Charleston, S.C.—The City of Charleston will offer a special event flat parking rate of $5 for Cooper River Bridge Run participants at three downtown parking garages beginning at 5 p.m., Friday, April 5, until 2 p.m., Saturday, April 6.
The special event rate only applies at the following garages:
Visitors Center Parking Garage on Mary Street between King and Meeting Streets
S.C. Aquarium Garage on Calhoun Street between East Bay and Concord Streets
34 St. Philip StreetGarage on Saint Philip Street between George and Liberty Streets
Cars must be parked in the garage after 5 p.m. Friday and removed by 2 p.m. Saturday to receive the $5 rate
It is time for our second installment of Charleston awareness.? In our first piece, we provided informative tips about the culture of Charleston, SC, the element rarely found on visitor bureau websites or brochures (See Link Below).? We would like to add some additional cultural nuances to assist as you consider Charleston as place to visit or live.
Charleston loves to brag about themselves. Anytime there is an honor for “Best of”, we promote it with diligence and vigor.? Whether that is a banner streamed across a fence, a press release or abundant social chatter, Charleston loves to taut its own horn.? On the opposite end of the spectrum, it is also an area that brushes bad news under the rug (poor academic ranking, dangerous driving conditions or high taxation)
Outsiders are not welcome. There is a notion of “Southern Charm” and “Southern Hospitality” that comes with the territory, but make no mistake, locals born and raised in this Southern area, do not welcome outsiders well. ?Look closely at Meetup groups, Facebook social and singles groups, and comments about Northerners being the blame for everything.? You will find that the most that struggle to gain social acceptance are outsiders trying to fit in with the locals.
We speak very openly about acceptance and how we bonded together after Emanuel Nine regardless of race or background. Yet, our mayor and the media speak animatedly spoke of the injustices in Charlottesville.? This type of behavior is consistent with a geography that struggles with similar issues.? As the wealth and poverty gap continues to widen with the heaviest wealth among white residents, the tensions will continue to mount.
Flooding is not a rarity, but an everyday part of our lifestyle. It is not exclusive to rain or tropical storms, but can be induced by even high tide.
Charleston does not embrace conservationism or recycling well. It exists, but the percentage of people that adhere to it completely, is limited.
The Lowcountry has a prominent and extremely talented theater scene, but it is not embraced as well as it should. For many theaters, patronage struggles.
Food is celebrated in Charleston, but it lacks variety with a huge gap in the ethnic food space.
Charleston is well behind in parking reform with parking meters lacking pay and reloading apps or credit card options and the city is filled with inconsistent parking rules and times for the residential streets.
Brunch is a holiday both on Saturday and Sunday. On either day, you can find 120+ brunch options.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A study shows most of Charleston’s hospitality workers drive to their jobs and must take parking costs from their paychecks.
The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the study by the College of Charleston’s Office of Tourism Analysis shows that about 60 percent of downtown Charleston’s restaurant and hotel workers live outside the peninsula. About 80 percent of workers drive to their jobs alone, regardless of where they live.
About 70 percent of the 503 workers the College of Charleston surveyed said they spend at least $25 a month on parking, with about a third paying $100 or more monthly.
Buses aren’t convenient because those working in hospitality tend to work later shifts.
The city council now requires new hotels to provide parking or shuttle plans for employees.
This message was posted on the I Love Folly Beach Facebook Group this week by the group organizer:? “FYI Time to get your Funky Folly Beach Parking Pass Decals…if you want them… if you are a Folly Beach resident you get two FREE with proof of residency and Drivers License and tag numbers of 2 vehicles .. If you are non resident and come to Folly a lot you can buy one for $125 for the year… (Cash or check only) these allow you to park on all gravel beach access lots as well as up and down by the washout where there is a paid parking Kiosk. They are not for Pier or County Park.. those are Charleston County Park passes that you can get also yearly….. Residents deadline to get free ones is May 1st…. on Wednesdays only at Folly Beach City Hall”
With the recent overwhelming success of Annual Events Folly Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Holiday Parade, Surfer’s Healing and the impending Sand and Art Festival, Folly Beach is becoming an event destination hot spot.? Along with the many wonderful festivals, Folly Beach offers:
Coffee and Ice Cream
Movie Nights on the Beach
This offering for both residents and non-residents is a wonderful way to reward locals and offer consistent beach goers the option to park easily while bringing in revenue for the city.? It also forces the city to look at the current parking options and how they will need to evolve as the community and its population continues to grow.
How much longer will Folly Beach allow free street parking in front of residential homes?
How long before a parking garage is built similar to Shem Creek?
These are valid long term questions that may be addressed sooner than we think.
There also continues to be chatter focused on charging a fee on Folly Road to enter the beach.? There is no formal proposal in play, but chatter can lead to discussion and action.
Demand is high for reserved parking spaces in downtown Charleston.? A recent listing at 23 Burns Lane for a 10 by 10 rectangular parking space came at a premium price of $74,000.? The Burns Lane property is listed by The Cassina Group, and is not even the most expensive parking space available for purchase. Recently four parking spaces on East Bay Street were listed for $98,000 each.
Jennifer Davis, owner of Domicile Real Estate Brokerage explained that it is increasingly difficult to find a space like the one at Burns Lane downtown. The demand is high and in the past few years “it just escalated dramatically,” she said in a recent Post & Courier article. “We’ve sold them behind Pottery Barn,” Davis said and sold them one by one. “We did a big lease to Apple on King Street for their parking spaces.? We sold one lot on Elliott Street last year, with spaces going for around $80,000 apiece,” Davis said. The limited land and high demand for parking spaces by downtown businesses is particularly acute and has led to the expensive prices.
Downtown Charleston zoning codes require the owner of property to have a minimum number of parking spaces. A sit-down restaurant must have one parking spot per 150 square feet used by its patrons, and a parking space per 200 square feet of an outside seating area. The zoning codes are one of the big driving factors ??in the demand for parking spaces, since businesses must satisfy these requirements.
The 13 parking garages operated by the city of Charleston in contrast charge a daily maximum of $16. If a customer paid the maximum every day for a year this would only add up to $5,840. It would take 13 years of parking at a city garage to cover the cost of the parking space listed at 23 Burns Lane. It would take 17 years to cover the listing price of the parking spaces on East Bay. Davis noted that one of these parking spaces is worth more than the car that will use it.
Source: Post & Courier, “Demand drives up the prize on premium downtown parking spots,” by Caitlin Byrd
Caldwell Commercial keeps abreast of the latest local economic trends to best serve our clients.? Contact us today at caldwellcommercial.com to learn more about our commercial real estate properties and services.
With around 1,800 parking meters in downtown Charleston one might think that finding an available one wouldn’t be that difficult. The trick is not so much in finding a meter, yet the trickiness comes in finding the right meter. The right meter being one that is closest to wherever you are going, and vacant at the exact time you need it.
You have made it downtown Charleston with only moments to spare before you have to get to where you need to be. The streets are lined with cars and you begin to feel that pressure of being late, again, because of parking. You circle around for at least 10 minutes before the miracle of an empty spot appears, and lucky for you it is right in front of where you’re going. You check everywhere you keep your meter money, but it’s running low and all you come up with are three dimes and a nickel. With a sigh, you get out of your car, throw the money in the meter, and as you are walking down the sidewalk you say a little prayer to the parking gods asking them to keep the meter maid away from your spot for just a little while longer.
We can’t promise primo parking, but we can solve the dreaded meter money issue with the City of Charleston SmartCard!
What is a SmartCard? A SmartCard replaces the need of meter money. It is the size of a credit card and adorned with one of Charleston’s beautiful iconic symbols. It can be used at any of the parking meters in downtown Charleston. It works essentially like a gift card. After you pay the onetime fee of $5 for the SmartCard, you can load money onto the card. Once parked at a meter, you insert the card into the meter and be on your way. The meter deducts money from the card in exchange for time.
What makes the SmartCard so awesome? It’s super convenient! Now I only have to keep a single card in my car. I no longer think of a quarter as being worth 20 minutes of downtown parking. It’s now worth .25 cents just like it should be. It’s economical. You can actually get back unused time with your SmartCard. You know that feeling you get when you are ready to go but there is still 45 minutes left on your meter? You don’t have to worry about overfeeding the meter anymore. Just insert the card again and it refunds the remaining time right back onto your card. It makes an awesome gift. We all have that person who’s difficult to buy for. Hook him or her up with some parking time! Trust me, they will be grateful. It never expires. There is no time frame within which you need to use the money you have loaded onto the SmartCard. You can load up to $300 to your card.
How do I use a SmartCard?
It’s easy! Just insert the card into the diagonal slot the diagonal just to the left of where those pesky coins go. After a few seconds it will begin adding time to your meter in 20 minute increments, up to the maximum allotted time. When you return to the meter, if you have any time left simply reinsert the card and that money will be put back onto your card. The cards are made so that the meter only accepts yours while it is running. This prevents anyone else from stealing time, and money off of your meter. These cards are specific to Charleston and cannot be used anywhere else.
Where can I purchase a SmartCard?
Cards can be purchased for $5 at the Charleston Visitor Center Gift Shop on Meeting Street, or at the City of Charleston Department of Revenue Collections – Parking Division on Lockwood Drive. When you need to add more money to your card, you have to do so at one of these two places as well.
No more hoarding quarters and other ever coveted meter money. No more running to your car because you were short on change and you know the meter is about to expire. No more parking tickets!*
*You still have to adhere to the time limit of the meter you are parked at. Charleston Daily is not responsible for any parking tickets you may receive. Sorry folks.
Getting around downtown Charleston, let’s face it, can have the tendency to take some of the charm out of your visit, whether you are just running a quick errand, having a night out on the town, or visiting for the first time. One of our goals here at Charleston Daily is to make your Charleston experiences as pleasant as possible, so we have put together a few getting around downtown tips and tricks that will hopefully make your next trip to the Peninsula stress free.
Let’s start off with what everyone gets aggravated with the most, regardless of whether or not you are a tourist or you have lived here for 20 years – parking.
?Time limit: Most have a two hour time limit, some are only one hour. If they are painted red, they are only 15 minutes. Most meters run from 9am – 6pm, but vary based on where they are located in the city (some start at 8am). Check the back if you are unsure.
Tip: Put a nickel or dime in first to make sure they are working! This way you don’t waste a quarter if it’s broken. Legally you are only supposed to stay for maximum allotted time for that meter, but hey it’s free. To report a broken meter call 843-724-7375?or take a quick moment and go online to the Citizen Support Center.
?No change? No problem! The City of Charleston sells a SmartCard that works in all of the meters downtown. It is a prepaid card that can be bought and reloaded at the Visitor Center or at the City of Charleston Department of Revenue Collections – Parking Division on Lockwood Drive. One of the other perks of using this card is that you can refund the amount not used at the meter back onto the card at the end of your stay. The card costs a one time fee of $5. Cards are rechargeable and can hold up to $300 in value.
?Motorcycles and mopeds: You must adhere to the same parking rules as cars do, including in the garages! (The garage attendants will call parking enforcement on you.) You can double park at the meters. Up to 6 motorcycles or mopeds are allowed to occupy one meter space, as long as each vehicle stays within that space. Should your time expire before you return, each vehicle parked there will be subject to a ticket. However, where you get lucky is in the residential areas. There’s not really any place to put that residential sticker now is there? Hmm…
Pay and Display Parking Stations ?For these, you go to the kiosk, input how long you will be there and it prints out a ticket for you to display on your dashboard. The only?one we know of being in the Garden Theater lot near King Street and Burns Lane (366 King Street). This one is 24 hours. You can also find these kiosks at the Washout on Folly. The nice thing about these stations is that they take debit or credit cards, as well as cash. They do not accept the SmartCard.?
?These can get pricey pretty quickly, but sometimes a garage is your only option.?You can park in the Visitor Center garage, with the entrance on Meeting Street, any time after 5pm for a flat rate of $4.00 as long as you leave by 8am the following day. For garage and other lot?rates click here.
In need of an EV charging station? The following garages have them:
?Queen Street Garage
?Visitor Center Garage
Flat Rate Lots
?There are flat rate lots where you pay anywhere from $8 and up to park for the day. These rates vary depending on where they are in the city and what time of day it is as well. Now they have flat rate lots where you can pay for a short period of time, perfect for going out to dinner.
?Most residential areas are 1 or 2 hours parking, but can go up to 4 hours. It all depends on what the sign says. Tip: Residential areas are all different…read the signs closely! Please be courteous when you are parking in residential areas. Just use some common sense. Would you want someone blocking your driveway, even if it was only for a few minutes
Free Parking (YAY!)
?There are handicap spaces on the streets scattered about; these spaces are free if you have a valid handicap license plate or tag.
?Upper King Street parking: Many businesses are now validating parking on Upper King Street. It never hurts to ask!
?Battery parking: Parking along the water side only at the Battery is free…if you are lucky enough to find a spot.
?Keep an eye out for the city’s annual free holiday parking vouchers. Historically these are issued at the end of November and run through December. Most of the parking garages participate in spreading this bit of holiday cheer.
?The best thing the city does for parking – meters are free on Sundays and official city holidays.
I’m Parked, What Now? You have a few options of getting around the city.
?Walk around! (My personal favorite!) Charleston is so beautiful and you will stumble upon so much just from walking and checking things out. I know walking isn’t for everybody, especially in our steamy Charleston summers. There are still options.
?Charleston Rickshaw Company or Charleston Pedicab: Either company?will be happy to bike you wherever you need to go. Both companies are only $5.50 per person for every 10 minutes. They are super personable and knowledgeable about the city. ?DASH: This is?the Trolley Loop by CARTA runs through the Peninsula. It is a free service and stops at some of the major spots around the city.
?Scoop Charleston: This is one of our newest additions and?are Charleston’s only fully electric transportation service. Not only are they great for the environment, they are great for the budget too, because they are absolutely free! (Just please be courteous and tip your driver!)
?Charleston Water Taxi: For only $10 you can go between the heart of downtown and Mt. Pleasant. That $10 gets you an all day pass on the Water Taxi that does a loop between?Patriots Point, Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, Waterfront Park, and the Aquarium Wharf. During peak season, it runs between 9am and 8pm daily. Off peak you can still catch it on Saturdays.
?Uber and other various taxi services: These will travel off of the Peninsula and run later than Scoop does.
So now that you are armed with this parking and transport knowledge, your next trip to downtown Charleston should be a breeze! Be sure to take advantage of every service our city offers. It’s here for you!
May your days be sunny, may the red lights always be green and may the parking gods smile down on you!