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SC Ports Authority shares plans for future Union Pier development

Rendering. SC Ports Authority shares plans for future Union Pier development.

Posted on April 10, 2023

Soon, the soothing sounds of nature from Charleston’s downtown waterfront will be accessible to everyone with a newly designed Union Pier.

“The redevelopment of Union Pier is designed with Charleston in mind,” President and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority Barbara Melvin said.

The design brings the past to the future along Concord Street.

The new green space and five-acre park will hold on to the history of the rice mill and mosquito fleet while adding in new retail shops, affordable housing for those who work in the area, and linking to the aquarium and International African American Museum.

“We did not choose to sell individual parcels, we decided to plan the entire site to make sure that the infrastructure was there to support the site, and that the city had a voice one time to make the area blended one time very well,” Melvin said.

“This area where we’re standing today is an industrial site. A place with containers, a place that’s a part of maritime infrastructure can be converted into a beautiful park, almost as large as Marion Square but on the waterfront and dedicated to Charlestonians forever,” said Vict President of Lowe Real Estate Jacob Lindsey.

Lindsey said there will be architecture regulation in place and a comprehensive plan to address flooding and stormwater surge to align with the Army Corps of Engineers’ project along the Battery.

“At the end of the day upland areas will drain better and the sight itself will keep every raindrop on site and will help storm surges out of the city by the construction of a unique storm barrier here at union pier,” Jacob said.

While the project may take a decade to complete, Melvin said the future of the ports is something everyone can look forward to.

“Let’s remove the chain-link fences and parking lots and warehouses. Lets re-imagine it’s going to take some time before things get going on the development,” Melvin said.

The ports authority is presenting the new renderings to the planning commission Thursday at a workshop and they will formally submit them on April 17.

You can also see the renderings and still submit comments through the Union Pier website.


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