A new independent living development planned for downtown Charleston will be modeled after the nation’s first orphan house and allow residents to sell or bequeath their units, a first of its kind in the Lowcountry.
The seven-story Peninsula of Charleston will feature more than 140 residences ranging from 700 square feet to 3,500 square feet and be constructed at 609 King St. next to the Hoffler Place student apartment complex.
The project, part of the multiyear Courier Square development, is a join venture between Wilmington, N.C.-based Liberty Senior Living and Evening Post Industries of Charleston, the former parents of The Post and Courier.
The partners said the project will be one of only 20 in the U.S. that allow residents to sell or pass on their units as n inheritance.
Designed by New York-based Robert A.M. Stern Architects in partnership with Charleston-based LS3P, the planned facility is modeled after the circa-1792 Charleston Orphan House that once stood a few blocks to the south and was the first public orphanage, with President George Washington helping to lay the cornerston.
The imposing structure was within what is now Calhoun, King, Vanderhorst and St. Philip streets. It remained for more than 150 years until it closed in 1950 after a new site was found in North Charleston. The building was torn down in 1952 to make way for a Sears store, according to historical records.
Stern was also involved in the first phase of Courier Square, which includes the five-story office building that houses the headquarters of apartment giant Greystar and the eight-story Guild apartment building, built to recall the industrial character of the late 19th- and early 20th-century warehouses in the area.
Construction on The Peninsula of Charleston of slated to begin in 2024 with completion in 2026. It will offer amenities, concierge services and health care. A project official did not immediately provide an estimated construction cost.
The minimum age requirement of residents will be 62.
Ron Owns, chief executive officer and president of Evening Post Industries, said the development “will reshape the King and Columbus intersection.”
The existing one-story structures currently on King Street at the west end of Columbus Street will be moved slightly north and incorporated into the new building.
“This project pays tribute to the community that lived and worked in the neighborhood and is a focal point in the master plan for the Courier Square district, featuring residential, office and retail spaces,” Owens said.
Underground parking, valet services and find and casual dining will be offered along, according to Patrick Allen, development director for Liberty Senior Living. Additionally, the building has been designed for on-site health services with options for assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care.
BY WARREN L. WISE