CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Charleston Edge project, stalled after a private developer snapped up its preferred location, is back on track with a new site on Capitol Street, City Manager David Molgaard said Monday.
City officials opened four proposals Monday afternoon from consulting firms interested in designing conceptual plans for what Molgaard hopes would be a multistory, multiuse building for the Edge project.
Molgaard publicly unveiled his idea for affordable housing for young professionals, coupled with a three-year community leadership program, nearly a year ago at a meeting sponsored by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and its New Charleston Partners program.
At the time, he hoped to use the site of the former Holley and Worthy hotels on Quarrier Street, owned by the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority. But two private developers later said they were interested in the site and one, still unidentified, is negotiating a deal with CURA.
Now Molgaard is eyeing another CURA-owned site -- a small parking lot at the northeast corner of Capitol and Donnally streets, beside the parking garage the state of West Virginia built for its employees at the Diamond building.
"We have said we'll proceed in phases," Molgaard said. "First we'll determine the size of the building -- how many units, how much parking it will support and costs. We want to know how much it will cost [to build] and to operate the facility.
"We would like to have onsite parking -- really, parking on the ground floor -- with building on and around the parking. There are several models for that downtown -- the Fifth Third bank building, Bowles Rice," he said.
"We would also like it to be done conducive to pedestrian traffic. Mixed-use with retail or commercial on the first floor would be ideal. But I feel it's important to have at least one parking space per unit residential."
The small lot size -- 17,150 square feet, or about 0.4 acres -- and the parking requirement may limit the overall size of the project.
"I think somewhere around 30 residential units would be desirable with the way we've developed the program -- a three-year program with people coming into the program every year." That's down from the 40 to 60 apartments he envisioned on Quarrier Street.