CHARLESTON, SC — No decision has been made on the future of the Sergeant Jasper site in downtown Charleston, following a meeting on Friday, January 8.
The Beach Company and The City of Charleston talked about changes to the proposed development including how The Beach Company can mitigate costs while it awaits the outcome of a court case surrounding the proposed building.
Last summer, Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review rejected a plan for Sergeant Jasper that would include more office and retail spaces.
The Beach Company appealed that decision.
Statement from The Beach Company regarding Friday’s meeting:
The Beach Company wishes to thank Mayor Riley for his sincere efforts to engage all of the interested parties to resolve issues related to the redevelopment of the Sergeant Jasper site. We have enjoyed a very positive relationship with the City of Charleston and Mayor Riley over his entire tenure as Mayor, and together we have achieved many beneficial accomplishments.
Likewise, we have great respect for the work of Historic Charleston Foundation and Preservation Society of Charleston, and we applaud all they have done to preserve historic landmarks in Charleston.
The Beach Company agrees with the City that a more residential and less commercial approach is ideal for the Sergeant Jasper project. Yet a new plan along these lines presents challenges on many fronts. Many changes have transpired since the redevelopment plans began several years ago. The delays experienced in the planning process have been costly and may adversely affect The Beach Company’s ability to build a predominately residential project. Economic factors have shifted, such as rising interest rates and construction costs, as well as market conditions.
At this juncture, The Beach Company has no choice but to continue with the appeal of the Board of Architectural Review’s denial of the Sergeant Jasper revised plan, presented June 3, 2015. We recognize that it may be a lengthy process and expect our appeal to be challenged by neighborhood and preservation groups.
The Beach Company stands behind the design presented to the BAR on June 3, which complies with existing zoning and is a vast improvement to the existing structure. However, pending the outcome of the appeal, we have been working diligently on alternate plans to mitigate the loss of time and revenue associated with the redevelopment of the site. This new approach will allow The Beach Company to pursue the renovation of the existing building and develop the surrounding property in the event that the BAR decision under appeal is ultimately affirmed.
In either case, we remain committed to creating a high-quality mixed-use development on the Sergeant Jasper site, which is a much-needed addition to this special part of the peninsula, and we look forward to meeting again next Thursday.