With the start of the new year, The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette today will preview some of the biggest local issues expected to impact the lives of residents, workers, business owners and tourists in Beaufort County and surrounding areas. Following is one of 17 issues to watch in 2017:
A plan to redevelop the failing Hilton Head National Golf Club in greater Bluffton has the potential to transform a large swath of southern Beaufort County.
Residents of nearby neighborhoods and some county leaders have been critical of early plans for the project, which include the possibility of 400,000 square feet of new retail space, 500 hotel rooms, 300 apartments, 200 single-family homes, 400 assisted-living units, a 100,000-square-foot convention center, and a 1,500-seat performing arts center on a 300-acre property in the shadow of the newly finished Bluffton Parkway flyover.
The massive project would require millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements, including a new public school, a fire and police substation, and major expansions to the transportation network, officials say.
The Beaufort County Council will consider a zoning change this month that would pave the way for the project. The developer will likely bring specific design and construction plans before county staff and elected officials by summertime. If approved, the development is expected to be built out by 2030.