The Beaufort Inn is moving forward with plans to get a lot bigger.
The downtown bed and breakfast based on Port Republic Street plans to build two new buildings within the block.
A new building at 806 Craven St. would house 12 rooms for the inn, according to plans approved by Beaufort’s Historic District Review Board on Wednesday.
A small, one-room cottage is also planned between 308 and 310 Scott St., though the location could change.
The moves are the latest in a series of steps for the historic inn, owned by 303 Associates.
Work on 806 Craven could begin as soon as this winter, after the fall busy season, Courtney Worrell of 303 Associates said Wednesday. The new rooms would bring the inn’s total to 47 rooms.
“We’re very pleased with everything that’s happening,” Worrell said. “When visitors come to Beaufort, we like to give them the experience that makes them want to come back again. Obviously it’s doing well or we wouldn’t be investing in these additional rooms.”
The new buildings are part of Beaufort Inn’s plan for the block conceptually approved in 2013. With the addition of an event space in nearby Tabby Place, more cottages could be added where events are now held.
"(Beaufort Inn) has done such a good job, we're willing to invest in more," Dick Stewart, head of 303 Associates, told The Beaufort Gazette at the time the plan for the block was first considered.
The Beaufort Inn is coming off its best year for occupancy and room rates, general manager Stacy Price said in April. Visitors will now have more room options, with a high-end Lowcountry feel similar to the inn’s other cottages, Worrell said.
The proposed Craven Street building, with a total square footage of almost 8,000 feet, is large but not unqiue to the area, city planner Lauren Kelly said. She noted that the planned building is two-thirds the size of Anchorage 1770, a recently renovated Bay Street inn.
Beaufort Inn’s block is a mix of cottages, open space and gardens, including an open courtyard for weddings and other events known as Tabby Garden. Additionally, a renovated former Piggly Wiggly building nearby on Port Republic Street became Tabby Place, a Beaufort Inn event space.
With Tabby Place opening, the garden could eventually become more cottages, Worrell said. But weddings are booked in the garden for the next two years, she added.
Plans for the location of the new Scott Street cottage could change.
At less than 500 square feet, the building would be an accessory building and inappropriate between the larger adjacent homes, the historic review panel said. The cottage could join the larger new building on Craven Street.