Beach Company, Preservation Society sparring over plans for Sergeant Jasper

The Sergeant Jasper, an iconic Charleston apartment building, with grand views of Charleston, is being demolished and the site will be redeveloped.

The Beach Company’s plans to redevelop the area where the Sergeant Jasper apartment building now stands is drawing fire, even though the city of Charleston hasn’t yet publicly presented them.

The proposed plan for the area on Colonial Lake, which has been submitted to the city’s planning department, includes 454 multi-family housing units, a 35,000-square-foot grocery store and about 700 parking spaces. The company will make a presentation on its plan to the city’s Planning Commission at 5 p.m. Feb. 18, in the third-floor Meeting Room in the Charleston County School District building at 75 Calhoun St.

Tim Keane, the city’s planning director, said the city hasn’t decided whether it will recommend approval of the proposal, which would involve amending the city’s Century V plan, which was approved in 2010 and governs land use. The proposal also includes a request to change the 6.4-acre property’s zoning to a planned unit development. That sort of zoning lays out a plan for the entire development.

The Preservation Society of Charleston earlier this week issued a 10-page “Advocacy Alert,” warning residents that the Beach Co.’s plan for the area on Broad Street includes intense development that’s not appropriate for the historic area, and that the process by which the city plans to evaluate and approve the proposal would limit public input, said Kristopher King, the group’s executive director.

Now there are only 225 residential units, 17,000 square feet of non-residential space, and 180 parking spaces on the site, according the alert.

The Beach Co. late Friday issued a statement refuting information in the society’s release.

“After so many productive meetings and discussions pertaining to the future plans for The Jasper, we are disappointed to see that the Preservation Society would issue false and misleading statements to its membership, the public and local media, as outlined in their recent Position Statement and Advocacy Alert,” Beach Co. President John Darby said.

Keane said the company has gathered a great deal of public input in recent years about what the public wants on the site, and it has revised its plans accordingly a few times. But he welcomes more public input on the plan. “It’s a unique and sensitive site,” he said.

Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491 or on Twitter at @dianeknich.