The Jasper will be a hallmark of excellent architecture and a parkscape environment worthy of such a unique site on the peninsula. “With an unmatched location in Charleston, The Jasper will provide spectacular views and will be an iconic building of traditional Charleston design,” said John Darby, The Beach Company’s chief executive officer.

“We stepped back and listened to community feedback,” he continued. “Due to the community engagement surrounding this project, the plan is better. We look forward to sharing further details as we progress through the design process.”

The company had previously sought a rezoning via a Planned Unit Development earlier this year encompassing both the Sergeant Jasper and St. Mary’s Field sites, but decided to withdraw the application and proceed under the existing zoning, incorporating community feedback received from over 50 meetings. The current plan focuses on the Sergeant Jasper parcel only.

For more information, visit www.sergeantjasperapts.com.

Q&A

Why is The Jasper site such an important project?

Sergeant Jasper Apartments, initially built in 1950, is situated in an unparalleled location at the entrance to the western corridor of the Peninsula within the Harleston Village neighborhood. The Jasper property is bound on the east by Moultrie Playground and Colonial Lake, by the Coast Guard Station on the south, and by the Ashley River to the west. Popular for its stunning views, the location is also within walking distance to all the City has to offer including: restaurants, shops, attractions, parks, marina, and the waterfront. The redevelopment of the site offers great opportunity for businesses and residents to be a part of the next generation of this special community, The Jasper.

How is the property zoned?

The base zoning of the property is LB (Limited Business). The property is within the 3X height District. As zoned, the property could accommodate over 250,000 square feet of commercial space, 80 residential units, and a parking facility. Permitted uses as a matter of right within LB include office, retail stores, restaurants, and residential units. Height of the building could exceed 30 floors. Certain municipal plans – to include the Century V plan, the Downtown Plan and the city’s Preservation Plan –  do not establish the zoning on the property. These plans were adopted well after the property was zoned LB and 3X and did not alter the zoning in any respect, as confirmed at the recent TRC meeting.

What is the new plan for The Jasper?

The new plan proposes a mixed-use development includes

  • 80 luxury residential units
  • Approximately 118,000 square feet of premium “Class A” office space
  • 36,000 square feet of neighborhood retail
  • 592 parking spaces

Though conceptual, the plan ranges from 5 floors of office space over 1 floor of retail space in one section, to 14 floors of residential (including mechanical penthouse) over 4 floors of retail/office in another section. The plan calls for an internal parking structure with residential amenities, such as a pool, at the top parking level. Much like the existing Sergeant Jasper building, this prime location will feature some of the best views in Charleston.

Why did The Beach Company withdraw the Planned Unit Development (PUD) application proposed in February 2015?

The proposed PUD rezoning application included the existing Sergeant Jasper site and St. Mary’s Field (located at the corner of Broad Street and Lockwood Boulevard), and was drafted and pursued at the request of the community. The PUD application was based on community feedback and offered a significant downzoning of the property. Various constituencies became confused regarding the merits of the proposal after false information regarding the PUD and approval process was distributed via emails and in the media by special interest groups. As a result, there was no consensus within the community regarding the PUD zoning. Given the confusion and resistance surrounding the PUD plan, The Beach Company withdrew that application.

The new redevelopment plan for the Sergeant Jasper property has incorporated the community’s feedback and conforms to the existing zoning entitlements assigned to the property.

What feedback was incorporated into the new plan?

The new plan incorporates community feedback received in meetings with neighborhood and special interest groups to include:

  • No rezoning necessary
  • Limited residential units
  • No 24-hour retail operations
  • Office space, lending to less activity on evenings and weekends
  • Retail space occupied by tenants providing neighborhood services
  • Generous hidden parking to ensure that automobiles remain onsite
  • Significant building setbacks ranging from 75’ to 175’
  • Over 50% of site retained for beautifully landscaped open space
  • Canal Street walk connecting to the River walk
  • High quality “Charleston” architecture
  • St. Mary’s Field (fronting Lockwood Boulevard) will be limited to residential use and held for future development

How tall is the existing Sergeant Jasper building, compared with the new Jasper plan?

The highest point of the existing Sergeant Jasper building is 14 floors including the mechanical penthouse and electrical equipment.

The highest point of the new Jasper plan is 14 floors of residences and mechanical penthouse over 4 floors of retail/office for a total of 18 floors.

What factors determined the height of the project?

There are several factors that determined the proposed plan:

  • Aesthetics – The site is between Colonial Lake and the Ashley River. A more slender building looks more elegant in this location and context. The architectural team is taking into account Historic Charleston design principles established on the Charleston peninsula. This design is more in keeping with those tenets.
  • Elimination of surface parking – a parking structure in the center of the development allows for generous landscaped open space, but adds to overall height
  • Avoids removal of grand specimen trees – by incorporating generous setbacks into the site plan, we are able to save several grand trees that currently exist on the property.

What is the purpose of the City of Charleston’s Technical Review Committee (TRC)?

The TRC reviews site plans for compliance with City of Charleston codes.The TRC consists of representatives from various City departments who address design, development and construction issues including building codes, zoning requirements, stormwater drainage regulations, traffic impacts, fire codes and right-of-way improvements. The TRC provides written comments on a site plan noting the needed changes to comply with the various city codes.

The TRC reviewed the Jasper for the first time at its meeting on May 7, 2015.  The committee provided common and customary comments and suggestions.  The TRC found the zoning, mix of uses, density and height associated with the project to be in compliance with the City codes, and made no comments or suggestions pertaining to these items.

What is the purpose of the City of Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review (BAR)?

The BAR must review and approve the exterior appearance of all new construction in the Old and Historic District of the City of Charleston.   The BAR will not review a design unless it is in compliance with the applicable zoning.

There are three stages of BAR review. The first is Conceptual Review.  The Jasper is scheduled for Conceptual Review at 4:30pm, Wednesday, May 13, at 244 President Street, Burke High School auditorium. Conceptual review includes the general height, scale, mass and  3-dimensional form of the building. The BAR will also consider the general architectural direction and quality of the project as relates to its site. This phase defines the overall quality and architectural character of the project.

What is the demand for the uses proposed with the new plan?

It is no secret that downtown Charleston living is in high demand. The Jasper will offer one-of-a-kind luxury residential units with spectacular views. A reservation list already exists with interested parties.

The proposed retail is expected to serve the residents and surrounding neighborhood. National tenants are unlikely. Business owners could include a salon, dry cleaner, fitness, gift shop, doctor’s office, café and other businesses typically found in an urban neighborhood setting.

The downtown “Class A” office market enjoys a high occupancy leaving very few opportunities available for new businesses. However, with the recent announcement of Courier Square to be located at the intersection of Meeting and Columbus Streets, prospective office tenants will certainly have multiple options to consider. Courier Square is a high-density mixed-use project on 2.894 acres consisting of approximately 97,000 square feet of commercial space and 226 apartments. As a direct competitor, The Post and Courier has taken a stand against The Jasper plan and has released misleading information through its media outlets.

What is the purpose of the special Planning Commission meeting scheduled for May 18th? If approved will the zoning change apply to the Jasper site?

The published agenda states the following:

 OLD CITY HEIGHT DISTRICT REVIEW

1. The Planning Commission will review and potentially recommend amendments to the 3X Old City Height District in Chapter 54 of the Code of the City of Charleston (Zoning Ordinance) and to the Old City Height District Map.

The meeting will be held at 5:00 p.m., on Monday, May 18, 2015 in the Burke High School Auditorium, 244 President St, Charleston, SC. The Beach Company has not received any formal notice from the City of Charleston nor has the property been posted – both are prerequisites for a change in zoning to the property.

It is common knowledge with city officials and throughout the community that The Beach Company has been diligently working towards the redevelopment of the Jasper site for several years starting with public meetings, discussions with city planners, permit application and ongoing demolition of the existing structure, PUD zoning application, TRC review, BAR application, just to name a few. Under these circumstances, the law of South Carolina considers that the Jasper has a vested right to proceed under the existing zoning. Therefore, if zoning changes were to occur, the Jasper will not be subject to the zoning changes.

Will the community have input into the plan?

The Beach Company has and will provide numerous opportunities for public input. Over the past eight years, more than 50 meetings have taken place with various community groups. Because of community engagement, the new plan is better. We encourage you to provide feedback, via email at info@thebeachcompany.com. We look forward to further discussion of The Jasper plans throughout the review process.

If I am interested in leasing commercial space or living at one of the residential units, whom do I contact?

We have already received great interest from prospective tenants. Please contact us at info@thebeachcompany.com to learn more.

Jasper May 6

JasperSitePlan5-11-15

Jasper Facade Web_05

Jasper Top web

*Renderings are conceptual only and not intended to represent final architectural plans.

 

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