Archive for Beaufort

Feb
28

Two New Hotels Coming to Beaufort

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hotel clipart8h3Beaufort is growing by two hotels.

A real estate development company, which already operates Sleep Inn and Comfort Suites in the city, recently announced the construction of two new hotels.

HD Companies is building Home2 Suites and Tru, both by Hilton, which combined will provide more than 200 rooms.

“The Beaufort region is incredibly business-friendly and boasts a beautiful coastal environment capable of handling the demands of a growing, regional, national and international economy,” HD president DJ Desai said. “It was the perfect place to bring these two new Hilton brand hotels, and we are pleased to continue doing business in Beaufort.”

Tru by Hilton will bring 98 rooms inside a 38,000-square-foot hotel at Parris Island Gateway and County Shed Road. It will be located next to Home2 Suites, which will have 107 high-end rooms across 60,000 square feet.

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Jan
05

Can You Rent Your House Out and Claim Homestead Exemption?

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taxesShould local homeowners lose their homestead exemption — a property tax break given to seniors and residents with disabilities — if they rent out their homes for a significant portion of the year?

Beaufort County officials have argued yes.

But state courts have said the county is wrong.

A court battle has dragged on for years after the county assessor’s office stripped Hilton Head Island homeowner Frank Mead of his homestead exemption in 2011.

 

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Aug
02

Senior Housing is Big Business in Beaufort County

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elderly_peopleIn the next two years, Beaufort County can expect to see a 34 percent increase in its capacity of senior housing.

Most of the construction is happening in Bluffton, Okatie and on Hilton Head Island — adding about 502 new beds in all — but the growth will be just as noticeable in northern Beaufort County.

Port Royal and Beaufort will see 301 new beds, a 58 percent increase from its current capacity for independent and assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care, compared with 27 percent south of the Broad River.

In all, the growth is coming from the recent and planned expansions of three existing senior-living homes — Benton House of Bluffton, Cypress of Hilton Head, and The Palmettos at NHC Bluffton — and the planned addition of 11 new facilities.

The companies are capitalizing on a trend 20 years in the making. The thousands of retirees who first moved into Sun City Hilton Head in the 1990s, and smaller local retirement communities, are starting to age out, and more and more often, the next wave are bringing their elderly parents along with them, local senior housing professionals say.

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Feb
02

Beaufort County Examines Affordable Housing

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affordable housingA 36-year-old single mother of two with a $15-an-hour retail job and no health insurance has only $137 per month after paying for rent, bills and groceries she picks up at a food bank.

A 48-year-old, HIV-positive single woman, attending college and looking for permanent housing, cannot afford to pay all of her bills and prescriptions, even after receiving a Social Security disability check and help from an organization with her rent.

And four first-year teachers at the same school, whose average salaries are $34,400, have to work second and third jobs to get by. Statistically, two of them won’t return to teach in Beaufort County next year.

Those are three real-life examples of the need for more affordable housing, representatives from the Lowcountry Affordable Housing Coalition told Beaufort County Council last week. Coalition members said they hope to partner with council to create affordable housing opportunities throughout the county.

It’s hardly a new concept, coalition facilitator Deborah Johnson said. In the county’s 2010 Comprehensive Plan, one of the key priorities is ensuring affordable housing for all residents.

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Dec
16

Beaufort County Considers Increasing Impact Fees

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cash in airThe impact fees Beaufort County charges on new development could be changing next year as the economy rebounds and building resumes, county officials said Monday.

The fees are collected on new commercial and residential development to help pay for the roads, fire service, libraries and parks the new shoppers and residents add to their area of the county.

But the fees have not been adjusted in nearly 10 years — before the county’s building boom was crushed by the economic recession and its population grew by more than 40,000, county administrator Gary Kubic said.

“It’s cause and effect,” County Councilman Jerry Stewart said Monday. “It’s very important to understand what it is we’re trying to accomplish in the county, and is this an impediment or does it accomplish what we want it to? I think we’re sort of out of sync on those things.”

In 1999, the county was behind on the road, park, fire protection and sometimes the school infrastructure it needed to keep up with blooming development along US 278, SC 170 and throughout northern Beaufort County, county officials said. To compensate, the county asked developers to help cover the costs and have been setting aside the money in funds dedicated to particular geographic areas and needs ever since.

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Nov
16

Algorithm Software Creates Wild Fluctuations in Rental Rates

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flow chart diagramMany Lowcountry renters now must let a computer determine what their new or renewed leases will cost them.

And there’s usually no way of telling what the outcome will be.

That’s because many local apartment offices are following an industry trend by switching to algorithm-based leasing software that calculates the price of a unit based on a number of factors — and the rate can unexpectedly peak and valley, particularly in southern Beaufort County.

“Prices change daily,” said Dorna Davani, leasing consultant with Chartwell-owned The Lakes at Myrtle Park in Bluffton. Chartwell also owns The Lakes at Edgewater.

Both apartment complexes recently started using YieldStar, a popular revenue management software by Texas-based RealPage that calculates the rate of an apartment based on a number of factors, most significantly supply and demand in the local market and current and future occupancy rates.

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Aug
16

New Apartments Planned for Beaufort

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beaufortBeaufort renters will soon have a new upscale apartment option with Broad River views. The Parc at Broad River will feature 246 luxury apartments, according to developer Dick Edwards. “We felt there is a market there,” said Edwards, who is based in Georgia.

One-, two- and three-bedroom units will be available to rent, said Willie Wade of Centre Marc Construction, the complex’s general contractor. The project is estimated to cost $30 million.

The complex is just off the Broad River Bridge on Savannah Highway, with 1,200 feet of water frontage, said architect David English. Amenities include a clubhouse with an “upscale” swimming pool area, a pavilion with a firepit, a fitness center, a cyber cafe, a media center and a drive-through mail center, in addition to on-site garages and boat storage.

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Apr
20

Sale of Port of Port Royal Falls Through Again

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Cancelled_stampThe fourth attempt to sell the Port of Port Royal has fallen through, according to the buyers and the S.C. State Ports Authority. The authority accepted a $15.42 million offer from The Furman Co. of Greenville on Nov. 19.

According to a statement from authority spokeswoman Erin Dhand, the contract with The Furman Co. was terminated “despite the good efforts of the proposed purchaser” and because the contract would expire with requirements incomplete.

The authority intends to seek new purchase offers “without delay,” Dhand said.

Company president Steve Navarro originally hoped to bring documents and information to the public by late February, but that kept being delayed while the developers worked on due diligence. In a statement, Navarro said the developers met with the Ports Authority last week to advise the agency there was not enough time to complete that work before the contract expires.

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Nov
12

Integra is Appraising on Hilton Head Island

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I was looking at a property on Hilton Head Island yesterday and started thinking about how much appraisal work we have done in Beaufort County in recent years. If Integra Realty Resources – SC can assist with your commercial appraisal needs in the Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort and Ridgeland areas, please let me know.  We have appraised auto dealerships, shopping centers, hotels, drug stores, office warehouses and restaurants in the lowcountry region recently.

Michael B. Dodds, MAI, CCIM

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Nov
03

Small Town Hotels Helping Revitalization Efforts?

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Cities around South Carolina are finding a new opportunity for economic growth with a recent increase in the openings of downtown boutique-style hotels.

A interesting trend among these hotels is the fact they are locally owned and developed. Local entrepreneurs in Florence, Anderson and Beaufort looked to re-create the downtowns where they had grown up with their visions of these niche hotels.

Florence developer Grey Raines opened the 49-room Hotel Florence in a renovated early 20th century building in what once was the city’s main downtown shopping, dining and entertainment district. Less than five years after opening, Raines and his partners are planning an expansion of the hotel.

Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela said he saw the hotel project as a catalyst for revitalizing the city’s downtown core—a catalyst that would bring people to the area after dark.

In Beaufort, developer Matt McAlhaney said he knew there was a void in Beaufort for a downtown boutique hotel. The market for affordable hotel rooms, largely for families coming to watch basic-training graduations at Marine Depot Parris Island, was covered mostly by quality national chains. Downtown has a number of bed-and-breakfast operations that offer luxury, but focus on a different type of traveler.

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Categories : Anderson, Beaufort, Florence
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Sep
29

Beaufort County Hotel Occupancy Up 7%

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Hotel occupancy, room rates and tourists’ spending are on the rise in the city of Beaufort, according to the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce. “A lot of this has to do with the economy coming back, for one,” said chamber tourism division director Robb Wells. “That makes people less nervous about traveling and spending.”

He said an additional day for military graduations has also helped. In January 2012, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island expanded family days to include the Thursday before recruit graduations.

Targeted advertising to prospective tourists in areas such as Greenville, Atlanta, Charlotte and Augusta, Ga., is also working, Wells said. As an example, a customer at the Beaufort Inn brought an advertisement from an Atlanta publication, telling hotel staff that the ad prompted the visit, he said.

The timing of those ads is important because it can smooth out the lulls in the tourism season. The chamber brought in travel writers in March and April, which resulted in articles about the city being published into June. This summer, hotel occupancy rates averaged about 60 percent, a 7 percent increase over last year, according to the chamber.

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Apr
07

Here is Your Chance to Live in a Jail

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The vacant, historic Beaufort County Jail and surrounding land on King Street in downtown is being considered for redevelopment into 13 or 14 residences.

The plan is the most recent private-public partnership the city’s Redevelopment Commission is tackling as it continues to encourage filling in empty lots and preserving historic structures.

The commission discussed ideas during a meeting Thursday with Wyatt Pringle, principal of Gumbo Limbo, LLC, which bought the property from the county for $511,000 in 2006.

The jail was built in 1938 and has been empty since 1992, according to Beaufort Gazette archives. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A number of rehabilitation projects have been discussed over the years, but none moved forward.

The plan calls for developing the half-block site into three single-family homes, eight duplexes and one building with two or three residences.

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Dec
23

Crescent: $100 Million Expansion of Inn at Palmetto Bluff Planned

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Crescent Communities announced today an investment of more than $100 million to expand its prestigious Inn at Palmetto Bluff located in Bluffton, S.C. Crescent also announced that luxury hotel management company Montage Hotels & Resorts (“Montage”) will become the new operator of the expanded Inn, effective February 1, 2014, after which time the Inn will be marketed as The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, a Montage Resort.

The expansion will add 150 luxury rooms to the Inn’s 50 individual cottages – in a collection of buildings – and feature a destination spa and fitness center, meeting and special event facilities and expanded dining facilities for both guests and Palmetto Bluff property owners. In addition, Montage-branded residences will be on offer. Importantly, the expansion will preserve the nationally lauded Lowcountry aesthetic and hospitality of the existing Inn.

Crescent has assembled an expert team to lead the expansion project. The Athens Group – a hospitality industry leader known for its sustainable luxury resort developments – will serve as development partner, managing the expansion and leading a design team including world-renowned Hart Howerton, HKS Hill Glazier Studio and Wilson Associates.

The expansion and resulting growth in the surrounding community is estimated to have a positive fiscal impact of more than $500 million over the next 10 years.

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Categories : Beaufort, Hardeeville
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Dec
12

Beaufort Bank/Office Building Sold

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Cypress Real Estate Partners, LLC announced that James C. Harrison, III, CCIM, Investment Broker, has sold the Wells Fargo Office Building in Downtown Beaufort, S.C. for $1,175,000.

The three story 18,535 square foot office building which sits on 1.24 acres overlooking historic Bay Street is anchored by Wells Fargo and secured by a long term lease. This Wells Fargo location serves as the main branch in the Beaufort area. This Wells Bank Branch consists of three floors. The first floor branch/teller retail area is Class A with double French doors and heavy crown molding all around. The second floor is Wells Fargo’ s Mortgage and central office and Wells Fargo’ s main conference/meeting room. The third floor of the facility is Class A rentable office suites consisting of a central hallway with hardwood floors, shared break room and conference room and views of the water and marina. The building has an elevator with a common lobby to each floor and two restrooms on every floor.

 

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Nov
19

Downtown Beaufort Property to be Redeveloped

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CBRE Furman Co. President Steve Navarro and Beaufort developer Jim Chaffin will partner on a joint project to redevelop an underutilized waterfront parking lot at Beaufort’s historic Downtown Marina. Beaufort City Council approved an agreement of understanding with Navarro and Chaffin’s firm, Historic Marina Partners LLC, that outlines the completion of a development plan with public input after 180 days.

“What I’m most excited about this is that it’s a really cool site that has so much potential,” said Navarro. “It’s in a really strategic location, and that’s something we think we can really take advantage of and attract a lot of people to.”

The four-acre parking lot site contains around 100 parking spots and is adjacent to the city-owned downtown marina, three public parks and the downtown shopping and entertainment district. The development is intended to encourage economic growth in the western end of downtown Beaufort’s retail district and to draw residents to the area, according to city news release.

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