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6-story hotel with Hilton Head’s first rooftop bar + pool coming to the south end

A rendering of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, which is being built at 81 Pope Avenue in Hilton Head’s Heritage Plaza. The hotel will be completed in September 2019, the developer said.
A rendering of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, which is being built at 81 Pope Avenue in Hilton Head’s Heritage Plaza. The hotel will be completed in September 2019, the developer said. Southeastern Development Associates, submitted.

A new Marriott hotel is coming to Hilton Head’s Coligny Beach area, and the developer said it’s just the beginning of a Heritage Plaza revitalization project.

The construction trailers off Pope Avenue are making way for a 115-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel, said John Lee, the senior vice president of Southeastern Development Associates.

The six-story hotel is set to be completed by Sept. 15, 2019, and will have a rooftop pool and bar, Lee said. Town Manager Steve Riley confirmed that the Marriott project will be the first hotel rooftop bar on Hilton Head.

The hotel’s opening comes after a 2014 rewrite of zoning rules, which had previously restricted the construction of new hotels in the Coligny area, according to previous Island Packet reporting.

The Board of Zoning Appeals approved a plan in 2015 that allowed the hotel to stand taller than most buildings because it is further off Pope Avenue, according to the meeting minutes.

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Originally, the hotel was going to be a Marriott Residence Inn developed by Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial, but Lee said the developer has changed names since the project began, and left the idea of an extended stay style hotel in favor of the “more popular Marriott Courtyard style development.”

Southeastern Development Associates is also giving Heritage Plaza a facelift. Lee said the exterior of the retail center will not exactly match the hotel, but “it will all fit together” as a cohesive development.

“It will totally change the feel for that area,” Lee said.

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The location of the new Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Hilton Head’s Pope Avenue. The hotel is set to be complete by September 2019, according to the developer. Graphic by Ashley Reese, The Island Packet.

However, some nearby residents were hesitant about the hotel’s construction when the board approved it in 2015.

Owners at Coligny Villas, who live right behind the construction site, said they feared losing sunlight to a tall, noisy rooftop bar once the hotel was open.

Jay Owen, a member of the board of directors of Coligny Villas who appeared before the Board of Zoning Appeals in 2015, said Thursday his community still holds those concerns now that the hotel is 10 months away from opening.

“We expressed our concerns at that point, and the board decided to allow the developer to go ahead,” Owen said. “Naturally we still have that concern, and it seemed to fall on deaf ears.”

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Other businesses in the area embraced the remodeling project.

William Fink, who owns Bicycle Billy’s bike rentals in the plaza, told the Island Packet in 2015 that he was excited about the project.

“This hotel is going to be the nicest development this close to the beach, and this area needs it,” Fink said.

When asked about how local businesses will be affected by the renovation, Lee said “to my knowledge, they are all remaining open” during the construction.

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