The Late Project Pascalis

posted in: Project Pascalis | 0

September 29th, the Aiken Municipal Development Commission voted to cancel Project Pascalis. Along with specifically ending the project, they cancelled existing developer contracts and Redevelopment Plan One. This outcome is a long time coming and is due in large part to the lawsuit of which that HAF was part and which was launched by two HAF board members.

This is not the end of redevelopment downtown, but rather a reset, an opportunity to bring to bear many of the ideas presented in the Wednesday workshop on how to use historic preservation to achieve development goals. We are optimistic that this is a true reset with new goals using a process that follows the city’s ordinances and guidelines. Of note, Mayor Osbon conveyed to me that construction on Newberry Street is now off the table.

This was a team effort that involved HAF, the other plaintiffs of the lawsuit, and the citizens of the community who raised their voices. Many thanks to everyone – you all can feel proud. But the work is not done. In fact, now the real work begins, finding solutions for downtown that preserve Aiken’s most valuable assets while allowing for appropriate development of a scale and style that retains Aiken’s charm.

At this time, the lawsuit is still active as we evaluate the impact of the AMDC’s vote. I will keep you posted.