Advocacy groups unite to support public infrastructure at Charleston’s Union Pier

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

A coalition of advocacy groups supports a plan to create a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District to fund public infrastructure and greenspace at Union Pier in Charleston, S.C.

Historic Charleston Foundation, the Preservation Society, Coastal Conservation League, Historic Ansonborough Neighborhood Association, and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce have endorsed the initiative to start a TIF district at Union Pier to ensure public funds will be used to build public access to the water, green space and public infrastructure, and not be used to subsidize private development.

In a joint letter to members of Charleston city council, Charleston County council, and the Charleston County School Board, the coalition emphasized the critical importance of utilizing the TIF mechanism to realize the shared vision of Union Pier.

The letter suggests priorities including resilient water and sewer infrastructure, parks and open space, sidewalks, and other public amenities that enhance livability, affordability and public access to the historic waterfront.

“Union Pier has the opportunity to provide world-renowned public amenities and be a place that not only residents of the Lowcountry, said Mayor Cogswell. “Setting up a TIF District is an important first step to achieving this goal as it will be critical to attracting state and federal resources.

“There is no question this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am proud to have the support of these diverse and forward-thinking groups.”

“We have seen TIF Districts like the one that helped revitalize King Street used to enhance not only our city, but our region in the past, so we look forward to working collaboratively with residents, advocacy groups, City Council, County Council, and the School Board to make this a reality for our residents.”

Cogswell has been clear with the South Carolina Ports Authority and the prospective buyer on what residents would like to see at Union Pier: public access to the water, lower density and height, significant green space, resiliency measures, a meaningful component of affordability, a local developer, and removing the cruise terminal.

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