Union Pier committee introduces planning consultant to project

The Riley Center for Livable Communities on Thursday is expected to introduce new members of the team tasked with redesigning Union Pier.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 5:47 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Riley Center for Livable Communities on Thursday is expected to introduce new members of the team tasked with redesigning Union Pier.

The center is a public service Institute housed at the College of Charleston that does a lot of work with local governments and organizations to bridge the gap between them and the community.

The center has gathered a team of experts who they believe bring great knowledge and diverse perspectives to the development process of Union Pier.

The nearly 65 acres will be transformed into a neighborhood with green space, housing and some office and hotel space.

In the meeting, the planning department will explain what the public can look forward to in 2024 and the plans to build to accommodate the rising sea level, climate issues, and create community space that is valuable to people.

That advisory committee consists of 14 members who represent environmental organizations, historic preservation organizations, the Chamber of Commerce, an organization representing Charleston, Trident area realtors, as well as groups from neighborhoods surrounding the site.

The committee voted to hire a planning consultant last month.

The latest proposal for the site will be heard at Thursday’s meeting.

It will be the first time the community gets to hear from that entity called Sasaki which is an internationally recognized planning and urban design firm.

Ali Moriarty who is the Assistant Director of the Riley Center for Livable Communities further explains their role in the project.

“There are a few milestones in between now and then,” Moriarty said. “So, our role at the Riley Center is to facilitate a community-led process to ensure that community voices are at the forefront, and we anticipate our role to take about a year so well, at this point, a little bit less than a year.”

Moriarty stresses the importance of community engagement.

“It is a really significant opportunity and not one that comes along, you know, all the time. It’s a pretty rare opportunity for us to be able to get together as a community and say, this is what we value, and this is what we want to leave for future generations”, Moriarty said. “And this is what we want to see built, you know, along the waterfront in our community and these are the ways that we want to, you know, protect the waterfront and it really insert our shared community values and something that will have a tremendous impact on future generations.”

The meeting kicks off today at the College of Charleston Tate Center in room 202 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. For those who can’t make it in person, you can visit the public link for the virtual option.