The Agenda: East Central, take two 

Meetings we'll be watching this week

The MLK holiday and the regular January political malaise makes for another slow week in the public meeting schedule.

But there's one meeting of particular significance for us here at the Charleston City Paper. There were big expectations for our East Central community two years ago as the recession was creeping in. Projects already under way were completed and have persevered, like Taco Boy, One Cool Blow, and The Tattooed Moose. With the dust settling, renewed interest is focusing on the peninsula's hidden gem. The Meeting Street Academy should begin construction this year. Storefronts along Morrison Avenue are filling up, including DwellSmart, the Cone 10 pottery studio, and the Coastal Conservation League's planned distribution center.

We bring all this up to highlight a proposal before the city's Planning Commission this week. Owners of 12 different parcels at the corner of Huger and Meeting streets are requesting a rezoning that would accommodate taller buildings at the back of the lot. The property is likely most recognizable for the abandoned sports bar near the on ramp for the Cooper River bridge. If approved, owners would be zoned for a tower up to 100 feet tall at the back end of the lot along the overpasses at the 17/26 interchange, bridges that already tower more than 80 feet. City staff support the proposal. "The new fly-over highway ramps and vacant acreage define the immediate neighborhood, which lacks a distinct character," reads the city staff report, which notes a height change may be "a catalyst for future development in the area." The meeting is at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the third floor meeting room at 75 Calhoun Street.


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