Hilton Head’s south end may get a new hotel. Here’s why the plans depend on FEMA

A 115-room hotel is in the works for Hilton Head Island near the Panera Bread between U.S. 278 and Dunnagan’s Alley, according to pre-application materials filed with the Town of Hilton Head Island.

The brand of the hotel is not named in the project application, but the development would take the place of the former GrayCo Hardware store and Golf Headquarters.

“Hilton Head Island has long welcomed visitors from across the country and globe to its clean sandy beaches, outdoor recreation pursuits, and significant historical sites,” the application says. “Providing accommodation options for these varied visitors has been an important branch in the economic tree of the island.”

But the plans are dependent on federal flood maps that have the potential to change the development elevations, said Judd Carstens, the applicant and representative of Witmer, Jones and Keefer landscape architecture and land planning firm.

“The building height is based on that,” he said. “The whole county is waiting to hear (on the flood maps).”

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The plan for a site off U.S. 278 on Hilton Head Island near Panera Bread for a 115-room hotel. Town of Hilton Head Island pre-application materials submitted

Flood maps, which Carstens said should be approved this year, could mandate the 45-foot hotel to be built above flood level instead of ground level, which would require a different level of flood-proofing for the schedule.

Because the map isn’t approved yet, Carstens said there isn’t a concrete timeline for the project.

“The town can’t issue building permits on the new maps until they’re adopted,” he said.

The development would be between the Panera Bread and Dairy Queen restaurants on the island’s south end, and would also include a commercial outbuilding to be used by another business, according to the plans.

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Town of Hilton Head Island pre-application materials submitted

What’s next?

The developer has not closed on the property yet, so Carstens said although the plans were well-received by the staff at Monday’s pre-application meeting, the timeline is still dependent on FEMA’s flood maps.

Once those details are squared away, Carstens said the development will be subject to a design review board meeting.

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