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July 6, 2020 Community Meeting Minutes

Attendees:

Owner Team- OmShera

· Ryan A. Miller

· Lauren Chavis

Eastside Neighborhood

· Latonya Gambles

· Approximately 15 neighborhood members

Architect Team- LS3P

· Steve Ramos- Design Architect- main point of contact.


Meeting Minutes:

1. Summary: SR gave an overview of the plans for the Woolfe Hotel. The project details are the following:

a. The Hotel was approved at Zoning in February of 2019

b. 250 Keys

c. 4 Star Hotel

d. 20,000 sq. ft. Of meeting space

e. Ground level restaurant and retail

f. Rooftop restaurant and pool


2. Ground Floor Review- SR shared the ground floor plan and described the uses and vehicle circulation.

a. Vehicles enter the site from Woolfe Street

b. Service entrance off of meeting Street

c. All parking necessary for the hotel will happen on site

d. Restaurant, retail and lobby fronting Meeting Street will help activate and put eyes on the street

Plan of Ground Floor


3. 8th Floor Restaurant/ Pool Terrace

a. SR highlighted the one of the major changes since the previous hotel approval was that the pool had been moved from the 3rd floor to the rooftop. In addition, a restaurant and bar had been also located on the 8th floor with outdoor roof terrace.

b. In an effort to mitigate sound transmission to neighboring property, SR showed that a 24” horizontal buffer and 48” vertical barrier will occur at the edge facing the Elan Midtown Project. The barrier is most likely solid parapet up to a certain height, and then glass.



4. Board of Zoning Appeals- BZA

a. SR explained that the project would be presented to the BZA on August 11th, however this was an error. The meeting will be on August 4th.

b. The project has already been approved at the BZA for a 250 Key Hotel

c. The new application is asking for the following modifications to be made to the existing approval:

i. Revised motorcourt and parking garage design

ii. The addition of a service drive on meeting Street

iii. Relocation of the pool from the 3rd floor to the 8th floor

iv. Inclusion of an outdoor terrace at level 8.


5. Neighborhood Questions and Comments

a. How will this project affect the economy of the Eastside Neighborhood?

i. RM said that the hotel development would contribute money into the City of Charleston workforce housing fund. SR clarified that it would be approximately $600,000

1. A neighbor asked if this money would be earmarked specifically for the Eastside Neighborhood. SR said that it would go to the City of Charleston, and that it was up to the City on how the funds were used

ii. SR commented tat the ordiance required the hotel owners to seek out minority employees. SR also commented that the large hotel would employ a large amount of people and that it was in the hotel’s best interest to seek employees who live close to the hotel.

b. Where is the parking?

i. SR commented that all of the hotel’s 220 parking spaces are on- site. This is more than sufficient to park all of the hotel guests and employees. There are 3 levels of parking and mechanical parking lifts will be used to stack additional cars.

c. Joseph Watson asked: Will the jobs pay a living wage? After the meeting, RM provided the following response: OmShera pays their employees a competitive wage that is commensurate with their position.

d. Joseph Watson asked: Isn’t it disingenuous to include a rooftop use when that was not part of the original proposal?

i. SR explained that this was the reasoning for a return to the BZA. The original design did not include a rooftop use because it was not a goal at the time. Now that it is a goal, the owners and architect have willing re- submitted to the BZA to seek a formal approval of the rooftop use.

e. Joseph Watson asked: Why is there still a for sale sign?

i. RM explained that the project is under contract and that it takes a long time to finalize the deal due to the size and complexity. The owners have already been working on the project for 3 years.

f. Will there be music at the rooftop?

i. RM and SR explained that the ordinance prohibits amplified music outside. RM also explained that the ordinance prohibited strobe and disco lighting outside.

g. The retail, restaurants and hotel will be great for the street.


6. Action Items

a. LG and SR to coordinate an additional meeting to discuss the hotel prior to the August 4th BZA meeting. The week of July 27th would be ideal.

b. BZA Meeting August 4th

End of Minutes

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