A hotel proposed for Charleston's Waterfront Park is up for review this week. New updates to the plans — made after a January vote that delayed moving it forward in the approval process — include aesthetic changes to the building's exterior and the addition of more retail space.
Charleston's Board of Architectural Review voted at its Jan. 9 meeting to defer the application so that developers could study plans and building materials further. The hotel is up again for preliminary approval, which is the second of three approvals it needs from the board.
The new lodging is planned for the former headquarters of the State Ports Authority, which recently moved its main offices to Mount Pleasant. The hotel's developer, the Los Angeles-based firm Lowe, bought the Concord Street site for $38 million.
In addition to the hotel's 225 guest rooms, the property will also host several other uses, some of which will be open to the public. Plans include a cafe, a restaurant, several retail stores and a rooftop bar.
A second-floor ballroom and boardroom will provide space for meetings and special events, and guests will be able to utilize a hotel spa and an outdoor pool overlooking Charleston Harbor.
Developers also plan to expand access to Waterfront Park by making another 400 feet along Charleston Harbor available to visitors.
Updated plans submitted to the board this month lay out design details which have been changed or added to the hotel since January.
More retail space was added along Concord Street and at the corner where the street and Waterfront Park meet. The cafe was also expanded some, and its entry was set back several feet.
The size of the standard guest room windows were changed, making the proportions more vertical, and 10 balconies with "thinner, more historically inspired profiles" were added to the side fronting Concord Street.
Facing Charleston Harbor, colonnades were added to the rooftop bar and presidential suite to give them "more presence," and the arches over the restaurant's exterior were replaced by a facade that more closely matches the adjacent ballroom.
The exteriors designed for the hotel's ground floor retail stores were inspired by existing downtown businesses, like the Meeting Street seafood restaurant Hyman's, according to the plans.
The Board of Architectural Review Board's special meeting will be held at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on the first floor of the Gaillard Center. The hotel is the only item the board will review in the special session, but its regularly scheduled meeting will also be held at 4:30 p.m. that evening in the same location.
At the first meeting, the developers of a boutique hotel proposed near City Market will seek preliminary approval for their plans. The hotel will be built on State Street, at the site of the recently-closed restaurant Sushi Blue.