New buildings coming to downtown Charleston historic districts

Two mixed-use buildings in historic districts are making their way toward downtown Charleston.
Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 3:50 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2023 at 6:34 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Two mixed-use buildings in historic districts are making their way toward downtown Charleston.

The first, near the intersection of Meeting Street and Horlbeck Alley at the old Days Inn site, consists of a new hotel with some retail and residential space.

It’s at the start of the City’s Architectural Review process. It got a conceptual review, but developers have to address some comments before the next round of analysis.

Some of those comments include concern about the volume of the building compared to others and lack of design coordination with neighboring properties.

The next, on King Street near the I-26 overpass, is a mixed-use project with two buildings. It has a few hotel units, but mostly consists of residential and retail space.

It also got a conceptual review with certain stipulations, including concerns of the proposal looming over lower historic structures, and the material of the building’s exterior.

City of Charleston’s Director of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability Robert Summerfield said developers will have to address these comments before bringing their designs back to the board.

The Board of Architectural Review is extra particular when reviewing proposals in historic districts, Summerfield said.

“The Board is most sensitive to things that are happening in the old and historic district,” Summerfield said. “It’s the crown-jeweled-gem for us.”

Winslow Hastie, the President and CEO of the Historic Charleston Foundation, said it’s important the board takes this extra time in order to mitigate the change in these historic areas.

“Making sure you don’t have something that disrupts the character and feel of the city,” Hastie said.

One College of Charleston student, Gabrielle Coble, said she has no problem with new developments in historic areas.

“I think that kind of just feeds into the way that things look here now,” Coble said. “Like a jumbled up, mixed situation.”