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(Image: Charleston Lowcountry Photography)
Marion Square, July 2014
Today, Bennett Hospitality broke ground on a luxury hotel in downtown Charleston, that carries with it a $100 million price tag. This will make it the most expensive hotel ever built on the peninsula.
(The hotel will be located in the open dirt lot at center-left in the picture above.)
The proposal for this hotel was born in 2004 and has faced delays from zoning and height disputes that escalated all the way to the South Carolina Supreme Court. The hotel will be built adjacent to Marion Square on the site of the old Charleston County Public Library, which has sat vacant since 1998 and was demolished in 2013. The nine-story hotel will also lie directly across the street from St. Matthews German Lutheran Church (c. 1872), which is the tallest building in Charleston (255ft.) and was the tallest building in South Carolina for 101 years. Today, city zoning states that no building is allowed to be built taller than the tallest church steeple, an honor that still belongs to St. Matthews Church.
According to the Post & Courier, the only hotel that cost more money to build in Charleston was The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 2004 ($158 million, in 2014 dollars).
More information, including a small-scale model of the hotel, is covered in this video from WCSC.