The planned Low Line linear park will eventually stretch two miles down the spine of the Charleston peninsula from Mount Pleasant Street to Marion Square. The Friends of the Lowcountry Low Line is working closely with the City of Charleston to purchase the unused railway from Norfolk Southern upon which the park will be constructed.
“The Low Line is expected to be one of the most important civic spaces created in our city in the 21st century,” said Mike Messner, treasurer of the non-profit, “and an economic impact study we are recently released makes it clear the initiative will also be a major job producer and boon to the economy.”
HR&A Advisors, Inc., an economic development consulting firm specializing in the planning and implementation of open spaces, analyzed local economic and job creation impacts of the planned Low Line. HR&A projects the following direct and indirect economic impacts to the City of Charleston’s economy over the next 20 years as a result of the development of the Low Line, on-site development parcels, off-site development and tourism.
- Jobs: 9,090 construction jobs and 4,620 permanent jobs
- Labor Income: $350 million in total construction wages and $243 million in annual permanent job wages
- Economic Output (spending): $1.1 billion in total economic output resulting from construction spending and $467 million in annual economic spending resulting from operations spending
- Over the next 20 years, the development of the Low Line can result in $4.8 billion total economic output, including $90 million of total additional tourism spending, to the Charleston economy.
“It’s rare to find something that will improve the quality of life in our city on so many levels, including beautiful park space, improved mobility, new jobs and a significant boost to our economy,” said Mayor John Tecklenburg. “We look forward to working with the Friends of the Low Line to make this outstanding project a permanent part of the Charleston cityscape.”