Bob Ellis Shoes (copy)

Charleston's Board of Architectural Review will be asked to approve the demolition of 334 King St., the building next to the former Bob Ellis shoe store at King and George streets. A hotel and retail project that incorporates both sites is planned. Dave Munday/Staff

Not every building in Charleston's historic King Street shopping district is historic, even some of those in prominent locations.

The city's Board of Architectural Review will be asked on Wednesday to approve the demolition of 334 King St., a three-story building next to the former Bob Ellis shoe store at 332 King. The site is just north of George Street, across from the College of Charleston's Sottile Theater.

Unlike the Bob Ellis building, the structure next to it is not considered historically significant, according to a report to BAR from the Charleston Preservation Society.

Both buildings are part of a plan for 22 hotel rooms over retail space. The city's zoning board approved the hotel rooms in June.

The Bob Ellis building was sold last August for $9.5 million to a partnership called JPM Naples SPE, led by Ben Nickoll, who has invested in several other downtown commercial properties.

The building at 334 King St. is owned by Alterman Family Limited Partnership.

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The Bob Ellis building dates at least to 1935, when two buildings on the site were combined into one. Plans include the restoration of 56 windows, many that have been darkened as the upper floors were used for storage. 

The building at 332 King was finished in 1961 and opened as Elza's clothing boutique, according to the Preservation Society. The first floor contains some brick and wood flooring that were salvaged from other structures.

The request cited several reasons in support of demolition:

  • The exterior of the building lacks historic fabric.
  • The King Street facade contains faux elements and is of poor quality.
  • The building is obsolete. For example, the second-floor is not structurally adequate for anything other than storage.

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.