Beaufort Redevelopment Commission mapping out plan for 2013, beyond

emoody@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 20, 2013 

Members of Beaufort's Redevelopment Commission are reviewing maps, financial reports and a long list of projects this week to hammer out what they want to accomplish this year and in the future.

They met from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and are continuing with a joint meeting with City Council from noon to 5 p.m. today.

City Council will continue its retreat from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday. All meetings are open to the public and are at the Dolphin Room at Best Western Plus Sea Island Inn, 1015 Bay St.

Today's agenda includes discussion on communicating with residents and establishing a calendar and group assignments for outreach.

On Tuesday, commission members received reports on the civic master plan and revenues/expenses for the downtown district and Pigeon Point area called Sector 1.

Chairman Jon Verity said there is an increased need for cooperation and coordination with private businesses.

"I think we're realizing the private/public infrastructure projects are key because we don't have to the money to spend ourselves," he said.

Commission members also discussed Tuesday hiring a full-time staff member, possibly supported by a part-time assistant. Their ideal candidate would be experienced with marketing, commercial and residential real estate, and finance and legal issues, as well as sensitive to community concerns.

Among the initiatives identified Tuesday by the commission are:

  • Housing: Help coordinate and develop opportunities for new construction and renovation with local and regional building non-profits and organizations. Committee members: Keith Waldrop, Henrietta Goode, Wendy Zara, Mike McFee
  • Retirement: Explore opportunities for housing to attract retirees. Committee member: Verity.
  • West End: Develop and encourage projects such as the Beaufort Downtown Marina for the day dock expansion, downtown parking garage, and on Port Republic Street. Committee member: Alan Dechovitz.
  • Boundary Street: Coordinate economic opportunities along the area being redeveloped between Robert Smalls Parkway and Ribaut Road. Committee member: Verity.
  • "Baby Boundary" and University of South Carolina Beaufort: Coordinate opportunities along the rest of Boundary Street and down Carteret Street, including coordination with USCB plans. Committee member: Martin Goodman.
  • Bladen Street Extension: Continue streetscape improvements, specifically with realigning the North Street intersection and proposed plaza. Committee member: Mike McNally

Check back with The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet for details from today's meeting, and follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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