Developers interested in building on the Beaufort Downtown Marina parking lot have until June 14 to submit letters of interest to the city's Redevelopment Commission.
The commission has posted information about the project to the city website, cityofbeaufort.org, and will distribute it to local, regional and national developers.
City Council this past fall approved plans for a watersports center at the parking lot, adding it to the Civic Master Plan after much discussion.
"Studies show that developing the site can potentially deliver above-average economic returns to the city," Mayor Billy Keyserling said in a news release Friday. "We hope that any new businesses will create good-paying jobs. Both of these are important to the continued growth and success of our wonderful town."
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The letter asks for ideas about what else might be done on the 4-acre site.
"Recommended uses for the site include retail, residential and hospitality, as well as recreational and tourism related activities such as a paddle sports/rowing craft storage and rental and operational functions of the marina," it reads.
A first draft was reworked in early April after commissioners and residents, including commissioner Wendy Zara, expressed concern about renderings in the information packet for developers that they said did not accurately reflected what the city was looking for. Zara also was upset the letter indicated Freedom Mall, given to the city by the Beaufort County Land Trust on the condition that it remain open space, could be developed.
The renderings and the reference to Freedom Mall have been removed.
The commission will review responses from developers and decide which ones to invite to Beaufort for continued discussions.
"Everything we do will follow the normal processes for development review, Historic Review Board oversight, permitting, and so on," commission chairman Jon Verity said. "We anticipate a great deal of public interest and public involvement in this process. We believe this project will be an exciting addition to our downtown."