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City, developer receive final approval to expand Waterfront Park

Hospitality and Tourism
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Lowe, a real estate company based, is planning a 225-room hotel, including a cafe, restaurant, retail space, and rooftop terrace and spa, adjacent to the expanded Joe Riley Waterfront Park. (Rendering/Provided)

The Army Corps of Engineers has granted approval for the planned expansion of Joe Riley Waterfront Park.

The city of Charleston and Lowe, a real estate development company based in Los Angeles, received the necessary permits for the expansion from the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management at the Department of Health and Environmental Control in May, according to a news release.

Waterfront Park’s river walk will be extended by approximately 400 feet, starting at the park’s entrance on Concord Street and ending at Cumberland Street. The expanded park will also enlarge the dock access facility from a single water taxi drop-off to a marina facility for the water taxi and for the public. Construction is expected to begin in 2019 and finish in 2021.

Lowe is also planning a 225-room hotel adjacent to the expanded park at 176 Concord St., with a cafe, a restaurant, retail, and a rooftop terrace and spa, all of which will be open to the public.

“One of Lowe’s priorities is to create signature experiences that encourage public access at its properties, so we are thrilled to clear this hurdle and to begin preparing the site for the park expansion,” Dan Battista, senior vice president of development for Lowe, said in the news release. “We are thankful for the active support from Mayor (John) Tecklenburg and the city staff throughout this process and look forward to continuing to work alongside them on the park expansion.”

The expansion is part of the city’s Century V Plan, which includes prioritizing projects that increase public waterfront access throughout the city.

“When Waterfront Park rose along the banks of the Charleston harbor nearly three decades ago, it was an extraordinary gift not just to our visitors, but to our citizens as well — a truly remarkable public space to visit, to enjoy, to share with family and friends,” Tecklenburg said in the release. “Now, with Lowe’s planned expansion moving forward, Charlestonians will be able to access and experience even more of this priceless public treasure in the years ahead.”

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