UPDATE: The Hull Property Group, the company that owns the Charleston Town Center Mall, says they support the proposed Capital Sports Center.
In a statement, the company said, “Hull Property Group, LLC, manages the Charleston Town Center Mall, and its owner, Jim Hull, strongly supports the efforts of Charleston and Kanawha County to create a state-of-the-art regional sports complex in Charleston. This significant investment will amplify the future successes of Charleston, its citizens, and property owners. In addition, we now have the opportunity to use this proposed sports complex to complement and spur a reimaged community core from the state capitol complex to the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.”
CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Plans to breathe new life into the former Macy’s at the Charleston Town Center Mall were announced Wednesday.
The nearly 255,000 square-foot indoor sports complex, which would include an Olympic size swimming pool, is a joint venture by the city of Charleston and Kanawha County.
In addition to the ten-lane 50M competition pool with room for 300 spectators, the facility would also include a rock-climbing wall, a 30,000 square foot exercise area, rentable party rooms, and a gymnasium with six basketball courts, 12 volleyball courts, and a four-lane elevated walking/running track. An indoor turf field, eight pickleball courts, a wrestling gym with two mats, a retail store, and administrative offices will also be housed in the new development.
“This will significantly impact our local athletes and our local families, but monumentally it will make us the place for sports tourism on the east coast,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin.
Mayor Goodwin said the idea started with a study conducted by the “Huddle Up Group” for the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau. She said the study showed sports tourism was a 15 billion dollar industry in 2019, and now it’s up to 40 billion dollars in 2022.
“It’s not slowing down and what the report showed us was one thing that we can never change about Charleston is our location. We are in the perfect location to build a facility of this size,” Mayor Goodwin said.
According to renderings from ZMM Architects, the former Macy’s building and adjacent parking garage would undergo major demolition and renovations.
You can see the renderings of the proposed Capital Sports Center here:
According to the renderings, the parking deck over Lee Street would be demolished along with the upper three floors of the Lee Street parking garage. In place of the three floors, there are plans to put a two-story building on top of the existing parking structure.
Plans also say that a pedestrian bridge would connect the Washington street garage to the new sports center gym lobby. The western half of the former Macy’s building would be demolished to make room for the new aquatic center.
The proposal comes as community leaders are revealing the results of a sports tourism study by a national organization called ‘Huddle Up Group’ commissioned by the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau. The proposed location is directly across the street from the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.
The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority, also known as CURA, owns the Macy’s building. CURA works to redevelop properties within the city limits.
Macy’s closed its doors at the Charleston Town Center on April 20, 2019.
Wednesday’s proposed project, county and city leaders say, has a price tag of $80m and would be a public, private partnership.
Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango said the remaining cost not covered by partnerships will be split between the city and county to pay.
Salango also estimates the project to break ground in about six to nine months, and then construction will take anywhere from two to two and a half years.