Reception turns more upbeat for Charleston hotel design | Business

A hotel that received a resounding rejection for its proposed design earlier this year was met with more positive reception when a new concept was presented to the city’s architecture board last week. 

The 175-room, 11-story structure is slated for a high-profile lot just off the Ashley River Bridge. Plans call for a rooftop bar and an adjacent parking garage with retail space.

It will be the second hotel in the Charleston region — and the first on the peninsula —  to operate under the Marriott flag Aloft

194 Cannon Street hotel (copy)

A new design for a hotel planned at 194 Cannon St. was deferred by the Board of Architectural Review last week. File/Provided

When locally based LS3P Associates Ltd. presented a design for the building to the Board of Architectural Review in June, it received some harsh criticism from the community. Residents who wrote in called it a “corporate design” and said it was “not suited for Charleston.”

The BAR denied the application unanimously, which meant the architects had to start over. 

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While the revised design that came up for review last week wasn’t able to gain approval, it wasn’t pushed back to the drawing board like it was the last time. The board voted for a deferral. City planning director Jacob Lindsey said the design process was “moving in the right direction.”

The Preservation Society of Charleston, which had asked for a denial in June, didn’t disagree with Lindsey, but it wanted to see the design “refined even further.” 

When the plans come back to the BAR, they’ll still need three rounds of “yes” votes before they can clear the design hurdle and move closer to starting construction at 194 Cannon St., formerly the site of a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant.

An affiliate of PeachState Hospitality bought the property in 2018 for $7.35 million. The Warner Robbins, Ga.-based hotel group owns dozens of lodgings in its home state.

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