property for sale chas school of law.jpg (copy)

A lot on Meeting and Woolfe streets that was initially purchased as a potential location for the Charleston School of Law could be on track to become a new hotel. File/Wade Spees/Staff

A downtown lot purchased as a potential location for the Charleston School of Law may be on track to become one of the largest hotels on the peninsula. 

Construction plans to build a 252-room lodging at Meeting and Woolfe streets were recently submitted to the city's Technical Review Committee.  

The property is listed for sale at $12.5 million, with a contract pending.

The city first bought the lot in 2005 for about $1.17 million and sold it to the for-profit school at a discount, for $875,000. Originally, if the lot wasn't developed, the profit from a sale would go to the city. 

But when landowners were given a reprieve on development deadlines during the recession, the school's timeline to develop the lot was extended, and, in that time, the arrangement was changed.

The law school will receive 75 percent of the profits from a sale, after expenses, and the city will get the remaining 25 percent, meaning the school could net about $9 million from the transactions before commissions.  

Charleston School of Law president Ed Bell has said that the profits would be used to build at a different site on the peninsula. 

According to CC&T Real Estate's listing for the Meeting Street property, the 1.1-acre parcel could hold a structure that goes up to eight stories, but the portion of the lot directly on Meeting Street may go up to only five stories. 

The site is already included in the city's accommodations overlay, but if its room count, which would be among the highest on the peninsula, doesn't align with the overlay's restrictions, the city's zoning board would have to grant an exception. 

At its meeting Thursday, the Technical Review Committee asked that the plans for the hotel be revised and resubmitted. 

The lot is across from a Holiday Inn and steps away from the 304-room dual-branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt House on Upper King Street.

Old Slave Mart Museum (copy)

The Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston will have extended hours in February, in honor of Black History Month. Typically closed on Sundays, it will be open between 1 and 5 p.m. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

Extended hours

Charleston's Old Slave Mart Museum, the only known remaining building in the state that was used as an auction gallery for slaves, has announced special hours and programming in honor of Black History Month

The Chalmers Street building, which is typically open from Monday through Saturday, will also welcome visitors on Sundays this month, between 1 and 5 p.m. 

The site is also offering free admission to city of Charleston employees and their immediate families throughout the month.

We're starting a weekly newsletter about the business stories that are shaping Charleston and South Carolina. Get ahead with us - it's free.


Alphonso Brown, owner of Gullah Tours, will give a presentation at the museum about the life of Ernest Everett Just, an African American biologist who was born in Charleston. The talk is free and will be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 22. 

The museum, which is owned and operated by the city of Charleston, has been open in its current form since 2008. Before that, the museum was privately held for many years and first opened its doors in February of 1938.  

PRINT- LP sc historical society 091718_ 03.JPG (copy)

For the first time, the new South Carolina Historical Society Museum inside Charleston's Fireproof Building was included on the Museum Mile Month pass. File/Lauren Petracca/Staff

Museum milestone

After several years of growth, Charleston's Museum Mile Month saw another uptick in sales this year. 

The program, which gives participants admission to 13 different Charleston sites for a flat fee, is aimed at locals who may otherwise not visit the cultural attractions.

The initiative also boosts attendance at the participating locations — which include the Charleston Museum, the Gibbes Museum of Art and the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry — during one of the slowest months of the year. For the first time, the new South Carolina Historical Society Museum inside Charleston's Fireproof Building was included on the pass. 

Revenue went up significantly this year, and more passes were sold than ever, said Carl Borick, director of the Charleston Museum. Of those passes, about 80 percent of the advance sales came from the tri-county area, he said. 

Reach Emily Williams at 843-937-5553. Follow her on Twitter @emilye_williams.

Emily Williams is a business reporter at The Post and Courier, covering tourism and employment. She is also the author of the weekly Business Headlines newsletter. Before moving to Charleston, her byline appeared in The Boston Globe.