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Neighborhood restaurants become a treasured part of the community

There always seems to be that one new restaurant that opens up and instantly becomes part of the neighborhood. Places like Berkeley’s in the Hampton Park Terrace neighborhood, Cold Shoulder in the West Ashley Northbridge area and Vern’s in Cannonborough-Elliotborough all opened since last summer, and have made their impact in the community. These establishments are just off the beaten path of tourist destinations and right in the heart of local communities.For a place like Berkeley’s, diners can walk up to the outdoo...

There always seems to be that one new restaurant that opens up and instantly becomes part of the neighborhood. Places like Berkeley’s in the Hampton Park Terrace neighborhood, Cold Shoulder in the West Ashley Northbridge area and Vern’s in Cannonborough-Elliotborough all opened since last summer, and have made their impact in the community. These establishments are just off the beaten path of tourist destinations and right in the heart of local communities.

For a place like Berkeley’s, diners can walk up to the outdoor patio after a stroll through Hampton Park. Vern’s is just outside bustling King Street on a quiet corner, and Cold Shoulder sits in a quiet West Ashley strip mall just off of Old Towne Road. These are places you wouldn’t necessarily stumble upon unless you’re exploring the neighborhood or call the area home.

Berkeley’s opened at 624½ Rutledge Ave. in June 2021, and has already become a staple for many nearby residents. Owner Marc Hudacsko said he feels fortunate that the neighborhood has accepted Berkeley’s with open arms.

“We’re lucky enough to have some people who I’ve seen more than once a day,” Hudacsko said before pausing the interview to greet one of them.

One of the goals when opening Berkeley’s, he said, was to become a neighborhood restaurant and not a “one-year anniversary-type” of restaurant. To achieve this, the dining experience is immersed in the neighborhood, tucked on the corner of Rutledge Avenue and Huger Street and a block away from Hampton Park. Berkeley’s greets you with an outdoor patio and an indoor-outdoor bar. Patrons can walk in or pass by and see friends enjoying a meal on the patio. Diners can watch the neighborhood around them live their daily lives of checking the mail, walking the dog or going for a jog.

Berkeley’s also curated its menu to include a variety of items from small plates and salads to sandwiches and pasta dishes, so there’s always something for someone. The sandwiches are a mixture of classic offerings like a traditional cheesesteak (or a mushroom cheesesteak) or chicken cutlet sammies. More unique offerings include a salmon BLT and fried artichoke sandwich.

Bring your family or friends along to share small plates like smoked salmon dip with scallions or calamari, “something almost everyone gets to share,” Hudacsko said. But if you’re feeling really hungry, these “small plates” are also big enough to fill your belly, especially the spicy shrimp with Calabrian chili cream. Tail-on shrimp is served atop a large bed of polenta, submerged in a sweet and spicy sauce. The creamy texture of the polenta is contrasted with the crunchiness of cashews. Fingers may get saucy as you separate the shrimp from the tail, though.

For a bigger bite, diners can try entrees like the cavatappi cooked with wild mushrooms, feta, greens, tomato and cream or pan-seared salmon served with fried bread and topped with roasted tomato, olives, feta, arugula and citrus vinaigrette. Classic chicken cutlet sammies are also available for those seeking something quick and simple. Cutlets are served in three different flavors of classic, parmesan and buffalo. Chicken parmesan is a fan-favorite according to Hudacsko.

Hudacsko said the secret to keep customers coming back is the staff: “When we hire people, we try to hire people that we think are going to be great ambassadors of [connecting with customers],” he said. “I would love for them to know everything about the wine and everything about the food, but really, what I want is can you be attentive and friendly? And can you get to know the people who come in here every day? Because that’s important to us.”

Berkeley’s is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday and Monday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Owner and solo sandwich-maker Craig Edmunds runs his little sammie shop by himself. Edmunds is behind his meat slicer every morning at 5 a.m. to crank out as many sandwiches as one man can make before opening at 8 a.m. Some days he sells out by 1 p.m.; other days (like on Labor Day), he’s sold out by 9:30 a.m.

For those who know about Cold Shoulder, know to arrive early. And for those who don’t, Edmunds says, “Don’t be mad, be early.”

“I’ve just been getting so much love from people coming out,” he added. “Other food and beverage members get excited to come and that gets me pumped. It makes me happy to come into work every day.”

Every morning, especially on holidays, a line of hungry customers forms out the door, all eagerly waiting for what some have called “charcuterie in a sandwich.” Using meats from Smoking Goose Meatery in Indiana, local vegetables from up-and-coming hydroponic farm King Tide Farms, homemade truffle cream and imported cheeses, Edmunds make all of the sandwiches by hand or to order if all the premade ones have sold out.

His most popular sandwich, the Something Spicy, is made with nduja (a spicy, spreadable pork sausage), Toscanino piccante salami, greens, parmesan, truffle cream and truffle hot sauce. The spicy cured meats are cut with the richness of the truffle cream and herbaceous focaccia bread, so even if you’re not a huge fan of spice, it’s worth checking out. Other sandwiches, like the Something Gourmet, add a little sweetness with truffle honey to the prosciutto, Parmesan and local greens combo.

Other sandwiches include the Something Classic, Something Else, Something Simple, Something Sweet (Nutella and powdered sugar), Something Vegetarian and Something Vegan, all served on fresh-baked focaccia bread from Saffron Bakery.

Some days, when Hamilton Horne from King Tide Farms brings unique produce to Edmunds, like red vein sorrel (a citrus-forward vegetable), Cold Shoulder will run weekend or daily specials. Other days, Edmunds gets hit with a spark of creative energy and creates specials based on what he has in stock or what he can get. His latest special, offered Sept. 8, was a sandwich stuffed with gorgonzola tosi (a creamy blue cheese), capocollo (a cured pork cold cut), truffle honey and fresh greens from King Tide.

Cold Shoulder also offers snack items and drinks to pair with the gourmet sandwiches. Items range from local places like pastries from Nonna Bachi or Lowcountry Kettle Chips to imported items like Hattie B’s hot chicken skins or The Red Seed’s Toasted Corn.

“I’m extremely humbled,” Edmunds said. “For someone like me to come in and be so wildly accepted by actual Charlestonians and not just transients or college students, it’s amazing.”

Cold Shoulder is open at 8 a.m. Sunday through Monday. Keep an eye on Instagram @coldshouldergourmet for specials and updates on when the sandwiches sell out.

Husband and wife duo Daniel “Dano” and Bethany Heinze officially opened their new American bistro Vern’s at 41 Bogard St. July 15. Less than two months later, Charleston foodies and tourists have been raving about the new downtown spot.

“Starting with our opening night, I felt like it was a large majority of people within this direct vicinity of downtown,” Bethany said. “Being tucked into a neighborhood, I feel like having that sort of charming corner location really speaks to being this neighborhood restaurant.”

The contemporary American restaurant took over the space that formerly housed Trattoria Lucca, an Italian restaurant.

“We felt very grateful and lucky to take over a second generation restaurant space that had a really positive connotation and a lot of memories to associate with it,” she added. “It’s fun to see people kind of walk in and be like, ‘Oh, man, I loved Lucca. I’m so excited to be here again,’ and then try out a new restaurant.”

The dining experience is meant to be family-style, with everyone at the table digging into dishes like gnocchetti sardi with walnut pesto or the bavette steak with balsamic and horseradish, which can be served for brunch with a sunny side up egg or dinner with some shallots for some extra sharpness.

Other brunch highlights include the sesame seed pancakes, a fluffy and airy three-pancake stack with whipped ricotta and local peaches and peach jam. Dinner menu items include skewered lamb shoulder with red vein sorrel for a balance of umami and acid.

The kitchen is helmed and thoughtfully prepared by Dano, who was the chef de cuisine at former Charleston establishment McCrady’s. However, the drink list, helmed by Bethany who was the bar manager at McCrady’s, prepared an extensive and detailed wine list to pair with the New American cuisine.

The wines are categorized by sparkling, red, whites and more, and break down even further to specific flavor notes. There’s more than just wine to pair with the food, though. Vern’s offers low-abv drinks like the seasonal vermouth highball, currently made with the vidte blanco, mint and lime leaf for a refreshing tarty cocktail. Beers, teas, espresso and sodas are also available.

Vern’s is open from 5-10 p.m., Thursday to Monday with brunch available from 12-2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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Looking into the future for the Reynolds Avenue development project

The next HipstervilleThe neighborhood around Reynolds Avenue in North Charleston is about to get a major facelift, becoming the next Hipsterville in the greater Charleston area. Much like Avondale, Park Circle or Upper King Street, Reynolds Avenue is getting ready to experience an injection of new life.“What’s happening here is we’re getting the kind of renewed interest of being a small business district again,” said developer Ed Sutton. “With everything happening like a lot of people moving here...

The next Hipsterville

The neighborhood around Reynolds Avenue in North Charleston is about to get a major facelift, becoming the next Hipsterville in the greater Charleston area. Much like Avondale, Park Circle or Upper King Street, Reynolds Avenue is getting ready to experience an injection of new life.

“What’s happening here is we’re getting the kind of renewed interest of being a small business district again,” said developer Ed Sutton. “With everything happening like a lot of people moving here and mom and pop locations being priced out of downtown, the nature of downtown is changing, and I really do feel kind of like now’s the time for Reynolds.”

Reynolds Avenue was a hot spot in the 1960s when the Charleston Naval Shipyard was going full-throttle. Back then, Navy officers, engineers, sailors, tourists and their families strutted up and down Reynolds Avenue, much like today’s downtown King Street area. Tourists at the former Star of America motel visited with curiosity and excitement.

But after the Navy departed starting in the late 1990s, the hustle and bustle of the lively entertainment district waned and deteriorated. Now come big plans to return in a big way.

Shuai Wang and his wife Corrie of the Park Circle restaurant Jackrabbit Filly recently announced plans to open King BBQ at 2029 Carver Ave. The Wang’s barbecue joint in the middle of this new Hipsterville is expected to merge the flavors of Chinese and Carolina barbecue and a much larger space than Jackrabbit Filly.

But that’s just one of the many planned projects in the area. Next to King BBQ’s future space is Rexton Street, an area known to flood. Clemson University’s Architectural Program created plans to address the area’s flooding and turn the surrounding areas into a parking lot and park for more community engagement. The plan includes AstroTurf, plenty of trees for shade, an amphitheater for outdoor activities and a playground for kids to run around and explore.

On the other side of King BBQ at the corner of Reynolds Avenue and Rivers Avenue is the remnants of L and W Thrift Store. Before that, the corner spot was the Goldmine Pawn & Bargain Store, a former landmark in the area. The building is slated for renovation with plans that are multi-use including offices on the second floor, and a restaurant and bar on the ground. This corner building is expected to be the eye-catcher of the new Reynolds Avenue, with a theater-like lighted marquee stretching around the corner onto Carver Avenue to catch the eyes of night owls looking for a place to grab a drink.

“It kind of sends a signal to people like: ‘Hey, you’re entering a new area of town,’ ” Sutton said.

For some business owners already in the area, such as Mr. Narwhal’s Magnificent Snoballs, much of the development has been seemingly kept under wraps. During an information session held by Charleston and North Charleston about the plans, much of the information, according to Mr. Narwhal’s business owner, who asked to be referred to as “Dunny,” seemed like it was “a closely held secret … or they just have not finalized any plans.”

“One of the questions that most of the business owners over there had was, ‘When is this supposed to happen?’ ” Dunny added. “And nobody had an answer.”

Despite the little information Dunny has heard about the area, he’s still plenty excited for the things he knows will come, such as the Lowcountry Transit Rail, a bus rapid transit system that’s planned to stretch from Ladson to the Charleston peninsula. Having a stop on Reynolds Avenue is “just awesome,” Dunny said, “because just think of the amount of people who now have access both ways … and it will be another main attraction to help bring people in.”

Rebel Taqueria owner Lewis Kesaris said he is excited to see the changes happening to his Reynolds Avenue neighbors.

“It wasn’t the nicest neighborhood when we first moved in here,” Kesaris said. “But people are more confident in coming to the area. It’s a good spot for people that live in Charleston that want a low key and nice little place to hang out.”

Kesaris said he believes the redevelopment will provide economic success to the community, much in the same way Upper King Street has thrived with new local businesses.

“I kind of feel like we’re doing a little bit of what Rec Room did,” Kesaris said, “and how Rec Room was way up there and people thought they were crazy. Now they’ve got awesome restaurants all around them and they kind of paved the path for Upper King Street.”

Much in the same way of redevelopment of Upper King Street, Avondale or Park Circle, community members are worried about gentrification, according to the Rev. Bill Stanfield, CEO of Metanoia. The organization is an outreach group that maintains and preserves the community by making sure the neighborhood maintains a reflection of its current population. The organization does this by building leaders, establishing quality housing and generating economic development.

Metanoia currently owns three buildings along Reynolds Avenue, which includes Mr. Narwhal’s. By owning the buildings, said Stanfield, the organization can work with Black business owners and entrepreneurs so that it “can stay ahead of the curve.”

This redevelopment of Reynolds Avenue isn’t what drew Dunny to opening a Mr. Narwhal’s in the area, though. He said it was his dedication to the children of the community.

“You don’t have enough business owners willing to come in on the ground level and wait it out,” he said. “I came in specifically for that reason not because I knew everything that was happening there. I was more concerned about the community and the kids in the area, because if they don’t have anywhere to go or like a safe haven, they can come in and get some snowballs and hang out for a little bit, get some quiet time.”

The next step after adding more local businesses in the area is more affordable housing, Sutton said: “We don’t need any more luxury apartments. Build something that workers can actually afford.” He hopes that workforce housing, retail businesses, restaurants and bars in the area would mitigate the traffic issue in the area, as the places people will need to go are within walking distance.

More businesses, affordable housing and easier transportation may all be important factors in redeveloping and revitalizing Reynolds Avenue, but what matters most is the voice of the community, Stanfield said.

“Redevelopment of a street like that doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition,” Stanfield said. “In other words, there are some uses that are really detrimental to the community, there are some uses that are very beneficial to the community and a lot of the uses that are sort of somewhere in between. Will something that’s coming in create opportunities for the current residents, or will it just sort of be there for somebody else?”

The former Star of America Motel at 3245 Rivers Ave. is returning in a big way, according to Walker Lamond, creative director of the Starlight Motor Inn. Lamond, along with his longtime partner Ham Morrison, are in the final stages of launching the Starlight Motor Inn in the former Star of America space. Morrison has renovated several properties in the Charleston area, including the Redux Contemporary Art Center.

The Star of America Motel was a thriving business in the 1960s and early 1970s, but fell into disrepair over the decades. In 2020, the motel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the state for being the first prefabricated and prefurnished motel in Charleston County and possibly the country.

“It was lively,” Lamond said. “Reynolds Avenue really was kind of North Charleston’s Main Street back when the Navy base was open. Maybe a little rough and tumble, but certainly a lot of open storefronts, restaurants and bars. It was a whole community and the community is still there. It just needs places to go to be together.”

The renovated Starlight Motor Inn will have 51 rooms, a restaurant, cocktail lounge and, coming in 2023, a pool and poolside bar. Eventually, Lamond added, he and Morrison want to renovate five cottages in the property adjacent to the inn and dub it “Starlight Village.” Each cottage will be available to rent like a motel room to “add a few more options,” Lamond said.

“What we’re hoping is that the building just kind of becomes what it always was, which is like a nice little landmark for the neighborhood, and a nice sign for what we think is gonna be a vibrant corner of North Charleston, kind of like it was back in the ‘60s,” he added.

The motel is expected to open in November.

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New dining concept proposed for darkened Mount Pleasant restaurant

A Mount Pleasant seafood restaurant that was open about a year has gone dark and the owners are planning a new dining venture.A sign on the door of the former Locals Seafood & Rawbar at 545 Belle Station Blvd. off Long Point Road states the closing is temporary and a new co...

A Mount Pleasant seafood restaurant that was open about a year has gone dark and the owners are planning a new dining venture.

A sign on the door of the former Locals Seafood & Rawbar at 545 Belle Station Blvd. off Long Point Road states the closing is temporary and a new concept is coming soon.

The site in Planet Fitness-anchored Belle Station was once the home of Red & Roadiee’s Restaurant and Bar.

A restaurant representative did not immediately respond for comment on the closing and planned venture.

The darkened restaurant was a new concept by the owner of Locals Sushi & Sports Pub, which has two locations in the Charleston area. They are at 1150 Queensborough Blvd. in Mount Pleasant and at 1680 Old Towne Road in West Ashley, where Manny’s Mediterranean Grille once operated.

What’s cooking?

A new restaurant is opening in Summerville.

PrimoHoagies will host its grand opening at 10 a.m. Sept. 15 at 2121 N. Main St. Owners Christine and Curtis Hackeloer, who have lived in the Charleston area for the past 12 years, will snip the ribbon in a 9:45 a.m. ceremony for the 1,600-square-foot shop.

The first 100 customers in line on opening day who are enrolled in the restaurant’s complimentary rewards program will receive a free hoagie.

The casual restaurant’s menu features a variety of cold and hot hoagies, cheesesteaks, wraps, vegetarian options, sides, chips, drinks, cookies, desserts and other items. The shop will be open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily and will offer dine-in, takeout and delivery options along with catering trays.

Also on the way is a new food venue on James Island.

Wisconsin Meat & Cheese plans to open by late October in a 1,504-square-foot space at 1027 Folly Road, according to its Facebook page. The new shop will be in in Sumter’s Landing retail center where Avalon Vapor, Papa John’s Pizza and Ultratan also operate.

Lighting the way

A custom lampshade maker plans to open is first store in downtown Charleston.

Retailer Sorella Glenn plans to open The Lampshade Library in mid-October at 141 Market St.

The new store will offer an experiential environment that allows customers to customize lampshades, take them home on approval, and work on one piece or an entire home at the library bar.

“Our lampshades are customizable, and with additional options at The Lampshade Library, we will continue to deliver bespoke shades to the consumer,” said Katy Glenn Roe, co-owner. “Charleston is ideal for launching our first boutique from Sorella Glenn. Local designers, stylish homeowners and city visitors are the perfect guests for our library.”

Sorella Glenn started making the colorful lampshades in 2019. Each shade is made to order according to the specifications of the customer. Color, trim and pleat style are just a few of the choices.

Repositioned

A Moncks Corner thrift store with proceeds supporting drug rehabilitation efforts is opening in a new location that will more than double its size.

CLM Resale Store, which supports Changed Lives Ministry, will open at 9 a.m. Sept. 17 in a 16,000-square-foot facility at 502 E. Main St., according to board member Mickey White.

The shop carries furniture, clothes, shoes, jewelry and an array of other donated items.

All proceeds from sales go toward helping to rehabilitate those with drug addictions through a free 13-week in-house program at Changed Lives Ministry’s separate sites for men and women in the Berkeley County town.

The leased resale store space is currently at 506 E. Main St. The nonprofit bought the former Central Hardware location next to its current shop in June for $765,000 after outgrowing its current store, White said.

The main new store building is 11,000 square feet. A 4,000-square-foot warehouse and another metal building with about 1,500 square feet also are on the property.

The new store will be open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Now open

Also in the realm of resale shops, a new thrift store is now welcoming customers in Mount Pleasant.

God’s Goods Thrift Store opened Sept. 10 in the Aldi-anchored Plaza at East Cooper Shopping Center on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard.

The store is operated by volunteers, and 100 percent of the proceeds, after covering expenses for rent, utilities, insurance and supplies each month, will be distributed to local, national and international missions.

An 11-person mission committee of volunteers and representatives from local churches will review applications for ongoing and single donations. A list of missions receiving funds from God’s Goods will be published on an ongoing basis.

The nonprofit shop, which is not aligned with any church or organization, is patterned after its sister store in Bluffton, where more than $3 million in net profit has been contributed since it opened in 2010.

The store’s purpose is “to make available gently used items that many folks in Mount Pleasant no longer need and are willing to donate to be sold at very affordable prices.”

New location

A beauty retailer is hosting its grand-reopening in Mount Pleasant.

Aillea can now be found at 280 W. Coleman Blvd. A celebration is set for 5-8 p.m. Sept. 14.

On the way

A new vehicle maintenance shop is coming to North Charleston.

Take 5 Oil Change plans to build a new facility at 8840 Dorchester Road on an outparcel in Plantation Square Shopping Center, according to the commercial real estate firm NAI Charleston, which represented the 0.66-acre land sale of $1.2 million.

The shop will be Take 5′s sixth location in the Charleston area. An opening date has not been announced.

Gassing up

A new convenience store and gas station is in the works for a busy West Ashley intersection.

Charleston’s Design Review Board will consider initial approval of a new Parker’s Kitchen at the juncture of Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Ashley River Road on Sept. 19.

The Savannah-based company plans to build a 3,800-square-foot shop with 12 fueling stations where Wells Fargo Bank closed more than a year ago.

Proposed Charleston development includes hotel brand new to SC and 3 apartment buildings

A new 150-room hotel proposed for the third phase of a still-developing marshfront property on the Charleston peninsula will be the first of its brand in South Carolina.The next stage of development also includes three new apartment buildings, with two of them up to 12 stories tall.The city’s Board of Architectural Review gave the hotel project initial approval Sept. 14 but wanted architectural features of the multifamily venture revisited before signing off on it.Developers plan to bring Kimpton, a division of the...

A new 150-room hotel proposed for the third phase of a still-developing marshfront property on the Charleston peninsula will be the first of its brand in South Carolina.

The next stage of development also includes three new apartment buildings, with two of them up to 12 stories tall.

The city’s Board of Architectural Review gave the hotel project initial approval Sept. 14 but wanted architectural features of the multifamily venture revisited before signing off on it.

Developers plan to bring Kimpton, a division of the United Kingdom-based InterContinental Hotels Group, along with the proposed multifamily structures to 860 Morrison Drive at Morrison Yard, according to Zach Bearden with Origin Development Partners.

Origin and Roswell, Ga.-based DSM Real Estate Partners will work together on the planned nine-story Kimpton Hotel south of the Ravenel Bridge.

Plans show the lobby, kitchen and café on the first floor with a fitness center and administrative functions on the second level. The top floor will include a pool, conference center and indoor and outdoor dining. Twenty-five hotel rooms will occupy each floor from three through eight.

The nearest Kimpton Hotels are in Savannah, Charlotte and Asheville.

On the multifamily project Origin is partnering with Woodfield Development, which is developing the nearby 10-story Morrison Yard apartment complex.

Bearden said the number of apartment units will range from 162 to 169, depending on the final unit mix in the proposed three buildings beside and behind the planned hotel.

The two taller apartment buildings are projected to be behind the hotel. A shorter, tiered multifamily structure is planned between the lodging and the parking deck for Morrison Yard office building.

Board of Architectural Review members liked the hotel concept, but they believed the multifamily project needs a bit more work.

The board voted to defer approval of the three apartment buildings, saying the developer needs to restudy architectural direction, particularly the middle and top of the structures.

Board members also noted they liked the break up of the project into different structures as opposed to one massive building.

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The Preservation Society of Charleston supported the hotel design while the Historic Charleston Foundation did not, saying it opposed the building’s height, scale and mass.

Both groups wanted developers to reconsider the proposed multifamily development.

“While we appreciate efforts made by the applicant to reduce the scale of the project by breaking up the buildings into distinct masses, there is no getting around the incredible impact the development will have on our skyline,” said Erin Minnigan of the Preservation Society.

“Unfortunately, we don’t feel the quality of architecture proposed for the multifamily building has met the standard Charleston deserves and requires significant restudy and refinement,” she said.

“Top quality materials and design, compatibility with Charleston’s unique character, a pedestrian-friendly experience and retention of views to the bridge and river are our priorities for this project,” said Minnigan.

A peninsula resident also spoke out against the proposed development in a written response and urged city leaders to review standards for taller buildings.

“Like the rising waters that often threaten to engulf the borders of the city, the rising tide of large mid- and high-rise buildings, especially north of Calhoun, is engulfing the spirit and soul of Charleston,” Jane Atkins said.

“Growth is healthy for any city, but Charleston is unique,” she said. “Growth should consistently and cohesively respect all that makes Charleston a coveted destination, for residents and tourists alike. The Morrison project is a behemoth at an important gateway to the city. It mars views of the bridge and its incompatibility with the character of the city is undeniable.”

The proposed new buildings are the next phase of development in the Morrison Yard project where a 12-story office structure and 379-unit apartment project are nearing completion.

Other planned improvements for the entire Morrison Yard development include a new waterfront park to be built on the former Seaboard railway spur adjacent to Johnson Street, a quiet zone and improved rail crossing at Johnson.

Also in the plans are sidewalks along both sides of Morrison Drive that do not currently exist, new crosswalks and a direct public bike and pedestrian connection to the Ravenel Bridge.

Developers also plan to raze two small office structures where the hotel and apartments are proposed after the Board of Architectural Review gave final approval to the demolition request Wednesday.

Charleston native becomes first female African American priest ordained in South Carolina

SOUTH CAROLINA (WCIV) — It’s taken 300 years, but the Anglican church now has its first African American female priest here in South Carolina. Rev. Henrietta M. Rivers was ordained this week at St. John’s Chapel.The Charleston native was born and bred in the same eastside neighborhood she is now called...

SOUTH CAROLINA (WCIV) — It’s taken 300 years, but the Anglican church now has its first African American female priest here in South Carolina. Rev. Henrietta M. Rivers was ordained this week at St. John’s Chapel.

The Charleston native was born and bred in the same eastside neighborhood she is now called to serve.

“God is opening doors, that he's allowing us to push our way through. And that's exciting for all of us,” Rivers said.

Rev. Henrietta Rivers now gets set to stand beside her husband, the Rev. Matthew Rivers.

“I'm about to be ordained the first African American priest in the Anglican diocese of South Carolina. And it just, to me, feels as if history is now aligning with God's story, his story,” Rivers said.

In a neighborhood rooted in her story.

“This is probably the most amazing part of it, but it has been such a humbling, humbling opportunity to be here,” she said.

She took our ABC News 4 reporter Anne Emerson back to where it began on Jackson Street.

“This is where we grew up, this is where hope began. This is where a different started though, because we were moving from a place of struggle to what seemed to be an elevation, but we were amidst lots of islands, lots of street violence, lots of gunshots at night, lots of gang violence. But these fences kept us safe. And our community, though, kept us safe," Rivers said.

She was one of six children raised by a teen mom and a stepdad.

“I'm filled with all kinds of emotions coming here because when I left this place, I never desired to come back. I didn't desire to be face to face with struggle, I didn't desire to do that," she said.

But now that struggle is replaced with hope.

“I am called to the brokenhearted, I'm called to the dysfunction in families because I grew up with that, I knew that personally," Rivers said.

And how does she get to those people that need her help the most?

“I can write a play that looks like your life, and Jesus will be all over it without me saying his name!” she said.

A gift of drama and storytelling to draw the crowds, skills she first learned just across the street at school.

“Matthew and I met at Henry P. Archer. We grew up down the street from where I lived, and he lived on that project on the end right there. Oh, yeah, we grew up together,” Rivers said.

And now the Rev. Rivers duo are growing their congregation together.

Rev. Henrietta Rivers said she had an epiphany before the momentous day.

“My great, great, great grandfather was a slave. And all we heard growing up were the dreams that a people had through a struggle. What I'm realizing tonight, and what God has allowed me to come full circle tonight, Is that their prayers were heard and answered. An answered prayer that might have been 300 years ago, but to God, time, it's irrelevant. It's a blink of the eye,” Rivers said.

Rev. Rivers was ordained Tuesday night, Sept. 13, by Bishop Chip Edgar.

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