North Augusta’s Planning Commission gave a preliminary OK on Thursday to the Crowne Plaza Hotel development in Riverside Village at Hammond’s Ferry.
The approval was conditional because the developer, Greenstone Properties, has yet to submit plans for lighting and landscaping.
Interim Planning Director Charles Martin said the “much-anticipated” hotel would be five stories, with 180 rooms, a rooftop bar, meeting spaces, and restaurants inside and outdoors.
Commission Chairman Chip Burnett said officials had said earlier that the hotel would resemble the famed Hampton Terrace, North Augusta’s jewel until it burned 100 years ago. The renderings didn’t look much like it to him, he said.
Harvey Rudy, Greenstone’s senior vice president for development, said designers started with that idea, but dropped dormers and cupolas as they worked through the process because they gave the structure a “dated” look.
“It’s not meant to be a replica of the Hampton Terrace,” he said. “It’s a modern version of that.”
Turner Simpkins, of the Hammond’s Ferry Design and Review Committee, which approved the design, agreed with Rudy. Pointing to a side elevation drawing, he said various design elements made it look like Hampton Terrace, just without the dormers and cupolas.
Rudy said Greenstone hoped to start construction in the fall and that the hotel was expected to open in December 2018.
The vote to OK the plan was 5-0, with Commissioner JoAn McKie absent.
The panel also approved the “live above” retail development that will face the hotel from across Railroad Avenue and back up to Brick Pond Park, with a 25-foot buffer.
The first floor of the long, narrow building will be for retail, with a series of 1,000-1,110-square-foot spaces. Floors two through four would be condominiums, probably 12 per floor, ranging in size from 1,000-1,400 square feet.
The city’s Owner’s Representative for the Riverside Village project, James Dean, said a two-bedroom condo would be typical. A general contractor would build the shell and a local builder would finish it out, with some input from buyers about floor plan, finishes and other details.
He said he was not ready to talk about prices yet.
Construction is expected to start in September and be done by mid-2018, he said.
The commission voted 5-0 for approval.
Source: The Augusta Chronicle
Author: James Folker/Staff Writer