North Charleston negotiates new home for art center

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - A Lowcountry city's rail settlement with the state is forcing the city's cultural arts center to move, but it could be a good thing for local artists.

The city of North Charleston is in negotiations to purchase the old text mill building located at O'Hear Avenue and Graco Street from The Beach Company. North Charleston City Council member Bob King can envision the city's future cultural arts center.

"The location is terrific for us. It's right in the heart of North Charleston and we think it will be an asset," he said.

Director of Cultural Arts for the city, Marty Besancon, says about 200,000 people a year use the venues at the old Naval Base. Besancon says the building is a blank slate that could prosper the arts.

"We think with this other location there would be a lot more room to grow," she said.

Besancon said a new building could provide space for lofts for artists, something they weren't able to offer at the base.

"We have been approached by artists over the years that would like to see a live work space," she said. "The possibility of having live workspace provides another level of assuring that the arts are a part of the fabric of life."

Once negotiations are finalized, it will go before the finance committee and then to council for a vote.