The Sergeant Jasper debacle came to mind recently while we were enjoying lunch on Plums’ rear deck off Bay Street in Beaufort. We had a pleasant breeze and a wonderful view of the riverfront park and the river beyond, complete with passing boats and persons of all ages enjoying the public space.
With that inspiration in mind, I propose the following concept for the Sergeant Jasper site:
The triangular-shaped, barren scar of land where Lockwood, Broad and Barre streets meet could be turned into an imaginatively designed pedestrian-friendly park and be named in honor of Sgt. Jasper.
Opposite that park, line the short block of Barre Street from Canal to Broad streets with a couple of eateries and other suitable shops. Diners would have views of the park and river beyond.
The second floor could be either commercial or residential space or additional restaurant seating all offering great views. Extend Canal street eastward as a pedestrian-friendly path to Ashley Avenue and Colonial Lake.
Then build out the rest of the plan using Broad and Barre streets, the Canal path, and Colonial Lake as reference points for what is suitable.
Those orientations may call for differing facades, heights and other aspects that break up what might otherwise be a large mass into what appear to be smaller, individual buildings, all more in keeping with the neighborhood.
With excellent design, much can be done with the space to make it both commercially successful and an attractive addition to the neighborhood.