Public provides input on latest Union Pier plans

The potential plans to redevelop Charleston’s Union Pier are moving forward.
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 11:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2023 at 11:18 PM EDT

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The potential plans to redevelop Charleston’s Union Pier are moving forward.

The South Carolina Ports Authority officials presented their most up-to-date plans and rezoning requests to the City of Charleston officials and the public Wednesday night at a planning commission meeting.

For some background, the South Carolina Ports Authority is looking at selling the 65-acre plot of land on the Charleston Harbor to create a mixed-use district. The plan includes affordable housing, retail, commercial and office space.

Ports Authority officials said this plan provides a “once in a generation opportunity” to revitalize the Charleston waterfront into a mixed-use neighborhood, with places to live, play and work

They said they adjusted their plans to reflect the public feedback they received over the last six months.

The plan presented Wednesday night included lower building heights, reduced square footage, the expansion of the Rice Mill Mall and 367 units of affordable housing.

But, despite the adjustments, the majority of the over 500 written comments and 70 in person speakers were against the plan as it stands – similar to concerns we’ve heard before.

“I feel betrayed by this proposal, because it’s just so painful that you would even think of putting these blocky buildings near the custom house. And it’s just changing the fabric and the character of our city,” resident Marie Vandivort said.

“Let us think about the noise, the trucks, the dust, the disruption to our lives. And how long is this going to go on for? What is the impact for those of us who have to live with this day after day- to have to live with the noise,” another Charleston resident, Rod Robertson, said.

The City of Charleston’s Planning Commission will reconvene for consideration of the plan on July 10. Depending on their recommendation, it will then be moved to the city council for further review.

You can watch Wednesday night’s full meeting here.