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Charleston developers find hitch in renovation plan

With the ongoing slump in the real estate market, it is a great sign when commercial real estate developers are starting on an ambitious new project. A Charleston real estate development group is in the process of renovating the Millennium Music building near the city's primary shopping zone. Their construction and renovation was put on hold when a city planning and zoning board would not approve their plans.

Up until the time the local development firm purchased the Millennium building, it had been sitting vacant for four years. The developers thought it was a shame that such a large piece of property was not being used, especially since it is on a very active part of King Street. Though confidentiality agreements preclude them from revealing what clients they have lined-up to move into the space, the developers understand the importance King Street has to the vitality of the city and region.

When the developers included a plan to build a low tower in their renovations, city officials refused to accept their design. They argued that the construction was too cotemporary for the area. The developers have indicated that they thought the design was ideal, and hope their project can proceed.

In an age when the real estate crunch is what is preventing many developers from launching ambitious projects, it's unfortunate to see an effort with such potential get hung up on a zoning and planning issue. This project has the possibility of providing a great benefit to the local economy.

An economic development effort, such as the Millennium Music project in Charleston, stands to provide a lot for the local community if the project continues as planned. When a developer has issues with local regulations, it is important to get the help of an experienced legal professional. With the right kind of assistance, a major project can move forward.

Source: ABC News 4, "Old Millennium Music building to open for business," Feb. 15, 2012

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