Dozens of new affordable housing units planned at Charleston historic school

VIDEO: Dozens of new affordable housing units planned at Charleston historic school

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - People who call Charleston’s Eastside neighborhood home will soon see dozens of new affordable housing units in a historic school, but some community members say they don’t want it to make parking more congested as people move in.

The Humanities Foundation is currently working on turning the old Henry P. Archer School on Nassau Street into more than eight dozen apartment units for seniors.

The foundation will preserve the school while also adding on to provide more space, according to Michael Meyer who is the director of Real Estate Development for the Humanities Foundation

“The Archer school has been sitting dormant for I think at least 10 years,” Meyer said. “The Eastside is a great place to be. There are areas down there that need to be revitalized and we are happy to be a part of that.”

Latony Gamble director of the Eastside Community Development Corporation said she’s glad the school will be used to help seniors in the area.

“We wanted the school to remain and we think using it as housing is a good fit for it,” Gamble said. “That’s a great need because seniors, we have more and more seniors and they are going to need some housing that’s affordable that will meet their income.”

But Gamble also said the planned renovation of should include on-site parking to not take away from the already tight street parking spaces throughout the Eastside neighborhood.

“We want to make sure that that is included because we are inundated right now as far as people can’t get to their houses and parking three or four blocks away,” Gamble said.

Bernard L. Judge has lived next door to the Archer school his whole life and even attended it decades ago.

“When I started school, I started at Archer and then we went down to Sanders Clyde,” Judge said. “It would be nice providing that it would be affordable housing for people like me be able to afford. I’m on a fixed income and we talk about seniors and those seniors have to be able to afford it.”

Judge also said he welcomes the project with the condition that parking near his home also be preserved.

“I would like to be happy to walk by and realize it’s there, the Archer school. But I hope and trust that they don’t come and take all the parking either,” Judge said.

Meyer said the current conceptual design has 36 parking spaces while the City of Charleston would only require 23.

In addition to monitoring parking, Gamble also says she also hopes the Humanities Foundation will look at how they can also help fix flooding around the historic school.

“That’s also an issue because we know that that area floods a lot and anything that they can do to alleviate that would be greatly appreciated,” Gamble said.

The project will go before the city’s technical review board on Thursday.

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