80-room hotel proposed for downtown Beaufort

emoody@beaufortgazette.comAugust 3, 2013 

Plans are in the works to build a five-story, 80-room hotel in downtown Beaufort on a block where a former Piggly Wiggly grocery store now stands and the city's master plan calls for a parking garage.

HD Construction and HD Companies submitted plans to the city's Historic District Review Board, which is expected to discuss them Aug. 14.

According to the application, the hotel would be at 913 Port Republic St., where the former food store is. It's not clear what would happen to the vacant store.

The first floor would include commercial space, an art gallery and the hotel lobby. Another lobby would be included on the second floor, a fitness center on the third and a patio on the fourth. The fifth floor also would also have a roof patio, along with meeting space and a bar and restaurant.

The building would stand 55 feet high, according to the plans, the maximum height allowed in the historic district. The fourth and fifth floors, however, would be recessed from the front of the building to minimize the building's presence on the street. Only the first three floors would face Port Republic Street, according to drawings.

The hotel would have 103 parking spaces, including valet parking, all situated on the block. Nippy's restaurant, BB&T Bank and a house would remain on the block.

All property but the house is owned by the estates of Flora Trask and Martha Tucker. Heirs have aggressively marketed the holdings to developers, according to Flora Trask's grandson, John Trask III. It recently was listed at $3.4 million.

John Trask said the plan "is in the embryonic and exploratory stages" and would not comment on the status of any proposed sale of the property. Trask also would not name the developer but said "the developer is young, local, energetic and a visionary."

The only person listed on the application is architect Thomas Michaels, who is the building's designer, according to Jon Verity, the city's Redevelopment Commission chairman. Verity said he does not know who the developer is.

Attempts Friday to reach Michaels and the companies listed on the city application for comment were unsuccessful.

The commission wants to discuss construction of a parking garage with Michaels and the developer, Verity said.

"We're a long ways away from figuring out how that would work," he added.

The city also is exploring redevelopment of the nearby Beaufort Downtown Marina and its surrounding parking lot. However, several city officials, including Mayor Billy Keyserling, have said they would not approve construction there unless more parking could be created elsewhere.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

Related content:

Marina plans fuel discussions of parking possibilities, March 1, 2013

Redevelopment Commission considers land swap property with Baptist Church of Beaufort, Aug. 1, 2013

Beaufort downtown visionaries aren't going to worry about cost -- yet, April 1, 2011

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