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New building coming to town

By Matt Murphy, Local government writer

Drivers coming off the Capitol Street exit ramp to downtown Charleston will soon be greeted by the sight of new construction downtown.

Announced in May 2013, the four-story Shrewsbury Village project will feature 32 apartments for older adults on the upper floors and retail space on the first floor. It is being built by Pison Development, the same company that is currently converting the Kyle Furniture building on Smith Street into lofts.

The structure will be built in the block bordered by Shrewsbury, Lewis, Dickinson and Christopher streets, which is currently a parking lot.

Pison Development President Bill Turner told members of the Municipal Planning Commission Wednesday that the steel has been ordered for the building, and the property will be fenced off in the coming weeks.

“We’re ready to start digging the dirt,” he said.

Turner said Pison Development will use about one-third of the 8,000 square feet of office space for its new offices, and Turner has two other parties interested in renting the remaining space.

Because the project is considered a “development of significant impact,” the Municipal Planning Commission had to approve the project, which it did Wednesday.

Turner said he expects the building to have a roof by the fall and be ready for occupancy by the spring of 2015.

The lot on which the Shrewsbury Village project is to be constructed was purchased from the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority in May for $350,000. Turner said at the time the building will cost between $3 million and $4 million to construct.

Originally, the construction was to be completed by the end of 2014.

City Planning Director Dan Vriendt said the project meets all zoning requirements and fits with the city’s Imagine Charleston comprehensive plan.

The new building will have 25 on-site parking spaces.

The current users of the existing parking lot – Garnet Career Center and a funeral home – have been notified of the progress and have made other arrangements, Turner said.

CURA Director Jim Edwards said in May that the entities leased the parking lot with the understanding it could be developed at any time.

In other business, the commission heard the city planning department’s annual report for 2013.

Neighborhood Planner Lori Brannon made note of the 7.5 rise in all zoning permits over 2012, and a 72 percent increase in home-based business permits over 2012.

Contact writer Matt Murphy at 304-348-4817 or matt.murphy@dailymailwv.com. Follow him on Twitter @DMLocalGov.


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