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Renovations to begin soon on historic Mulligan Grayson House

emoody@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 28, 2014 

John Trask III of Beaufort stands in front of the Mulligan Grayson House on King Street in Beaufort on the afternoon of Feb. 27, 2014, that he plans to fix and stabilize so that it can be sold.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Staff photo Buy Photo

  • In other business

    • The discount parking program through Main Street Beaufort, USA, for downtown Beaufort employees using the Port Republic Square lot remains in effect, director LaNelle Fabian said.

      An orange notice in the lot telling people to get new parking cards from 303 Associates stirred concern by users that the program was over. Beaufort Inn, a subsidiary of 303 Associates, bought the lot in December.

      That sign only refers to the customers who pay for monthly parking in the front of the lot, Fabian said. Downtown employees can still purchase all-day parking tokens for $2, which is a $3 discount, she said.
    • Friday was the final day for the Beaufort Piggly Wiggly at 1900 Boundary St. The grocery store has been in the city for about 40 years in various locations. The closing was announced at the beginning of February because of the store's financial performance.

      City manager Scott Dadson and Mayor Billy Keyserling said that despite rumors that the building would be demolished, the city is not aware of immediate plans for the property.

      Although a traffic circle is shown in master plans at the intersection of Boundary Street and Ribaut Road, city officials say they intend to keep it a T-intersection. Piggly Wiggly and other buildings will not be demolished for a roundabout, Dadson said.

      A corporate spokesman has said there are no immediate plans to close the Port Royal Piggly Wiggly.

After years of proposals and applications for renovations or demolition, there's finally a plan for the Mulligan Grayson House.

Realtor John Trask, who bought the house at 811 King St. on Thursday, intends to first stabilize and then sell it to be renovated for a single-family home. He bought it from Steve Tully, who has a deal with the city of Beaufort and The Baptist Church of Beaufort that will result in the renovation of the house and the construction of three others.

The deal was made possible through a land swap between the church, which owned 811 King St., and the city. In exchange, the city gave the church 707 and 709 Prince St., which the church plans to use for parking, according to city officials.

Preservationists have fought to save the house for years.

According to the Historic Beaufort Foundation, it was built between 1875 and 1880. It's listed as a contributing resource in the National Historic Landmark District in downtown Beaufort by the National Park Service.

The house is significant because it is one of few remaining small homes built by black artisans after Emancipation, foundation executive director Maxine Lutz said.

The Baptist Church of Beaufort bought it in 2005 for about $230,000, according to church representatives.

Residents can expect work to begin quickly. The house has been gutted, and construction has been permitted, Trask said, so stabilization of the foundation could begin Saturday. He intends to sell it after it is stabilized, similar to the way the Historic Beaufort Foundation stabilized the David Schein Store at 702 Bladen St. last year and sold it to Amy and Gerry Healy for final renovations. The Healys will sell that property to prospective residents.

The city's Redevelopment Commission worked with the church on the land swap, which was approved by City Council in November.

Both 811 King St. and a neighboring lot, which is part of the deal, will be combined and redivided into four properties. Tully intends to get started quickly on construction of the three new homes. Tully said the homes will fit in with the surrounding Old Commons neighborhood.

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