Northern Beaufort County visitors could soon have a unique place to stay and a small town could get a boost if a hotel project unfolds as planned.
Developers envision a small hotel, shops and cottages on Paris Avenue in Port Royal. The additional rooms and new business could transform a key entryway to the town, the developers and town officials say.
“We’re thinking (a) shuttle down to the beach, bicycles and really trying to build that (area),” said Ben Taylor, part of a development group with wife Christine and David Black.
The vacant lot at Paris Avenue and West Paris Avenue includes a small town park known as Anchor Park fronting the road. The developers sought permission to incorporate the park because of how far the hotel and storefronts would have been set back from the road otherwise.
The town approved the agreement to include the park Wednesday.
The development could include 50 to 60 rooms, a courtyard with a pool, parking, a retail building with upper floor apartments and several small cottages, according to the developers and conceptual plans submitted to the town.
Taylor said the group hopes to complete the project in 2020, ahead of much of the anticipated redevelopment of the Port of Port Royal.
With a boutique-style hotel, the developers think they can capture visitors in town for Marine Corps graduations at Parris Island who might have otherwise opted for a short-term rental or larger chain hotel in Beaufort or off the interstate.
“It’s amazing what’s not here already,” Christine Taylor said.
New hotels are going up in Beaufort at the corner of Trask Parkway and Parris Island Gateway, and another Beaufort hotel on Boundary Street will be demolished and replaced with a Marriott property. A downtown hotel has been proposed.
The recent overnight rooms activity hasn’t yet included Port Royal, where families come from all over the eastern United States come to watch new Marines graduate bootcamp. A hotel is planned as part of the port development but could be years away.
The new development would help drive traffic on Paris Avenue, the main street of the town’s old village which includes restaurants and other small businesses.
“Port Royal is set up to see growth,” said Robb Wells, tourism director for the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce. “... It will have an impact on Paris Avenue, and a good impact.”