A developer wants to build a hotel on a vacant plot on Upper King Street, adding to the recent groundswell of new lodgings on Charleston’s peninsula.
The 54-room project is being proposed just as city officials are responding to the flurry of development activity by reviewing changes to the accommodations rules.
A representative for the proposed hotel at 583 King St., just south of Spring Street, has submitted paperwork seeking a special zoning exception that would allow the project to be built in that part of the city. The Board of Zoning Appeals is scheduled to review the request April 29.
City records identify the land owner as Reznick King Street Properties LP. Efforts to reach the owner and Erika V. Harrison, an attorney who filed the rezoning paperwork, were unsuccessful Friday.
The site is being sold to a unidentified buyer. The roughly quarter-acre lot is listed for sale at $895,000, and was marked as being under contract on the real estate website Loopnet. Listing agent Chris Fraser, of the Charleston office of Avison Young, said Friday that the sale should be completed “within a month or so,” but would not comment further.
More than 1,800 hotel rooms have been proposed for the peninsula, a boom fueled by strong economic fundamentals, such as rising room rates, strong occupancy figures and growing demand.
Government officials and preservationists said they are paying attention.
The city is looking at updating its accommodations rules, which were last changed in 1997.
Robert Gurley, director of advocacy for the Preservation Society of Charleston, said his group is concerned about the consequences of overbuilding.
“We are being inundated with hotel proposals, and it’s not healthy for the historic district,” Gurley said.
Changes being proposed by the city include eliminating some of its hotel “overlay districts,” which are designated zones that allow lodgings.
Also, the city is considering expanding to the Crosstown the area where new hotels are limited to 50 rooms, said Tim Keane, director of planning, preservation and sustainability. Right now, the room cap affects only properties south of Calhoun Street.
Keane said the changes could fuel more growth and investment in the upper parts of the peninsula, where the city is encouraging developments.
Gurley said the increased density of hotel rooms in historic areas could add to traffic congestion and diminish business diversity.
“It’s important for the livability of the historic district that we have a variety of commercial uses and not be oversaturated with accommodations uses,” he said.
The society is gathering data on the number of hotels, number of rooms, amenities and traffic to better understand the issues, Gurley said.
Reach Tyrone Richardson at 843-937-5550.
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