Lowcountry lodgings rack up good reviews
Coastal South Carolina lodgings, including a few in downtown Charleston, continue to rack up the accolades.
TripAdvisor took reviewers’ top picks for lodgings across the country for its annual Travelers’ Choice awards, which were released last week.
The French Quarter Inn near the City Market as the 11th top hotel in the overall category. Auberge Resorts’ Inn at Palmetto Bluff near Hilton Head Island was No. 8 and the Beaufort Inn was No. 23 in that same grouping.
Among small hotels, the Wentworth Mansion came in at No. 2 while the Restoration on King was No. 13. In between was the City Loft Hotel in Beaufort at No. 8.
The top getaway in the overall category was the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu in Hawaii. The Inn of the Five Graces in Santa Fe, N.M., was at the front of the small hotel list.
Long lost land
Ownership is poised to change this week on the proposed site of a huge master-planned subdivision that was to reshape the western edge of Charleston.
Long Savannah, which fell into foreclosure last year before any construction could start on the projected 3,000 homes and commercial space, is likely going back to the sellers of the land.
The development plan for the property was announced in 2005 when the local real estate market was hot. But the housing crash intervened, and nothing ever was built.
The developers bought more than 3,000 acres in 2009 for $28.4 million. The same day, they sold 1,800 acres to the city of Charleston and Charleston County for $8.9 million for parks, and gave $4.4 million from that sale to the sellers.
The remaining $24 million went unpaid, and the outstanding debt has since ballooned to more than $32 million with interest. The loan was extended a half-dozen times, with borrowers Jeffrey Coggin of the SIM Group and Christopher Phillip of Associated Developers at one point each personally guaranteeing $5 million.
When the last payment deadline came and went at the end of June, the sellers foreclosed.
A court-supervised auction is scheduled for Tuesday. The previous owners, family partnerships that self-financed the 2009 sale, are expected to get back the remaining 1,253 acres, along with all the related plans and agreements
Off the Beach
The Beach Co. is looking inland for sizable development
The Charleston-based real estate firm is planning 375 apartments, 16,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and a parking garage on about 12 acres at Church Street and University Ridge in downtown Greenville, according to news reports.
It reportedly is the company’s first project in the Upstate, and is similar in some ways to its mixed-use Boulevard development that’s taking shape along Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant.
Some of the firm’s other local undertaking include Majestic Square and Victoria Center in downtown Charleston, and Seaside Farms in Mount Pleasant.
Paying a visit
The Summerville Visitors Center was a more popular place in 2012 than the previous year.
The Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce said 13,401 guests stopped by from January to December, a 25 percent increase from 2011. That averages slightly more than 1,100 per month.
In December, the center said its 781 visitors included 11 foreign travelers from Argentina and Canada.