Housing agencies, Beaufort to collaborate on building, rehabilitation projects

emoody@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 7, 2013 

A preliminary rendering, presented in November, of the Lafayette Street housing project.

  • In other business, the Beaufort Redevelopment Commission:

  • Heard an update on Beaufort's proposed form-based code.

  • Heard concerns from Historic Beaufort Foundation interim director Maxine Lutz about the possible demolition of a building owned by SCE&G on Depot Road. The demolition will be discussed by the Historic Review Board at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

  • Discussed the progress of developing the Beaufort Downtown Marina. The commission is soliciting letters of interest from developers with ideas about what to do with the property, which has been referred to as one of the most valuable waterfront lots in the city.

  • Confirmed Feb. 19 as the date for its annual retreat. A time and place have not been announced.

The city of Beaufort's Redevelopment Commission is working with local housing agencies and building organizations to identify opportunities for new construction and growth.

The groups include the Historic Beaufort Foundation, Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity, the Lowcountry Housing Trust and the Beaufort Housing Authority.

Commission vice chairman Mike McNally said at the panel's meeting Thursday night that the groups are working on a two-pronged plan. The first involves finding ways to collaborate and assist one another.

The second would identify mutually beneficial projects by mapping each member's planned work and finding geographical areas where several opportunities or vacant lots exist.

"We're trying to find a cluster of these that are together that once completed would have more of an impact than individual projects," McNally said.

The idea of increased cooperation among the organizations was discussed at last month's commission meeting.

"We have so many people doing so many things, and they're all related to each other, but none of them are connected," commission member Wendy Zara said.

She also said the discussions give representatives from all the groups the opportunity to learn from each other's experiences building and renovating in the area.

The discussions closely follow a commission decision earlier this year to merge the separate finance and housing subcommittees since both bodies had many of the same members and dealt with the same issues.

Related content

  1. Beaufort's Lafayette Street housing plan advances, includes park, Dec. 1, 2012
  2. City of Beaufort moves forward on development projects, Nov. 13, 2012

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