Work Begins again on Midtown Project

The long-slumbering Midtown real estate development in downtown Charleston is stirring back to life.

Construction crews last week tore down the drive-through area at a historic building where King Street meets Cannon Street, signaling the start of renovation work at the former Bank of America branch.

The structure is just one piece of the ambitious Midtown plan, which was approved in 2008 for a 238-room hotel, plus 20,000 square feet of retail space on King Street, and an equal amount of residential and office space above the stores. Charleston-based multifamily giant Greystar is working through contaminated-land issues so it can build 200 apartments on the Meeting Street side of the property.

As for the bank building, it is poised to change hands.

“We have the bank building under contract to a confidential buyer,” said Stuart Coleman of CC&T Real Estate, a local partner in the development. “To prepare for closing we are demolishing the old drive through, which sits in the footprint of what will be future retail and office buildings as part of the overall development.”

He said the former bank “will have a use that compliments the overall hotel development.”

Coleman would not comment, but the speculation is that the building will become home to a new restaurant launched by one of Charleston’s prominent chefs. One name that’s been dropped: Mike Lata of FIG fame. He could not be reach for comment Friday.

Construction on the broader Midtown development is expected to begin in 2012.