We know that many home loan officers have horrible reputations. Some brokers only see their clients as transactions, and a means to make quick money. They come off as impatient and pushy, failing to understand that this is a very big decision for you. At Mija Mortgage, we take the opposite approach. We encourage our clients to take as much time as needed to ask us questions and review mortgage documents. We could say that our mission is to exceed your expectations, but we'd rather just show you. From assistance finding FHA, VA, or other loans to refinancing your current mortgage, Mija is the team you can trust.
Here are just a few reasons why home buyers choose Mija Mortgage:
To understand the benefits of working with a mortgage broker, you must first understand their role in the home-buying process.
Your mortgage broker is a third party that works to connect you with mortgage lenders. Essentially, a mortgage broker works as an intermediary between a person who wants to buy a home and the entities offering loans to buy a home. The mortgage broker works with both the borrower and lender to get the borrower approved. They also verify and collect paperwork from the borrower that the lender needs to finish a home purchase. Typically, mortgage brokers have relationships with several home loan lenders. Mija Mortgage, for example, has access to 50 different lenders, which gives us a wide range of home loans in Charleston, SC, from which to choose.
In addition to finding a home loan lender, your mortgage broker will help you settle on the best loan options and interest rates for your budget. Ideally, your mortgage broker will take a great deal of stress and legwork off your plate while also potentially saving you money.
If you're ready to buy a home, getting pre-qualified is a great choice that will streamline the entire process. Your mortgage broker makes getting pre-approved easy by obtaining all the documents needed to get you pre-qualified. In taking a look at your application, they will determine if you're ready for the pre-approval process. If your application needs additional items, the mortgage company will help point you in the right direction to ensure your application is as strong as it can be. Your mortgage broker will also walk you through the different types of loans, from Conventional and FHA to VA and USDA.
In order to be pre-approved for a home in South Carolina, you must have the following:
Conventional loans can be used to purchase a new home or refinance your current one. Conventional loans include fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages. Generally, borrowers must put down a 3% down payment for owner-occupants, 10% for a vacation property, and 20% for an investment home. If you are able to pay 20% of the total cost of the home, you can avoid private mortgage insurance, which is otherwise required. Conventional mortgages are often preferred by buyers with good credit or people needing a non-owner-occupied mortgage.
FHA mortgages are issued by the U.S. government and backed by the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). This loan is often preferred by first-time homebuyers because it only requires a 3.5% down payment and offers more flexibility with credit requirements and underwriting standards. FHA loans have several requirements you must meet to qualify. Contact Mija Mortgage today to learn more about FHA loans and whether or not they're best for your financial situation.
Also backed by the government, these loans are insured by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and don't require money down. These loans have lower insurance requirements when compared to FHA loans, offer 100% financing if you qualify, and allow for closing costs to be covered by the seller. In order to qualify for a USDA loan, you must live in a rural area, and your household income must meet certain standards. These loans are often preferred by low-income citizens who live in rural parts of South Carolina.
Also known as VA or Veteran's Affairs loans, these mortgages are reserved for the brave men and women who served in the military. VA loans help provide our military members, veterans, and their families with favorable loan terms and an easy home ownership experience. Often, those who qualify are not required to make a down payment on their home. Additionally, these loans often include less expensive closing costs.
If you are a veteran or the family member of a veteran, contact Mija Mortgage today to speak with our Vetted VA Professional, Debbie Haberny. Debbie helps our military members, veterans, and their family members obtain home loans utilizing veteran benefits and would be happy to help as you search for a home.
Q. I was talking to my spouse about mortgage brokers, and they mentioned the phrase home loan originator. What's the difference between a broker and a loan originator?
A. The mortgage industry is full of confusing jobs and titles, making it easy to confuse roles and responsibilities. Such is the case with mortgage brokers and home loan originators. Though their roles share similarities, a home loan originator in Charleston, SC, works for a bank or credit union, while a mortgage broker works for a brokerage company. Home loan originators and mortgage brokers are both licensed by the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS).
Q. I've heard from everyone that you must have mortgage insurance to buy a home. What is mortgage insurance?
A. Essentially, mortgage insurance helps protect lenders if a borrower forecloses on the home they bought. One advantage of mortgage insurance is that when borrowers pay it, lenders can often grant loans to buyers when they might not have otherwise. Though not always required to buy a home, mortgage insurance is often needed for down payments of less than 20%.
Q. I have just been pre-approved to buy a beautiful home in South Carolina. Is there anything I shouldn't do now that I'm pre-qualified?
A. Mortgage companies like Mija Mortgage, make getting pre-qualified for a home easy. However, as your loan process continues, your lender is required to run a new credit report before closing on a home. For that reason, it's to avoid any activity that might affect your credit score, such as:
Q. My brother-in-law recently refinanced his home in South Carolina. What is refinancing, and should I consider refinancing my home too?
A. Refinancing your home basically means you're swapping your current mortgage for a new one, most often with a lower interest rate. If you would like to reduce the term of your loan, lower your monthly mortgage payments, or consolidate debt, refinancing may be a smart option. Many homeowners also choose to refinance if they want to switch from adjustable-rate mortgages to fixed-rate mortgages or to get cash back for home renovations. To learn whether refinancing is a viable option for your situation, contact Mija Mortgage ASAP, as loan rates change frequently.
Here at Mija Mortgage, we believe that the best communities begin with the dream of home ownership. Our mission is to make those dreams come true, with personalized service, expert guidance, and good old-fashioned hard work. As one of the most trusted mortgage companies in Charleston, SC, we have years of experience working with a diverse range of clients, from first-time buyers and investors to self-employed borrowers and non-native English speakers.
Though every mortgage situation is different, one thing never changes: our commitment to clients. Contact our office today to get started on an exceptional home-buying experience.
MONDAYTUESDAYWEDNESDAYTHURSDAYFRIDAY ArtAnneTrabue Nelson has joined Corrigan Gallery as gallery administrator. She has more than 17 years of arts industry experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in arts management from the College of Charleston.BankingTaylour Schutter has joined Pinnacle Financial Partners as a sales assistant with Pinnacle Asset Management. She is ...
AnneTrabue Nelson has joined Corrigan Gallery as gallery administrator. She has more than 17 years of arts industry experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in arts management from the College of Charleston.
Taylour Schutter has joined Pinnacle Financial Partners as a sales assistant with Pinnacle Asset Management. She is based in the Mount Pleasant office. Previously, she was a client service associate at Truist Investment Services. She has a bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University.
Kelly Engelbert has been named chief financial officer for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston. Previously, she was director of administration at St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame.
Nicole Foote has joined REV Federal Credit Union as vice president of lending. Previously, she was vice president of consumer lending at Credit Union 1 in Rantoul, Ill. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Portland State University.
William Meeks has joined Thomas & Hutton as a field representative. He is based in the Mount Pleasant office.
Julie Peeples has been named a financial adviser at Jeter Hrubala Wealth Strategies. She is based on the Isle of Palms. She has a bachelor’s degree in finance and a minor in economics from Wofford College.
Tyler Sherrill has been named chief executive officer of Tenet Healthcare’s East Cooper Medical Center in Mount Pleasant. Previously, he was CEO of Tenet’s South Carolina physician operations. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in business administration from King University.
Kent Austin has joined Fifth Third Bank as a senior mortgage loan officer and vice president. Previously, he was with Citizens Bank Mortgage. He has more than 20 years of mortgage industry experience. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina.
Kerry Lee Lozano and Diana Ross have joined Carolina One Real Estate as sales associates.
Lozano is based in the Highway 17 North office in Mount Pleasant. She has a bachelor’s degree in interior design and art history from the University of Mississippi.
Ross is based in the Goose Creek Metro North office. Previously, she was a principal with the Charleston County School District. She has a bachelor’s degree from South Carolina State University, a master’s degree in special education and teaching from The Citadel and a doctorate in education and leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Dutch Mutchler has joined Adams Property Group as a property manager. He has a degree in business management and a master’s degree in business administration, both from West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Charleston, S.C. – The Le Moyne College volleyball team competed against the College of Charleston Saturday morning in TD Arena, on the last day of the CofC Classic. The Cougars defeated the Dolphins 3-0 with match scores of 25-8 in the first, 25-12 in the second, and 25-5 in the third to take the win."Today's match we let the speed of the game get the best of us." said head coach Susan Kim...
Charleston, S.C. – The Le Moyne College volleyball team competed against the College of Charleston Saturday morning in TD Arena, on the last day of the CofC Classic. The Cougars defeated the Dolphins 3-0 with match scores of 25-8 in the first, 25-12 in the second, and 25-5 in the third to take the win.
"Today's match we let the speed of the game get the best of us." said head coach Susan Kim. "We lost some of the energy and fun we had yesterday but that's okay. Through the ups and downs, we'll figure out how to bounce back and play together as a team. We still have a lot of season left to play so time to get back and work."
For the Dolphins, senior outside hitter Madison Dembroski (Plattekill, N.Y. / Wallkill) and junior outside hitter Emily La Ruffa (Rock Hill, N.Y. / Monticello) both recorded four kills, followed by freshman outside hitter Emilia Estrada (Jacksonville, Fla. / Bishop Kenny) with two. Sophomore setter Haley Gerken (Buffalo, N.Y. / Frontier) directed the offense with 10 assists and eight digs. Freshman libero/DS Haley Buescher (Toledo, Ohio / St. Ursula Academy) recorded nine digs and junior libero/DS Ella Katz (Burnt Hills, N.Y. / Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake) had seven.
For the Cougars, Anna Smith led the team with 11 kills and 5 digs, Sofie Vogel and Hannah Scott both had 5 kills while Scott also recorded 24 assists. Elli Kinney had four assists as well as 12 digs, and Brynn Whitehair had five digs.
The Dolphins next game will be against Brown University on September 1 at 1pm in their Pizzitola Sports Center – Providence, R.I.
It’s just another match.At least that’s been the message all week from Charleston Battery coach Ben Pirmann as the club prepares to face his former team, Memphis 901 FC, on Aug. 26 at Patriots Point.Pirmann spent five se...
It’s just another match.
Pirmann spent five seasons with Memphis 901 FC as an assistant or head coach. A year ago, Pirmann led Memphis 901 to a second-place finish in the USL’s Eastern Conference and earned USL Coach of the Year honors.
But that’s all in the past.
“I know most of the guys on their team, I signed most of them, so it’s always a little difficult to play against your old club,” Pirmann said. “I’ve done it before, so it’s not a huge deal for me. You expect it to happen when you play a high-level sport.”
Pirmann joined Memphis FC in 2018 as an assistant coach and was named the interim coach late in the 2020 season.
He quickly turned the club around, making Memphis playoff contenders. Pirmann guided Memphis to back-to-back postseason appearances, compiling a 37-22-14 mark.
During the 2021 season, Memphis finished with 68 points, earning 21 victories.
Pirmann isn’t the only member of the Charleston Battery with ties to Memphis. Assistant coach Devin Rensing, defender Derek Dodson, midfielder Chris Allan, and keeper Trey Muse will all be facing their former team on Saturday.
“I know most of the guys on their team,” Allan said. “I’ve got a lot of friends, but once we step between those white lines, I’ve got no friends over there for the next 90 minutes. It’s a big match and we’re here to get a result.”
Getting a result will be crucial for the Battery, which is in third place in the USL’s Eastern Conference. The Battery is five points ahead of Memphis in the conference with two games in hand. The top four teams in each conference will host a playoff match.
“It’s a six-point game,” Pirmann said. “If you win, you put that much more space between you and them and if you lose, they close the gap. There are eight matches left, so every match is huge at this point in the season.
“We’re focused on getting better each day. If we’re lucky enough to be one of those four seeds that gets a home match, great. Our goal is to be a hard-working team and make it really tough for Memphis to enjoy their time in Charleston.”
This is the second meeting with Memphis this year. The Battery fell in the first game, 3-2, on June 24, but the team described it as “one of our best performances of the year” afterward.
“We probably deserved a better result,” Allan said. “We made a couple of mistakes that ended up in the back of our net.”
It’s been a while since the Battery played a match in the Lowcountry. Charleston’s last home match was Aug. 4 against Oakland Roots SC.
“Every club has to play 34 matches and since we’re on a coast, we might have a little extra travel,” Pirmann said. “We can only control what we can control and that’s our attitude, our effort and our execution.”
You’re seeing The Post and Courier’s weekly real estate newsletter. Receive all the latest transactions and top development, building, and home and commercial sales news to your inbox each Saturday here.A new entertainment site and sports bar plans to open in September in ...
You’re seeing The Post and Courier’s weekly real estate newsletter. Receive all the latest transactions and top development, building, and home and commercial sales news to your inbox each Saturday here.
A new entertainment site and sports bar plans to open in September in Mount Pleasant.
Mix at 730 Coleman Blvd. recently received its certificate of occupancy and is in the final stages of staffing up, according to owner David Breen. The opening date has not been announced.
The venue includes duckpin bowling, a curling platform, ax-throwing cages, ping-pong, cornhole, indoor and outdoor bars and a private speakeasy.
The soul food dining venue closed in 2020, but the granddaughter of the late Martha Lou Gadsden plans to salvage art on the building. A two-story commercial building is slated for the property on Morrison Drive.
4,750: Square footage of new car wash planned next to a future Chick-fil-A in West Ashley.
4: Cost of movies in dollars at most theaters across the nation on Aug. 27 as part of National Cinema Day.
4,800: Square footage of planned restaurant next to car wash on site in West Ashley.
+ Better flow: Chick-fil-A wants to make changes at one of its Charleston-area restaurants.
+ Now open: A new wine shop that carries other items recently launched operations in Charleston.
+ Floating away: The owner of a man-made floating island that’s been moored in a tidal creek near Folly Beach has agreed to remove the structure, but he’s not conceding any wrongdoing.
Church & Union restaurant is located at 32 N. Market St. in downtown Charleston. The owner of the property, which includes neighboring restaurant Tempest and a corner candy store, plans to sell the buildings.
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A prominent corner property in downtown Charleston where visiting sailors once stayed and went to church is on the market.The century-plus-old buildings at North Market and East Bay streets that once housed the Harriott Pinckney Home for Seamen and the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer are listed for $15.5 million, according to p...
A prominent corner property in downtown Charleston where visiting sailors once stayed and went to church is on the market.
The century-plus-old buildings at North Market and East Bay streets that once housed the Harriott Pinckney Home for Seamen and the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer are listed for $15.5 million, according to property representative Buddy Bebergal of the commercial real estate firm Premier Properties.
The bottom floor of the corner structure where sailors stayed is now a candy shop, while the former chapel and what was once a courtyard are home to sister restaurants Tempest and Church & Union.
Property owner Bryon Burbage decided to market the holdings he inherited from his late father, Wilbur Burbage, because he believes the timing is right.
“It has some sentimental attachment for me, but it’s not as important to my children,” Burbage said. “It’s time to put it out there and see what we can get for it.”
The sailors’ home and chapel came about after Harriott Pinckney bequeathed land at the corner of Market and East Bay streets in the mid-1860s for a church building where visiting seamen could freely worship, according to the Charleston Port & Seafarers’ Society, a nonprofit ecumenical religious group with offices at Lowcountry port terminals.
It would take 50 years before the now-historic buildings were constructed and completed in 1916, according to the Historic Charleston Foundation.
The structures reflect the late-Gothic revival-style of the early 20th century, according to Charleston historian Robert Stockton.
The church and sailors’ home operated for nearly 50 years but fell out of use when seamen’s time in port changed from several days to less than 12 hours and docks were relocated farther from the worship site. The church was deconsecrated in 1964, and the religious symbols were removed from the stained glass shortly afterward.
In 1967, Wilbur Burbage, who previously worked as the front dining room manager at longtime lower peninsula restaurant Perdita’s (which became Carolina’s until it closed in 2014), opened The Market Place restaurant.
“He wanted to venture out on his own,” his son, Bryon, said.
By 1974, Wilbur Burbage had scraped together enough money to purchase the former church and seamen’s home. His son doesn’t remember what the elder Burbage paid for it, but it undoubtedly was a fraction of the current asking price.
The chapel served as the main dining room. Wilbur Burbage later added a second restaurant on the corner called Captain Anson’s Seafood Galley, but it was short-lived.
“It became too much to operate two restaurants,” Bryon Burbage said. “He preferred quality over quantity.”
The Market Place specialized in French cuisine with menu prices between $4.25 and $8.95, although the menu only hinted of the French influence, according to a 1974 story in Sandlapper Magazine.
“We prefer to prepare our foods in the French manner but consider it unnecessary to confuse American diners with French vocabulary,” Wilbur Burbage said at the time.
For several years after it opened, Esquire magazine annually placed The Market Place among the 40 restaurants in the nation with “extraordinary dedication to haute cuisine.”
At one point many years ago, the senior Burbage offered a high-end club where comedians and musicians performed in the former sailors’ home, according to his son.
The space between the former chapel and seamen’s home once was a courtyard behind a wrought-iron gate, but a new structure was added in the 1970s where Tempest now operates, according to Bryon Burbage.
The Market Place restaurant stayed in business until 1983. A series of other dining venues ensued, including Ferante’s, Catch 32 and Papillon’s, among others.
Savannah-based Charleston’s Candy Kitchen moved into the bottom floor of the former seamen’s home in 2001. Church & Union has been in the former chapel since 2014, and Tempest signed its lease in 2019, according to Burbage.
The Tempest space includes the floor above the candy shop, where the upstairs kitchen and a dining room are located.
A little-known fact about the 32 N. Market parcel is that a small space on the corner of Market and East Bay streets belongs to Burbage as well. It’s leased to a carriage company which rolls a cart into place almost every day to sell tickets to tourists looking for a horse-drawn ride through the city’s historic districts.
If the property is sold, Bryon Burbage pointed out the existing tenants will not be affected.
“They all have long-term leases,” he said.
Wars have lasted fewer years than American Legion Post 179′s effort to replace its termite-chewed West Ashley headquarters. Now with the finish line in sight, a bank has put the construction project in doubt.The new headquarters — a bar and commercial kitchen, really, with a small event rental space — is approaching completion on the site of the old Post 179 building on Ashley Hall Road.“That’s where our juke box is going to be,” said Post 179 Vice Commander Tom Lynes, pointing to a bundle of...
Wars have lasted fewer years than American Legion Post 179′s effort to replace its termite-chewed West Ashley headquarters. Now with the finish line in sight, a bank has put the construction project in doubt.
The new headquarters — a bar and commercial kitchen, really, with a small event rental space — is approaching completion on the site of the old Post 179 building on Ashley Hall Road.
“That’s where our juke box is going to be,” said Post 179 Vice Commander Tom Lynes, pointing to a bundle of wires hanging from a cutout in the drywall near the bar. He estimated the building is 90 percent finished.
The problem is, Post 179 has all but run out of money and First Citizens Bank & Trust has declared the group’s loan in default, partly due to “failure to adequately proceed with construction for the property securing the loan,” according to a letter from the bank shared by Commander John Coy.
“Nowhere within our contract indicates that we must finish the construction by a certain date and therefore they are coming up with some other untrue excuses in order to get hold of our property,” said Coy.
“They claim that the loan is in default because we have left the property in an unfinished state for an extended period of time,” he said, adding that is not the case. Work on the heat and air conditioning, electrical and handicap spaces have recently been completed.
“Members have been taken care of the property whenever we have not had any funds to keep the contractors working,” he said.
First Citizens spokeswoman Karen Stinneford said: “By law, we cannot comment on a customer’s account.”
The letter from a lawyer hired by the bank said the American Legion owed $288,768.95, plus interest and attorney fees, and the firm could take action “to collect on the debt and recover the collateral for the loan” if the alleged defaults were not fixed within 30 days. The letter was dated July 13.
Coy and Lynes said the post has never missed a payment, has no other debt and owns the property where the building is under construction.
“Even without the building, the land is plenty of collateral,” said Lynes, estimating the land is worth $1 million or more.
Work began in early 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic caused delays and a sharp escalation in prices for construction materials and labor.
“An eight-month project has turned into four years,” said Lynes.
Coy said the original budget was $600,000. So far, it has cost $737,000.
The post has attempted to solicit donations, so far without much success. A Gofundme appeal that began in January 2022 sought to raise $100,000. It has collected $3,815 so far.
Lynes said the post is talking to a different lender, seeking a loan large enough to pay off First Citizens, finish construction, and pay for supplies to stock the bar and kitchen. The post’s main source of income was selling food and drinks before the old building was demolished.
Members of the post have done a good deal of the interior work themselves, sometimes using donated or salvaged material such as counter tops and cabinets. The nonprofit group has about 400 members.
The post’s effort to construct a new building date back to at least 2008, when a dispute among members of the veterans’ group erupted over the fate of a more than 5-acre property on Mutual Drive. One faction wanted to build a new post building there, another wanted to sell it.
The infighting escalated to the point where a member in a leadership position was kicked out of the legion, at least one lawsuit was filed, and the post was threatened with potential loss of its charter.
When the dust settled, the property on Mutual Drive was sold, but Post 179 ended up with less than $300,000 from the sale. It’s now an 18-house subdivision.
PARRIS ISLAND — After 10 days of court proceedings, Marine Staff Sgt. Steven Smiley stood before a military judge and jury to hear the verdicts on multiple charges stemming from the June 2021 death of a recruit.
Pfc. Dalton Beals was, at the time of his death, under the command of Smiley, who was serving as a senior drill instructor at the Marine Corps Training Depot, Parris Island, in Beaufort County.
Smiley faced six charges, including negligent homicide, dereliction of duty resulting in a death and violation of a lawful general order.
Eight Marines empaneled for Smiley’s court-martial trial acquitted him on all charges related to Beals’ death. He was found guilty of one violation of a general order for calling the recruits under his command names that included “sweet bacon,” “pigs” and “war pigs.”
When the “not guilty” verdicts were announced late in the afternoon of July 28, Smiley appeared to weaken at the knees. He gripped the table in front of him to steady himself and seemed to struggle to maintain his composure. His family members seated in the gallery behind him wept.
Colby Vokey, a Dallas-based attorney who represented Smiley along with two military lawyers, said he was pleased with the outcome as he spoke with reporters at the conclusion of the trial.
“They came to the right decision,” Vokey said. “To accuse Staff Sgt. Smiley in the death of recruit Beals was ridiculous in the first place.”
Smiley could have been sentenced to confinement of up to two years, a reduction in rank to private, forfeiture of pay and a dishonorable discharge for violating a general order.
After a 30-minute deliberation, the panel sentenced him to reduction of one rank, to sergeant.
For Beals’ family, the verdicts brought no wave of relief. Stacie Beals, mother of Dalton Beals, said she was shocked and a little numb after the verdicts.
“Obviously it wasn’t the verdict that we wanted,” she said. “I think my son deserved better than that.”
Bar Tab is a recurring column in The Post and Courier Food section that highlights a locally made or sold adult beverage.The reason I love a wine tasting is because you get a wide variety in a limited time. It’s a rush for the palette.At the ...
The reason I love a wine tasting is because you get a wide variety in a limited time. It’s a rush for the palette.
At the Grand Bohemian Wine Bar at 55 Wentworth St., you can get a similar experience without your traditional guided tasting package, though you still have a knowledgeable staff at hand.
That’s because the wine bar offers lesser-ounce pours for many of its wines, allowing you to mix and match a variety of bottles to create your own wine tasting of sorts. It’s similar to the concept at The Whale: A Craft Beer Collective, which also offers smaller-sized pours to those who prefer to try before they buy in bulk, or for the craft beer curious who want to sample a variety pack on-site in an achievable manner.
But it’s rare to find this method in the wine world, where usually restaurants are pushing the bottle over the glass. At Grand Bohemian, you can experience the opposite, which for the thrifty or the lightweight is a clutch offer. It’s a low barrier to entry and low-pressure scenario.
In addition to the downstairs wine bar with an outdoor patio that often boasts live music, the upstairs rooftop bar, restaurant and lounge Élevé also offers a unique picturesque aesthetic. Plus, the attached hotel features a superb art gallery that often supports and displays local talent.
So your wine not only comes as a sampler, but the setting itself offers a sampler of ambiances.
You can sit outside for the bustling city noise and acoustic tunes, meander over to stroll the compelling art gallery, sit inside the den-reminiscent downstairs wine bar or take the elevator up to the rooftop for cityscape views.
You can always upgrade to a glass or bottle if you find something you really like. But at least you know first!
The storm surge from Hurricane Hugo in 1989 marked the Charleston area’s most significant flooding event in recent memory — a natural disaster compounded by significant damage from 135 mph winds — but it’s important to recall that it was a series of lesser storms that struck Charleston and other coastal communities between 2015 and 2017 that thrust flooding to the No. 1 position on the city’s agenda.It’s also important to recall the repetitive, damaging nature of those storms because they’re i...
The storm surge from Hurricane Hugo in 1989 marked the Charleston area’s most significant flooding event in recent memory — a natural disaster compounded by significant damage from 135 mph winds — but it’s important to recall that it was a series of lesser storms that struck Charleston and other coastal communities between 2015 and 2017 that thrust flooding to the No. 1 position on the city’s agenda.
It’s also important to recall the repetitive, damaging nature of those storms because they’re in fact more indicative of the risk in future decades — a risk that the city must actively prepare for if it hopes to survive in anything like its current form.
Yes, Charleston always has faced and always will face the potential for destruction from major hurricanes, a threat that returns at this time of year, as summer exits and fall arrives. But singular, once-a-generation disasters are in some ways less threatening than several or even dozens of damaging floods every few years. It’s one thing to recover from a major storm, but quite another to suffer yet another flood before people have recovered from the last one.
But given sea level rise and climate change, that increased threat is Charleston’s future, one its leaders soon must meet with a multimillion-dollar payout.
This was made clear last week when Chief Resiliency Officer Dale Morris briefed City Council on the status of work with the Army Corps of Engineers to build a protective barrier around the peninsula.
Mr. Morris told council that sea levels are projected to rise in the next 30 years as much as they have in the past 100, and that will increase the likelihood of significant flooding from any mix of tropical storms, extreme tides and heavy rain; we can expect that on average the water will be 14 inches higher by 2050. Floods of the sort that have occurred a few times in the past decade might occur more than a dozen times a year by 2050. “This is nuisance flooding, but if it occurs over and over and over again, the Charleston peninsula becomes unmanageable, possibly unsustainable,” he said. “This is baked in. This is coming at us. This becomes unsustainable if we do nothing.”
We urge Mayor John Tecklenburg to work quickly to take the next step, finalizing a design contract with the Corps of Engineers for preliminary engineering and design on the first phase of this work, which would extend the Low Battery around the Coast Guard Station and along Lockwood Drive toward The Citadel. And we urge City Council to approve that contract and allocate the $3.25 million, the first of two such payments toward the city’s share of the $19 million first phase of design.
This will be just the next step in a long journey, and it remains to be seen whether the peninsula barrier along Lockwood is popular enough that the city will then want to proceed to constructing it, but we are hopeful it will be. Just like the current work to raise the Low Battery has proven popular, partly because it’s more than flood protection — it’s also a great place to run, walk or fish.
And the city needs to find about $400,000 next year to fund its share of a joint study with the Corps of Engineers on rainfall and tidal flooding across the city — research that eventually could lead to the Corps picking up 65% of the construction costs for projects to address those problems (the same percentage it plans to cover for the peninsula’s protection). It’s vital that as city leaders work to protect the peninsula, they work equally hard to protect vulnerable suburban areas, especially by trying to harness as many outside dollars as possible.
We haven’t heard much about the peninsula perimeter project for many months, but that will change soon, as City Council considers its 2024 budget, which should include money for both the share of the first phase of perimeter design and the suburban flood study. City Council wisely backed away this summer from the ill-defined, ill-considered idea to hold a referendum on the proposed sea wall, but its support for moving forward must remain firm.
When the time comes, council members should recall how Mr. Morris ended his presentation: “I know I’ve given you a lot of information, and it isn’t happy information. I apologize for that, but that’s what’s coming at us. The risks are here. They’re real, and they’re growing.”
Charleston’s very future will hinge on our ability to make steady, incremental yet significant progress toward preparing for and adapting to those risks.
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