Plans to renovate the former Piggly Wiggly grocery store in downtown Beaufort are moving forward again, but with less renovation and more demolition.
The Historic District Design Review Board approved a scaled-back plan this week.
Minor demolition was previously approved, but new plans call for removal of about 40 percent of the building, in the rear. The building and lot are owned by Beaufort Inn, an arm of developer 303 Associates.
The changes will leave room in case a parking garage is ever built on the block, said Courtney Worrell of 303 Associates.
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The city's Civic Master Plan identifies the location as ideal for a parking structure, and officials have been exploring options. A parking-garage developer has drawn up conceptual designs, but that project is in a holding pattern for lack of financing.
Worrell said 303 Associates doesn't want to renovate the rear of the building -- which is built mostly for loading and storage -- only to have to demolish it to accommodate parking later.
Dick Stewart, principle of 303 Associates, said work should begin in about two months and be completed in time for the spring wedding season.
The plan is to turn the building into an event space for groups ranging from 25 to 300 people. It will also include a landscaped courtyard outside.
Worrell said another important change has happened.
"It's now Tabby Place We're trying to re-brand it. No future bride wants to have her wedding in the old Piggly Wiggly," she said.
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- Trask parking lot sale closes; 303 Associates moves ahead with renovation, development plans, Dec. 18, 2013