The first planned tenant of a vacant building under renovation in the Coligny area has finally been revealed — and it will please music lovers.
The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, which is currently housed at 2 Park Lane, will be taking over the first floor of the building at 7 Lagoon Road, according to a release from the HHSO.
The nearly 12,000-square-foot building is located across from Coligny Plaza and next to It’s Greek to Me restaurant. Previously, the building housed a police substation and before that, a pharmacy, a town official said previously.
In August, plans to renovate the building were brought forward to the town, though specifics about its intended use or tenants were not released then.
“This is a pretty amazing event,” said Sarah Bergin, director of marketing and public relations for the HHSO, when contacted Monday. “It’s being received very well, not only by our supporters, but the community at large. We’re very thrilled this many people are interested. This is something we kind of dreamed about but never thought we’d have the opportunity.”
The HHSO plans to open the new space in early summer of 2018, according to the release. The building will house offices and serve as a rehearsal space and a performance venue for smaller events. The orchestra will continue to hold concerts at the First Presbyterian Church on William Hilton Parkway, the release said.
Mary Briggs, president and CEO of the HHSO, said Monday the slightly more than 7,000-square-foot first floor is currently a “big, gutted open space,” but will be divided into offices, a conference room, a kitchen, a storage room and a performance space.
The performance space, which is expected to be about 4,000 square feet, will be “flexible,” to accommodate a variety of shows, Briggs said.
Bergin said the HHSO plans to offer the space to other arts and theater groups to “give them more opportunity to perform with us.” The space will be “built to hold intimate events, such as recitals, chamber music, small interactive concerts, intimate theater productions, (and) children and family programming,” according to the release.
Town application documents show the approximately 4,000-square-foot upper floor would have nine “short and long-term” housing units between 305 and 335 square feet each. Those documents did not specify the use of the first floor, other than it would house a “world class arts facility.”
There was more confusion surrounding the project in late August when a Coligny representative told a reporter from The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette after a meeting of the town’s Design Review Board that there was no housing or arts facility planned for the building, despite those uses being listed in application documents.
Bergin said the HHSO signed a lease for the first floor of the building about two weeks ago, though discussions have been taking place over four to five months. She said it’s her understanding that the second floor will consist of apartments, as previously stated in town documents.
Currently, there are 65 people in the orchestra, and about 18 concerts are performed each year, Bergin said.