A Charleston architecture board is getting its first look this week at a new block-long development that would include one of the largest hotels on the peninsula.
The development includes an about 300-room lodging, condominiums, loft-style apartments and a ballroom. Planned at 411 Meeting St., the now-vacant site would be filled with buildings up to nine stories tall.
Charleston developer Michael Bennett of Bennett Hospitality is behind the project, which was first proposed and approved several years ago.
The site previously housed The Courtyards, an apartment complex that was once an affordable option for downtown housing. The Board of Architectural Review approved Bennett’s plan to demolish the structure in September 2017. The apartments were torn down the following month.
The location and number of guest rooms for the hotel had been approved by the city the previous year. Last May, Bennett requested an extension that pushed the deadline to begin construction on the lodging to the end of 2019.
The site touches Reid, Meeting and Mary streets, and would sit across from a proposed nine-story office building that recently received its final OK from the BAR. It would also neighbor the Charleston School of Law, the Visitor Center parking garage and the downtown Homewood Suites.
According to plans submitted to the city, the main section of the hotel, which would face Meeting Street, would be eight stories, with two smaller, three-story wings on each end. Two restaurants are planned for the first floor, a "signature restaurant" at the corner of Reid and Meeting and a "casual restaurant" connected to the hotel lobby.
Two separate residential buildings, one for condominiums and the other for loft-style apartments, would rise to nine stories. A parking level is also planned with 148 spaces for the residential units and another 255 spaces for the hotel.
Renderings show a mix of stucco, cast stone and brick for the buildings' facades. The hotel would have a terracotta-style roof.
An outdoor plaza with seating and a more than 10,000 square foot ballroom would be built at the center of the site. The Lowcountry Low Line, an urban park planned for a 1.6-mile stretch along the peninsula's spine, would separate the complex from the proposed Mary Street office development and the buildings along King Street that back up to it.
Those buildings also include proposed lodgings. Owners of the shuttered Morris Sokol furniture store announced earlier this year that the building will likely house a mix of hotel rooms, condos and retail space. The city's zoning board also recently OK'd a plan to add 45 guest rooms at 502 King Street, a lot that currently houses a Starbucks store and offices.
Bennett's new development will be just a few blocks away from the most recent addition to his lodging portfolio, the 179-room Hotel Bennett, which opened along Marion Square earlier this year.
Several other Bennett-affiliated hotel projects around the peninsula have received initial approvals but aren't in development yet, like a lodging planned in a former Medical University of South Carolina office building and a 150-room hotel that's supposed to rise between the Waffle House and the landmark Holiday Inn on Savannah Highway.
The BAR will review and vote on the designs at 4:30 Wednesday on the first floor of the Gaillard Center. If the design is approved, it will need to pass two more reviews before moving forward in the city's process.