News

Damaged Kress plaque honoring lunch counter sit-in could be reinstalled before end of year
News :: August 16, 2017

It was a loading truck that knocked the plaque down. After the Preservation Society of Charleston installed in 2013 a King Street historic market to honor the bravery of 24 students from Burke High School who sat down at King Street's Kress lunch counter on April 1, 1960, a delivery truck smacked it down last year, and it's been in limbo ever since.

A unique city
News :: August 16, 2017

Once upon a time there was a small town occupied by early settlers known as Charlestowne. In spite of many local hazards such as alligators, snakes and pesky mosquitoes the settlers made it into a nice place to live.

City of Charleston agrees to spend $41,000 to shore up structural flaws at Read Brothers
News :: August 16, 2017

The city of Charleston has hired NBM Construction to perform emergency repairs on the Read Brothers buildings on upper King St.

City Council voted Tuesday to approve a $41,000 contract for the work. City Councilman Bill Moody said the city's legal staff declared this an emergency situation.

City of Charleston to Update Permit Software
News :: August 14, 2017

The City of Charleston will switch to a new and improved permit and land management software, EnerGov, on August 14, 2017.  With this upgrade, users will have access to online permit management, increased reporting capabilities, as well as inspection scheduling and tracking.

Individuals who frequently do business with the City are encouraged to register for a free Customer Access Portal (CAP) account, which enables users to schedule inspections and renew business licenses online. Beginning in late 2017, CAP users will also be able to submit, pay, and track permit applications and code violation complaints online.

New study appears to doom Ashley River bridge bike lane conversion
News :: August 11, 2017

A new study casts big doubts about whether the T. Allen Legare Bridge over the Ashley River will ever have a lane converted for bike and pedestrian use.

The city and county of Charleston entered into an agreement with the state Department of Transportation to make the change, but the project has been deferred for three traffic studies that looked at its impact on vehicle traffic.

Toughen up test for new hotels
News :: August 11, 2017

Charleston’s newest boutique hotel, which will occupy the upper floors of the former Bob Ellis shoe store on King Street, got the greenlight this week from the city Board of Zoning Appeals. It’s the fourth new hotel approved by the board in the past three months.

Charleston's Read Brothers forced to close, get repairs due to 'significant threat to life safety'
News :: August 10, 2017

We are sad and concerned to see yet another unfortunate situation as this. Our local businesses and historic buildings have been the catalysts of Charleston's success and we need to protect them.

First Venice and Barcelona: now anti-tourism marches spread across Europe
News :: August 10, 2017

With the continent sweltering under a heatwave nicknamed Lucifer, tempers have been boiling over, too, as a wave of anti-tourism protests take place in some of Europe’s most popular destinations. Yet, as “tourism-phobia” becomes a feature of the summer, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has defended the sector, calling on local authorities to do more to manage growth in a sustainable manner.

City of Charleston buys former Piggly Wiggly site in West Ashley, beginning redevelopment plans
News :: August 9, 2017

The city of Charleston on Tuesday completed the purchase of an old Piggly Wiggly grocery store site at a prominent West Ashley intersection, securing its future as a symbol of the West Ashley revitalization effort.

After months of negotiations, Wintergreen Capital, a Charlotte-based development firm, agreed to sell its 2½-acre site at Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Sumar Street to the city for $3 million — about $1 million more than the firm paid for it in 2014.

West Ashley Revitalization Commissioner pushed group to consider a transit technology he invested in
News :: August 8, 2017

The national urban planning firm hired by the city of Charleston to create the West Ashley Master Plan has worked all year on concepts to improve the city's oldest suburb.

Many of the ideas Dover Kohl is pitching center on traffic and transportation fixes, such as extending sidewalks, connecting bike lanes and creating West Ashley shuttles that would run in their own lanes of traffic.

The return of the grand hotel? 'Top-level' project planned for City Market
News :: August 7, 2017

After months of speculation about what’s planned for an empty parking lot near the City Market — a 150-room hotel has been the most popular theory — project managers are unveiling their plans to neighborhood and historic groups.

Separating fact from fiction while touring Charleston
News :: August 7, 2017

We live in a world where there seems to be as much misinformation as there is truth. At times, it is tough to tell what’s what. We hear terms such as fake news and have come to expect spin doctors to put their interpretation on what we just heard and why we should believe it or dismiss it.

It’s only natural, then, that in a tourist-driven, historical city such as ours that certain myths exist surrounding some of what did or didn’t happen here.

American College of the Building Arts offering three fall continuing education classes open to the public
News :: August 7, 2017

This fall, the College of the Building Arts is offering continuing education classes open to the public. Three classes will be offered to start: Intro to Interior Design, Architectural Computer Graphics, and Charleston Architecture: A Historical Perspective. The 14-week classes start Sept. 11, are held 6-9 p.m. one night a week, and are taught by a trained expert in the respective fields. Each course costs $500 and enrollment is limited. Get started by applying online.

Huge volunteer turnout to create growth plan for Mount Pleasant
News :: August 5, 2017

Illustrating the broad concerns about growth and development in this fast-growing town, a whopping 250 residents have volunteered for a steering committee to craft the next Comprehensive Plan.

Eventually it will be cut down to 30.

ConNECKted Exhibit At City Gallery More Than Your Typical Art Show
News :: August 4, 2017

The artistic presentation “conNECKted: Imaginings for Truth and Reconciliation” opened at the City Gallery at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Waterfront Park July 22 and will be on exhibit through August 27. But to label the presentation an art exhibit is an understatement – it is an expression of art as activism.

18-room hotel OK'd for Charleston's former Bob Ellis building
News :: August 3, 2017

An 18-room boutique hotel will breathe new life into the vacant Bob Ellis Shoes store at King and George streets in the heart of the peninsula's historic shopping district.

Charleston’s Board of Zoning Appeals gave the project unanimous approval Tuesday.

Cannon Street property owner sues city of Charleston over decision to deny short-term rental
News :: August 3, 2017

An Atlanta-based company that owns property on Cannon Street is challenging the city of Charleston's decision to reject a request to build a short-term rental on the lot in the Cannonborough-Elliottborough neighborhood.

Apres Midi LLC, the owner of 118 Cannon St., filed an appeal in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas last week.

Venice, Invaded by Tourists, Risks Becoming 'Disneyland on the Sea'
News :: August 2, 2017

VENICE — “You guys, just say ‘skooozy’ and walk through,” a young American woman commanded her friends, caught in one of the bottlenecks of tourist traffic that clog Venice’s narrow streets, choke its glorious squares and push the locals of this enchanting floating city out and onto drab, dry land. “We don’t have time!”

Neither, the Italian government worries, does Venice.

City of Charleston adding credit card readers on all downtown parking meters
News :: August 1, 2017

By the end of the year, drivers will no longer have to resort to digging in their floorboards for loose change to feed the parking meters in downtown Charleston. 

The city expects to install new readers that accept debit, credit and prepaid SmartCards on all 1,700 parking meters on the peninsula over the next few months.

Stop whining
News :: August 1, 2017

Are there some things you don’t like about your community? Are you doing what everyone else does when they don’t like something? Are you whining about it to your friends, neighbors, social media connections and all the other people in your life?

If you’re annoyed do you take it to social media or complain to your neighbors? That always results in useful conversation.

Do Short-Term Vacation Rentals Change the Character of Historic Neighborhoods?
News :: July 30, 2017

As the appeal of living in a historic neighborhood continues to grow across the country, the arrival of short-term vacation rentals (STVRs) has challenged many residents to ensure that the “neighbor” stays in their neighborhoods. The result is a complex debate about the benefits versus negative effects of this $30 billion industry.

Renew Urban Charleston Standing Firm on the Integrity of Historic Charleston's Buildings
News :: July 30, 2017

Renew Urban Charleston is in the process of renovating and repairing Charleston — all while staying in the guidelines of maintaining historic integrity.

Study finds Charleston's hospitality workers are overburdened by high cost of parking downtown
News :: July 30, 2017

Downtown Charleston is the regional hot spot for luxury hotels, upscale dining and bar-hopping — a major draw for the roughly 5 million people who visit the Lowcountry each year.

But while they lounge in their $300-a-night rooms or indulge in the city's award-winning cuisine, thousands of workers behind the $3.6 billion industry are driving onto the peninsula every day, hunting for parking spots that won't eat up too much of their day's wages.

Don't expect any easy answers on short-term rentals in Charleston
News :: July 28, 2017

Just when Charleston gets all these fancy new hotels, everybody starts wanting to rent houses.

Wouldn’t you know it.

News :: July 27, 2017
National housing expert to meet with local leaders Thursday about Charleston's affordable housing
News :: July 25, 2017

A former top official from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be in Charleston on Thursday to help local leaders understand the complex challenges facing public and affordable housing. 

Airbnb expects its biggest night ever in South Carolina thanks to total solar eclipse
News :: July 24, 2017

Charleston accounts for 2,500 of the houses booked on the weekend of the eclipse, more than Columbia and Greenville combined.

Charleston neighborhoods seeking more input from residents about short-term rentals
News :: July 19, 2017

Neighborhood groups and preservationists want more residents to weigh in on the debate about short-term rentals before the city changes how those properties are regulated.

Cruise ships eye Mount Pleasant as Charleston hits annual limit
News :: July 19, 2017

For the first time, the number of cruise ships scheduled to dock in Charleston has hit the State Ports Authority's voluntary 104-ship annual limit, and that could send some cruise ship business here.

Another hotel in Charleston's City Market gets a green light
News :: July 19, 2017

Another hotel in the Charleston City Market has been approved after the developers convinced a board that it won’t significantly add traffic to a nearby neighborhood.

The Charleston Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously agreed this week to allow a 50-room hotel that includes the former Wild Wing restaurant building on North Market Street and the site of the former Molly Darcy's Irish Pub on East Bay Street. The board deferred the request in January because of traffic concerns.

International African American Museum launches genealogy center, research initiative
News :: July 18, 2017

While most museums offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about history and culture, Charleston’s International African American Museum hopes to offer something possibly more valuable — the chance to learn more about yourself. 
 

Workforce housing for a living city
News :: July 16, 2017

Under a new plan approved by City Council on Tuesday, the Charleston peninsula could be getting a lot more so-called workforce housing, defined as affordable to those earning up to 80 percent of the area median salary.

Or it could be getting a lot less.

A month in, Charleston's new bike share system seems to be on the right track
News :: July 16, 2017

Charleston residents who were here in the mid-1990s might remember the first effort to launch a community bike program. 

Called Yellow Bikes, the 50-bike fleet wheeled out in 1996 in Marion Square was run by a few volunteers who fixed up used bikes, spray-painted them yellow and left them unlocked for riders to pick up and use as needed.

Charleston City Councilman Dean Riegel doesn't own or rent property in his West Ashley district
News :: July 14, 2017

Charleston City Councilman Dean Riegel hasn't been an established resident in the West Ashley district he represents since he sold his home 10 months ago.

Hicks: Charleston is No. 1, again. Now, here are the top 10 places we'll be stuck in traffic
News :: July 12, 2017

Thank you, Travel + Leisure magazine readers, for naming Charleston the No. 1 city in the country. Again.

Hotel planned for former Bob Ellis Shoes on Charleston's changing King Street
News :: July 11, 2017

The Kalinsky family bought the 18,000-square-foot building in 1973. Barry Kalinsky said in a previous interview that it was a hard decision to sell but cited increasing competition and rising prices.

City of Charleston to reconstruct Low Battery
News :: July 11, 2017

The City of Charleston is seeking public input as designs were released Tuesday for an extensive reconstruction project to the “Low Battery” on Charleston’s peninsula.

Building Boom in Boston Casts Shadows on History and Public Space
News :: July 11, 2017

Laws that restrict new construction from creating shadows on two of the city’s cherished public parks may be changed for a proposed 775-foot tower.

City of Charleston designers seek input to design public space along Low Battery seawall
News :: July 11, 2017

Charleston city designers are asking residents to provide input to craft a public space along the Low Battery seawall. 

As the city prepares to replace the Low Battery with a higher, sturdier wall, the Design Division sees the space as a potential linear park.

Desperate need for safer infrastructure
News :: July 9, 2017

Just recently, 2 different pedestrians were killed attempting to cross Folly Road. These crashes occurred in the span of only 2 days. 

Proposal for big changes in workforce housing requirements returns to Charleston City Council: Public hearing set for July 11
News :: July 6, 2017

Charleston City Council will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to workforce housing requirements during their next meeting on July 11.

Is culinary success spoiling Charleston?
News :: June 30, 2017

“The people who live here are frustrated and don’t want to see Charleston continue to be number one on these lists,” says Jamee Haley, executive director of Lowcountry Local First. “While some are thriving, we’re losing those businesses that provided vital services to the people who live here.”

The Agenda: Southern economics will be affected by climate change; Millions on the roads; Budget vetoes waiting
News :: June 30, 2017

Is Charleston being spoiled by its success asks USA Today?

How Much Tourism Is Too Much?
News :: June 29, 2017

"Many hotels are now located in residential neighborhoods to satisfy the urges of those who want to feel as though they are living, however briefly, as real New Yorkers do. Have them try shopping for an affordable apartment."

James Island development moratorium goes too far, Charleston Planning Commission says
News :: June 22, 2017

The Charleston Planning Commission met Wednesday and unanimously voted not to recommend the moratorium, a vote that came after several  members said the move would block not only unpopular large developments but new businesses as well.

Help plan for transportation
News :: June 22, 2017

If there’s one thing that almost everyone in the Charleston metro area can agree on, it’s that traffic is a problem and transportation improvements are desperately needed. This week, and throughout the summer, local residents have the chance to turn frustrations into a plan for action.

Connectivity, lack of infrastructure main issues behind Lowcountry traffic
News :: June 21, 2017

It’s no secret that traffic is one of the biggest issues in the Lowcountry. But representatives of the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments want to know what areas are the worst.

Charleston City Council votes to change building height guidelines
News :: June 20, 2017

Charleston City Council voted Tuesday to change downtown's architectural guidelines, including height limits, in one of the most drastic rewrites since the city first took on the task in the 1930s.

Hotel rooms in former furniture store get OK from Charleston zoning board
News :: June 20, 2017

Plans presented to the Board of Zoning Appeals show retail space on the ground floor facing upper King Street, with hotel rooms on the second floor. A newer building behind the former showroom would be demolished and replaced with a four-story building with more hotel rooms, with parking access off Morris Street.

Consider range of hotel impacts
News :: June 20, 2017

Given the number of hotels already under construction or planned for the peninsula, it would be a relief for the BZA to turn down those requests. But current city rules makes it too difficult to say “no,” even when a hotel or vacation rental could adversely affect the city’s livability goals.

How much is too much tourism?
News :: June 19, 2017

Charleston receives more tourists per capita than popular European destinations like Barcelona or Amsterdam, both of which are struggling to balance tourism and quality of life for residents. And more and more people visit every year.

Plans to develop $1B Lorelei project off Charleston's upper peninsula fall apart over access road
News :: June 5, 2017

For the third time in a decade, a proposal to develop a prime piece of real estate on Charleston's upper peninsula has fallen apart.

What can be done to control downtown Charleston's explosive hotel growth?
News :: June 4, 2017

While hotel developers have been happy to accommodate the masses, the question now is: How much is too much?

Should downtown Charleston property owners be forced to check their building facades for flaws?
News :: May 31, 2017

Downtown Charleston has seen a rash of high profile building problems this year, including the discovery of a facade detaching from a King Street building; damage to a parked car from an office collapse at 11½ St. Philip St.; and bricks from a deteriorating townhouse falling onto Exchange Street.

Charleston bike share launch challenges users to burn 1 million calories combined in first year
News :: May 30, 2017

Years in the making, the city of Charleston's first official bike share program, Holy Spokes, launched with a ceremony at the Medical University of South Carolina on Tuesday. As part of the launch, MUSC Chief Executive Officer Patrick Cawley challenged bike share users to burn 1 million calories combined using the bikes during the first year.

Massive rewrite of Charleston's architectural review rules moves a step ahead
News :: May 25, 2017

Charleston made history when it created a Board of Architectural Review in 1931 to preserve the architectural character of its old city, and more than 2,300 cities and towns have since followed suit. So perhaps it's not surprising that Charleston's most significant rewrite ever of that 1931 law is stirring plenty of anxiety over whether the city will get it right.

Don't rush new height rules
News :: May 25, 2017

The Charleston Board of Architectural Review has played an essential role in protecting the historic city. So has a city height ordinance designed to retain the sense of historic scale. But a city plan to revamp its height ordinance on the peninsula risks diminishing the authority of the BAR. Or so say Charleston’s two primary preservation organizations. At this point, the city needs to push the “pause” button.

Height district ordinance would diminish BAR oversight
News :: May 24, 2017

The city’s efforts to amend the height districts on the peninsula and to modify the authority and process of the BAR constitute an unprecedented threat to the review board that has created and protected Charleston’s international appeal and character.

Why are downtown Charleston's buildings falling down? Experts point to three main culprits
News :: May 20, 2017

While each building has its own unique tale of failure, several experts point to three common denominators that they share: shoddy initial construction and renovations, neglect and even a steady hum of vibrations from an ever-growing city.

Planning West Ashley's future
News :: May 16, 2017

The Plan West Ashley effort is still in the relatively early stages, and it’s going to take a very long-term push to update and renew an entire part of Charleston. But that effort has a lot of momentum. Don’t miss the chance to take a hands-on approach to guiding West Ashley’s future.

Charleston community leaders ponder limits on new hotels
News :: May 15, 2017

Downtown Charleston is becoming alarmingly congested mainly because the city has no good way to move 6 million visitors a year in and out of an area that’s only two square miles.

Letter: Johns Island development frenzy
News :: May 6, 2017

Every day, Johns Islanders wonder if the City of Charleston will help our community flourish, or will it continue to approve residential development with no regard for our quality of life? There is a reason to assume the latter.

Building designer saves ramshackle 'gateway' cottage in downtown Charleston
News :: April 30, 2017

This Charleston single cottage is a great example of dying breed of houses from this era,” said Kristopher King, adding that much of the “historic fabric was either salvaged or matched.”

Revitalize West Ashley 'gateway'
News :: April 25, 2017

The empty former Piggly Wiggly at the intersection of Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Old Towne Road in West Ashley is an unfortunate metaphor for the neglect that suburban part of Charleston has endured for too long. As one of the “gateways” to the city for people arriving from I-26, the site deserves better.

Gilbreth column: Council needs to heed Mayor's hotel concerns
News :: March 30, 2017

But you can’t convince developers of that nor, as the Mayor has found out, certain members of City Council. A plan to put at least a temporary moratorium on new hotels that would have been presented by the Mayor and his city planners a year ago was withdrawn before serious deliberation because it was clear that council would have none of it. A second proposal got nowhere.

Changes to Charleston's hotel map up for public comments this week
News :: March 27, 2017

Anyone with concerns, questions or comments about proposed changes to the boundaries of the Charleston peninsula's hotel zone have an opportunity to air them this week.

Plans for downtown Charleston hotel on East Bay move upscale
News :: March 12, 2017

The Board of Architectural Review gave the plans for a 47-room lodging just south of the City Market conceptual approval last week, after declining to move the plans forward in November.

Enough: Put a hold on hotel growth
News :: March 9, 2017

When planners compared Charleston to other cities trying to encourage tourism without harming the local culture, they concluded that the Holy City has reached its limit. It has 6,511 rooms either available for visitors or on the way.

Charleston BAR unanimously approves Sergeant Jasper design
News :: February 8, 2017

Charleston's Board of Architectural Review voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve the design of the replacement building on the long-contested Sergeant Jasper site. The preliminary approval means the project at 310 and 322 Broad St. can move forward as scheduled, although the board will require architects to tweak some design details before they bring the plan back for another review.

More than 6,000 apartment units to rise in city of Charleston
News :: November 11, 2016

Nearly three-dozen apartment developments with 6,251 units are either planned or under construction in the city of Charleston. Their combined footprint is 261 acres: equal to three Citadel Malls or four Hampton Parks, a Post and Courier analysis has found.

Amid a building boom, Charleston struggles over guiding growth
News :: October 28, 2016

Less than a year ago, Charleston voters elected their first new mayor in 40 years — one who campaigned on a promise to reel in development, put a renewed focus on West Ashley and protect residents’ quality of life.

Charleston makes list of most livable cities
News :: October 27, 2016

Charleston is one of "America's Best Cities To Live," based in part on its diverse economy and high population growth, according to a Northeastern financial news website.

Stop for downtown ‘systems check’ before building more hotels
News :: October 12, 2016

The more people we have living downtown, as opposed to visiting, the more likely it will be that we can diversify our economy, create the critical mass needed to sustain a better public transit system, create beautiful neighborhoods and community with thriving schools, and give rise to a new generation of Charlestonians who love downtown because it’s a great place to live, work and raise families.

This isn’t about nostalgia, it’s about Charleston remaining a living city
News :: October 4, 2016

Redevelopment has been creeping up — and down — the peninsula for years now as downtown Charleston remains one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. Developers trip over themselves to get in on the action.

In the bike lane debate, it comes down to who puts in the time
News :: September 26, 2016

City Council narrowly approved the bike lane plan in July to the joy of the biking community, but the county — which holds the purse strings — now has reservations. And angry constituents.

Old city could become 'miniature Manhattan'
News :: September 16, 2016

The vision of Charleston’s leaders in the 1970s and 1980s could not include the current extraordinary and unanticipated growth, the rise in the metro area’s population from 336,036 in 1970 to 648,090 in 2010, and estimated to be 708,000 in 2020.

Bi-Lo shoppers lament 'major loss' on peninsula
News :: August 30, 2016

Developers can make more money from developments other than supermarkets as real estate prices escalate on the peninsula. Plans have not been announced for what will become of the 36,312-square-foot Bi-Lo building, now sitting in a prime location between apartment developments, including one involving the parent company of The Post and Courier.

Judge sets aside his Jasper order; next steps by Beach Co., opponents still unknown
News :: August 29, 2016

Nicholson’s decision Tuesday upholds a key condition of the city’s and company’s recent settlement agreement and could mark the end of a nearly two-year-long saga over the controversial property just west of Colonial Lake.

Zoning approved for Sergeant Jasper site
News :: July 18, 2016

Charleston City Council overrode the city’s Planning Commission Tuesday and gave final approval to a zoning change that will allow 324 residential units to be built on the Sergeant Jasper apartments site.

Public can still make its voice heard on future of Jasper site
News :: July 17, 2016

While the Sergeant Jasper is often portrayed as a “peninsula issue,” residents of every neighborhood in the City of Charleston should sit up and take note of what is going on. With areas from West Ashley to Cainhoy on the cusp of revitalization or expansion, our planning processes are all we have to protect against hasty, ill-considered decisions that do not adequately take into account neighborhood character and residents’ desires to shape the future of their community.