A vibrant hub of civic, intellectual and artistic activity, the new Gaillard Performance Hall will remain easily accessible, pedestrian-friendly, and well-located near other educational, cultural and performance venues within our city.

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The Project > Project Facts

A Transformative Hall.

A symbol of amibition for Charleston's prosperity, cultural growth, and civic pride.

While Charleston offers a diverse and magnificent palette of performance venues woven throughout the city's bustling traffic and streets, Charleston lacks a perfectly sized concert hall with stellar acoustics to attract and accommodate the finest productions of orchestral music, opera, dance, and musical theater that will thrill arts patrons and sustain the artistic standards of our city, set and maintained over the past many decades.

In supporting the new Gaillard Center, let's remember the contributions that each generation is called to make to sustain and renew the legacy of a city. The Cistern, the Dock Street Theatre, the South Carolina Aquarium, and the Gaillard itself - each in its time was our fellow citizens' contribution to the cultural life and the economic wealth of our city, testament to the vision and spirit of a citizenry. We have the opportunity to continue to preserve that tradition by building a new Gaillard Center and renewing the artistic and cultural promise of Charleston. Please join us.


It is more economical and sustainable to renovate than demolish and build a new facility.

Project Facts

By the Numbers

Construction to begin September 2012; opening in 2015

New performance hall seating: 1,800 (reduced from 2,700)

Approximately 16,000 square feet of meeting, exhibition, and convention space (increased from 11,000); 7,300 square feet of directly accessible outdoor terrace lawn space. Standing reception capacity, 2,000; seated banquet capacity, 1,700 (combined indoor and outdoor)

Fully ADA-compliant, friendly to the elderly and the disabled, with expanded aisle and seating space, greater ease of access, adequate restrooms and elevators

LEED-certified building

Cost of project: $142 million (Construction Manager at Risk - Guaranteed Maximum Price)

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Funding sources: Private contributions: $71 million; City of Charleston: $71 million:
New Market Tax Credits and accommodations and hospitality tax, $20 million; Tax Increment Financing district revenues, $32 million; General obligation bonds, $19 million

City offices at Gaillard Center: business permits, revenue collections, planning, zoning, and building inspections; catastrophe-safe storage of city archives, records, and information technology equipment; a new permanent city emergency operations center

Estimated yearly economic impact of Gaillard Center on Charleston: $39 million ($62 million during construction

400 permanent jobs; 1,000 jobs during construction

Estimated yearly revenues from rental of new meeting and convention space: $500,000

Estimated long-term savings in Charleston city office lease expenditure: $1 million annually

Architect: David M. Schwarz Architects of Washington, DC; acoustics by Akustiks; theater consultants, Fisher Dachs Associates.

Ways To Support

The current Gaillard site is owned by the city,
reducing site costs.

Project Costs

Project Costs and Funding

The total budget for the new Gaillard Center is $142 million, which includes design, construction, and equipping/furnishing of the performance hall, exhibition space, and city offices. Work cannot exceed budget thanks to a Construction Manager at Risk with Guaranteed Maximum Price approach.

The Gaillard Center Performance Hall Foundation is responsible for raising the private funds. It has agreed to secure private funds of up to a maximum of $71 million in total.

The City of Charleston's $71 million will be funded as follows: $20 million in accommodations and hospitality taxes and New Market Tax Credits; $32 million in revenues from a Tax Increment Financing district; and $19 million in general obligation bonds.

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Accommodations taxes are used for projects and costs that are related to tourism and hospitality. New Market Tax Credits and revenues from Tax Increment Financing districts can only be used for projects such as this, not to fund general services. The Tax Increment Financing district through which the Gaillard renovation is funded was created specifically for that purpose and, concomitantly, to fund the ongoing city drainage project.

The Gaillard building and surrounding grounds are owned by the city of Charleston. The unique private-public partnership established to realize a new Gaillard Center enable the city to accomplish an urgently needed renovation project, to generate more revenue for the city, and to save taxpayers money through the consolidation of city offices. Currently the city loses money operating the exhibition hall and fails to realize the potential revenues from the performance hall.

The Gaillard Center project does not take money from the school districts or from the city's arts organizations.

Ways To Support

The History

Of Charleston Arts

In 1736, Charleston gave birth to the country's first theater and later, to the first opera performance. More than 275 years later, our love of the arts flourishes.

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Gaillard Center Plans

Get acquainted with the architectural
plans, renderings, and models of
the new Gaillard Center.
And just imagine.

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Your Support

Public/Private Funding

Construction of important civic spaces
is a communal investment and requires community commitment, vision, and
a spirit of endeavor.

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