Charleston enterprise leaders share plans to spice up King Avenue

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – The Charleston Downtown Affiliation is shifting ahead with plans it hopes will develop enterprise alongside King Avenue whereas bettering the procuring expertise within the historic district.

This 12 months, Charleston Metropolis Council voted to create a enterprise enchancment district and on Tuesday, metropolis council will meet with the downtown affiliation for a workshop.

Discover Charleston Vice President for Media and Innovation Doug Warner says the purpose is to create a cohesive, protected and nice place to buy.

“What this does is it create a district the place the property homeowners have mentioned we’re keen so that you can lay an extra charge on our constructing in order that we will improve service, and that’s safety, cleanliness, beautification, advertising and marketing, programming and extra standardization,” Warner says.

He in contrast the district to a mall, the place homeowners are part of a neighborhood the place they pay a bit extra to profit from rules and perks to maintain the frequent areas clear and protected.

Metropolis officers say there are 467 items within the district from Assembly Avenue to Line Avenue, and 55% of householders signed statements of help.

Roy Neil, who owns El Jefe Texican Cantina, is a kind of supporters who sees this as a chance to higher the realm.

“We need to do every little thing we will to make it higher. You already know tax {dollars} go to complement all of the companies that occur however they get stretched between Daniel Island and West Ashely and Downtown Charleston and different locations,” Neal says.

Neal is a part of the board for the King Avenue Alliance, a supplemental group of landowners who’re working with town on methods to assist improve the King Avenue expertise.

“We would need assistance with safety, we’d need assistance with higher lighting, we’d need assistance with promotions for vacation issues, to convey retailers extra enterprise. There are every kind of issues on this partnership that I feel we will work out,” Neal says.

However not all homeowners suppose the district is a good suggestion. Some say they’re already paying excessive hospitality taxes, gross sales taxes and property taxes.

Harris Cohen owns King Avenue Cookies. He has a location on King Avenue and in Mount Nice. He says he prefers his Mount Nice store, and sometimes individuals inform him they go there as an alternative of the one on King Avenue.

Cohen additionally says he already pays excessive lease, a gross sales and hospitality tax and property tax.

“And that cash just isn’t getting used to make the place protected and to make the place clear the place individuals really feel at dwelling and protected,” Cohen says. “Why are they reaching into my pocket for much more cash?”

Cohen says he does need to see work to take away graffiti, clear up trash, and assist the homeless however that needs to be occurring already. He additionally desires extra police presence particularly on foot patrolling the realm.

“Don’t come to me now asking for more cash if you’re not utilizing the cash that we’re paying in taxes proper now to make the place protected and we now have seen the decline within the final seven years,” Cohen says.

Warner says 241 of the 647 properties can pay lower than $500 in extra charges per 12 months underneath the district. Funding for the district will begin within the first quarter of 2023, and homeowners can pay a tax primarily based on what their property is value. Tuesday night time’s assembly will work by means of some remaining particulars within the plan.

“The bid has already been voted and accredited. That is actually establishing the working relationship between the CDA, which would be the non-profit operating the bid with the Metropolis of Charleston,” Warner says.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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