Hilton Head Island could start welcoming its first guests to a five-star resort on its proposed second island no earlier than 2018, developers said.
The Town Council voted to accept a petition for annexing the 347-acre Bay Point Island during a meeting Tuesday.
A five-star resort by Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas out of Bangkok, Thailand, is planned for the location.
Terry Finger, attorney for Bay Point LLC, said it could take about a year just to get through the regulatory process.
The process includes public meetings still to be conducted by the Town of Hilton Head Island regarding the annexation.
Steve Riley, town manager, said Tuesday that several public hearings would be needed to zone the property. More hearings would be needed before approval of a development agreement.
The development agreement would outline expectations of each party — the town and Bay Point Island. This is expected to include details about who will be responsible for maintaining water and sewer on the island.
Finger said the development would need state and federal permitting approvals as well.
“Local is probably pretty quick,” Finger said. “State a little slower and federal very slow.”
It could take another year of construction following approval, Finger said.
“It could probably be about two years before we would see our first guest,” Finger said.
Amber Beard, Six Senses vice president of sustainability, said the construction process for the company’s resorts starts with environmental assessments.
“We look at local sensitivity,” Beard said. This includes flora, fauna and water flow, she said.
Six Senses was established in 1995 and currently operates resorts in China, Maldives, Oman, Portugal, Seychelles, Thailand and Vietnam.
The project could bring the town up to $1.5 million annually if a Six Senses resort is developed, according to officials.
Officials also have said annexing the island would cause little to no cost to the town because Six Senses would build and maintain its own infrastructure.