that the Aloft chain hotel will sit between Cannon Street and Spring Street.

It’s at the site of the old Wendy’s fast food restaurant on Cannon Street.

The new hotel is proposed for the site of the old Wendy’s fast food restaurant on Cannon Street.
The new hotel is proposed for the site of the old Wendy’s fast food restaurant on Cannon Street. (Source: Live 5)

City of Charleston Planning Director Jacob Lindsey says the first designs were denied by the BAR earlier this year.

Hotel planners came back earlier in October and were deferred, but the owners are coming back to the board with a third design Wednesday, Lindsey says.

“We think the building has improved tremendously and is really a vastly improved building compared to what they came in with,” Lindsey said.

Plans show the hotel is still designed to be 11-stories high and have 175-rooms.

Hotel planners came back earlier in October and were deferred, but the owners are coming back to the board with a third design Wednesday, Lindsey says.
Hotel planners came back earlier in October and were deferred, but the owners are coming back to the board with a third design Wednesday, Lindsey says. (Source: Aloft Hotel)

“What they [the owners] heard from the board were concerns about the exterior appearance of the building,” Lindsey said. “That it needed to be an appropriate gateway and an appropriate entry into the City of Charleston and that’s why they redesigned it.”

Lindsey says the owners have changed the layout of the building itself, including the interior of rooms and lobbies, the pick-up and drop-off areas for the hotel, and some of the amenities. He says the hotel will look different than the medical district buildings and parking garages surrounding it.

“This hotel, in it’s current proposal, will be a really distinguished building that would be a nice addition to the skyline and it would not look like the existing buildings in that area,” Lindsey said. He adds that these design changes are all in response to concerns from both the Board of Architectural Review and from the public.

“This is a great example of the Board of Architectural Review and the public doing their work to improve our cities architecture,” Lindsey said. “The board and architects have listened to the public input and the building has been significantly re-designed in response to public input. And we would just request that we continue to hear from the public because this design is improving because of their work.”

Every BAR meeting has a public hearing and Wednesday’s virtual meeting can be found on Zoom starting at 4:30 p.m.

If designs are approved on Wednesday, Lindsey says the hotel owners will have to go through two more rounds of architectural review before moving forward.

Lindsey says if plans stay on schedule now, a development of this size would take at least a year before breaking ground.

Lindsey reiterates that the City of Charleston still intends to shrink the number of hotels on the peninsula. He says the Aloft hotel itself was approved years ago, which is why they are still moving forward with the process.

There are currently about 6,000 hotel rooms on the Charleston peninsula, and Lindsey says this will bring an additional 175.

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