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Old 04-25-2017, 01:48 PM
 
731 posts, read 446,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscross309 View Post
There has never been any plans for a United to build a new office tower. We on city-data have simply expressed our desire for such a development in downtown so much that it has translated from fantasy to work in progress!




There are no formal plans, that is true. However, from time-to-time, this topic does come up at UB functions of which I have a few friends that pass it along to me. It is always informal chit-chat, but the gist of it is that UB is very aware of the opportunity it has to be the big fish in a little pond, not only in Charleston but in all of West Virginia. With that position comes certain expectations.


What has hampered their goals has been the mismanagement of Laidley Tower by Kelley & Johnson. That tower was originally only going to be 14 floors above ground and at the last minute the decision was made to stack on 4 more to raise the height to 18 floors and make it the tallest in the city over the 22 floor Kanawha Valley Bank building that was built in 1929.


The original plan had enough occupants to fill out 90%+ but the additional 4 floors have always been an after thought for them and because technically the occupancy rate in Charleston is under 90% because of it, no new towers have gone up. We briefly rose above 90% and the 4 floor MVB was built, adding another 30,000 sf.


I think what needs to happen is that a lot of class B space needs to be eliminated, pushing those renters into the class A towers. The problem is that there is a glut of class B in some iconic buildings such as the aforementioned former 22-floor KVB bank tower.


Class A space is about 1.2 million square feet and class B is about 4 million square feet. Class B is running about 50% occupancy but that is an estimate - I called CURA and that was their best guess.


The good news is that two of the properties in the class B market have uncertain futures. One is the 13-story Union Building that has an owner wanting to transition to condos and the other is the old 11-story Daniel Boone Hotel that has nothing but unhappy clients. If both of those were to exit the market and their clients upgraded, Charleston would merit a new tower. Obviously, their clients will not all upgrade, some will, most will not - especially when class B has a glut of 50%.
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:16 PM
 
435 posts, read 265,830 times
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Asheville's tallest building looks like a twin to the Chase Tower in downtown Charleston. It was built around the same time and maybe by the same people. It is now being turned into a hotel and condos with an impressive facelift. I've attached a link. Maybe some of the older taller buildings in town could have something like this take place therefore freeing up space for a nice new class A tower.

McKibbon reveals new details about development of former BB&T building

Regarding a 30 story United tower. It would be quite easy to do with the first few floors being restaurants, retail, and parking. Then 10 to 15 of hotel/condo and another 10 to 15 of office space. It makes too much sense and would be far too cool to happen.
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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definitely converting the Union Building into condos would help reduce the local office vacancy rate in Charleston but if the rumors are true that the city/county would jump at the opportunity to move some offices scattered throughout the city into the current United tower, that would also force many current tenants to find new digs. Along with that mess that is the Daniel Boone and Brickstreets rapid growth, there should be plenty of demand for both class A and B office space. Maybe even Brickstreet could sign on to be a major tenant in the new high rise along with United Bank. I wouldn't want to see a hotel proposed for that space if it would jeopardize the new high rise convention center hotel across the street from the expanded convention center. Several floors of condos on the other hand would be glam for downtown!!!!
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:26 AM
 
731 posts, read 446,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRWMSPPGH View Post
definitely converting the Union Building into condos would help reduce the local office vacancy rate in Charleston but if the rumors are true that the city/county would jump at the opportunity to move some offices scattered throughout the city into the current United tower, that would also force many current tenants to find new digs. Along with that mess that is the Daniel Boone and Brickstreets rapid growth, there should be plenty of demand for both class A and B office space. Maybe even Brickstreet could sign on to be a major tenant in the new high rise along with United Bank. I wouldn't want to see a hotel proposed for that space if it would jeopardize the new high rise convention center hotel across the street from the expanded convention center. Several floors of condos on the other hand would be glam for downtown!!!!




Probably what you would see are executive suites in the new tower. Instead of someone like Jackson and Kelley setting up visitors in the Marriott every weekend they would lease an executive rental all year round but only use as it as the guest need dictates. A rather common thing in large cities.
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