Article from the Charleston Regional Business Journal.
The final phase of the City Market redevelopment is under way with the renovation of Market Hall building between Meeting and Church streets.
City Market Preservation Trust LLC announced today that the last part of the construction project that began in January has begun. The open-air part of the market renovation was completed in late spring, before the height of the tourist season.
The final phase, between Meeting and Church streets, will be anchored by an enclosed great hall. The city said the renovations so far have been met with “widespread enthusiasm from merchants and locals alike.” The renovation included the replacement of the mortar between the bricks, a process called brick pointing, as well as roof repair, new lighting and an open center aisle to improve traffic flow.
“The City Market is now better than it has ever been,” Mayor Joe Riley said. “With the completion of this next phase, the Market will be a place where everyone comes to enjoy their favorite local merchants and celebrate this very special part of our city. We look forward to another phase as well done as the others.”
Charleston City Council recently approved a $3.4 million bond issue to fund the final phase, the city said in a news release. Phase 1 of The City Market renovation included the first three buildings, funded with a $2.1 million bond issue. The city said that part of the project was completed on time and under budget.
The Charleston City Market includes four historic buildings stretching four blocks from Meeting to East Bay streets with 32,981 square feet of rentable space. The Phase 1 renovation between East Bay and Church streets opened fully occupied with more than 200 merchants and nearly 100 additional merchants on a waiting list.
“The City Market will be a tremendous upgrade to the center of the city of Charleston,” said Barry Newton, general manager. “This rising tide will lift all boats and will have a positive visual and business impact on the historic district at no cost to the taxpayers.
Newton said the city expects that revenue from operations will cover costs associated with the bond issue and renovation project.
The city said the great hall should open with notable local Charleston merchants, including Historic Charleston Foundation, Wonder Works, M. Dumas and Sons, Charleston Shoe Co., Caviar & Bananas and Jimmy Hagood’s Food for the Southern Soul, as well as longtime City Market merchants.
“We are honored to be a strategic partner and staunch supporter of the newly restored historic City Market,” said Kitty Robinson of Historic Charleston Foundation. “Our retail presence will enable the foundation to introduce more residents and visitors to the intrinsic value of preserving Charleston’s rich cultural heritage.”
The Phase 2 renovations include the replacement of the roof and the installation of a skylight, which was donated by the Velux Co. of Greenwood.
Hightower Construction, which completed Phase 1 of the renovation, has been selected to complete the final phase. Glenn Keyes of Charleston is the project architect.David O’Neil, an internationally recognized public market expert, and Bob Gibbs, a nationally known retail consultant, have provided consulting services on the project.
Construction is expected to be completed in the late spring.