MOUNT PLEASANT — The square footage of the planned 27-acre office park that will complement the new East Cooper Regional Medical Center is too big for the approved zoning, a town official said Wednesday.
Three years ago, Town Council approved zoning that allows up to 220,000 square feet of medical and other professional office space in the affected area. As currently designed, the development would have 293,500 square feet of offices, according to planning documents.
The project is scheduled for Planning Commission consideration today.
The developer can downsize the project to comply with the approved zoning, or return to the Planning Commission in December for a public hearing on a zoning amendment, said Mary Jane Blatchford, a senior town planner. The Planning Commission recommendation regarding the project goes to council for final approval.
The Planning Commission will consider the "impact assessment" and sketch plan for the project, formally known as the Mount Pleasant Health & Science Campus at East Cooper Regional Medical Center. The assessment discusses issues such as traffic, tree preservation and zoning compliance.
The developer is listed on planning documents as Lowcountry M.O.B. Partners LLC and its representative Richard Coen. He did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Wednesday.
The project consultant is Seamon Whiteside & Associates. The company contact for the project did not return a message left at the office.
As currently designed, the office park would include two four-story medical office buildings of 70,000 square feet each; a two-story, 20,000 square-foot medical office building; and a 93,500-square foot building for additional professional offices. Town planning staff estimates that the new office complex will result in 7,225 daily vehicle trips.
Town Council approved a Planned Development-Economic Development zoning district in December 2005 for a 55-acre tract including the new hospital and the office park. The district established the 220,000-square-foot limit on medical offices and related retail uses.
The new $153 million, 140-bed hospital near Von Kolnitz and Mathis Ferry roads will replace the 104-bed East Cooper Regional campus near Bowman Road and U.S. Highway 17. Completion is scheduled for spring 2010.
East Cooper Regional's replacement facility is one of two major medical centers that will be competing for patients in the town. Roper St. Francis Healthcare hopes to open its $143 million, 85-bed hospital off U.S. 17 near Wando High School in late 2010. The company also plans a 90,000-square-foot medical office building next door to help attract on-site health care providers.