The first phase of redeveloping 12 acres of land around The Post and Courier’s downtown building could begin within a year if the City of Charleston’s approval and permitting process goes as planned.

Right now the lead-off effort is pegged for an open lot near the corner of Meeting and Columbus streets where a mix of multi-story office space, retail-commercial and apartment units would go.

The details came Thursday during an informal meeting with Evening Post Publishing Co. leaders, city officials and local residents to discuss some of the design and zoning aspects.

Last year, the company announced plans to re-develop its property around the newspaper in a re-do being called “Courier Square.” The first phase covers about 2½ acres of the total 12 acres the company has in the area.

Scott Parker of DesignWorks and one of several members of the redevelopment group, said the first building would include about 70,000 square-feet of “Class A” office space; 20,000 square-feet of retail and commercial space; and about 200 living units that he described as “loft” type.

All the property would be wrapped around a parking garage. It would also be about seven stories tall, with five stories visible from the street, according to early design ideas.

The redevelopment area — one of Charleston’s largest — covers most of three city blocks between Meeting, Columbus, St. Philip and Line streets. It is owned by Evening Post Publishing Co., parent company of the Post and Courier and other media properties.

Tim Keane, director of Charleston’s Department of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability, said an early positive of the effort is that the company has decided to do the project in separate design stages, instead of the “mega approach” that other large-scale urban projects have followed.

In all, up to 2 million square feet of residential, retail and offices could be added to the area.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.