Expansion of Joe Riley Waterfront Park coming 2021

Rendering by Lowe via Lou Hammond Group

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A huge development is in the works downtown at 176 Concord St.

What is now a vacant waterfront property, at the site of the former State Ports Authority headquarters, will soon be an expansion of the city’s waterfront park – with water taxi services for the public, and a luxury hotel.

Real estate developers Lowe purchased the 6.5-acre property for $38 million in 2017 to build a 225-room hotel. While some argue that Charleston doesn’t need another luxury hotel, the city has been looking for a way to give the public access to this property since the 1980s (when the groundwork for the 12-acre park was being laid)– and included the development of the area in its Century V Plan.

Together, Lowe and the city may have found a way to make that happen.

Last year, the Army Corps of Engineers granted approval for the planned expansion of Joe Riley Waterfront Park. The City of Charleston, in partnership with Lowe, obtained the necessary permits to construct a space to allow both residents and visitors to enjoy the peninsula’s coastline.

Developers plan to extend the park in front of the future hotel’s propertywhich upon completion, would then be maintained by the city. The expansion, referred to as the “River Walk” project, will create an additional 400 feet of public space to the north, along Charleston Harbor.

Rendering by Lowe via Lou Hammond Group

The expansion will begin at the park’s entrance on Concord St. and run through Cumberland St. In addition to the increased park space, the River Walk will also include a marina facility for water taxi services + for use by the public.

Rendering via Charleston Waterfront Hotel

Just last week, the Charleston Waterfront Hotel was officially approved by the Board of Architectural Review-Large. The hotel will include amenities for both guests + the public to enjoy – such as a cafe, a restaurant, retail, a spa, a rooftop lounge, and an observation deck.

Lowe expects to break ground sometime this year, with an official opening in 2021. To sign up to receive updates on this development, click here.

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