Advocacy Alerts

Turner: The goal has not changed on Union Pier

preservation-admin , March 20, 2024

Yesterday, 77 years to the day after its first acquisition at Union Pier Terminal, the South Carolina Ports Authority agreed to sell the site to a private buyer.

New ownership gives us reason for hope. We have been insistent that any rezoning of the industrial landscape at Union Pier respect a community-first, values-driven approach. The members of the Preservation Society were crucial in setting this expectation with our elected leaders last year. We are encouraged that the mayor and the new buyer have indicated their shared commitment to this goal.

As we continue to gather information about this historic announcement, we expect greater assurances that the community’s interest will be honored. Union Pier’s redevelopment must contribute meaningfully to the peninsula’s historic urban fabric. A responsible program for the site will add to our resilience from rising seas and provide significant civic and green space to enhance our quality of life.

Nearly a year ago, I proudly stood beside my nonprofit colleagues along with state and local leaders as the State Ports Authority announced a major change of direction on Union Pier. Since then, and with the support of a talented new planning team, rich histories of the site have been illuminated that were previously unexamined. A project that is guided by these stories will give Union Pier a sense of place.

In other words, the goal remains the same on Union Pier.

You have our commitment that the Preservation Society will continue to be a leading voice in the conversation about what comes next, insisting that Union Pier becomes, as its new owner wrote in today’s Post and Courier column, “the neighborhood that Charleston deserves.”

Brian R. Turner
President & CEO
Preservation Society of Charleston

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