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Charleston Place buyer now a partner in waterfront hotel project downtown

The Cooper

Beemok Hospitality Group, which recently acquired the Charleston Place hotel, is now a partner in The Cooper, a 225-room hotel project on the city's waterfront. Provided rendering 

The hospitality group that acquired the iconic Charleston Place hotel this fall is now a partner in a major hotel project on the city's waterfront. 

Beemok Hospitality Group, an affiliate of Beemok Capital, the family office of local businessman and philanthropist Ben Navarro, has acquired a stake in The Cooper, a 225-room hotel project under construction next to Waterfront Park, headed up by the developer Lowe. 

Beemok purchased Dallas-based Dart Interests' stake in the hotel and is partnering with Lowe "to bring their aligned vision for The Cooper to life," Lowe said in a statement. 

Financial terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed. 

“Lowe is pleased to partner with Beemok Hospitality on The Cooper hotel. We look forward to working with this dynamic Charleston-based group that shares our commitment to the city of Charleston and our deep appreciation of the region," Dan Battista, Lowe’s Southeast Region leader, said in a statement.

Located along Charleston Harbor, The Cooper will be a luxury hotel property with waterfront dining, a rooftop bar and lounge and its own pier and marina. 

The development also includes an extension of the adjacent Waterfront Park.

Beemok will be working with Lowe on the development and management of The Cooper, which the group said will complement Charleston Place as its "coastal sister property."

“The Cooper Hotel partnership with Lowe is consistent with Beemok Hospitality Group’s strategy to invest in legacy properties that will make a positive impact on the community, ensuring Charleston continues to be an exceptional place to live, work and play,” said Beemok Hospitality Group president Casey Lavin.

Lowe broke ground on The Cooper in early 2020 and was initially eyeing a 2022 opening. 

Work at the Concord Street site was stopped for several months this year as Lowe dealt with what it described as a piling issue. Construction has since resumed at the waterfront site, which previously was the location of the State Ports Authority headquarters. 

The Cooper is now expected to open in 2024.

Since becoming partners with Beemok, some "aesthetic improvements" have been made to the exterior design of the hotel, Lowe said. 

Additional balconies, covered porches on the pool deck and more coverage to protect the rooftop bar from the elements were added. Charleston's Board of Architectural Review voted to approve the modifications at a Nov. 22 meeting.

Lowe will be working with city staff to "iron out the details of these changes" in the coming months, Battista said. 

Charleston Place is Beemok's flagship asset. The sale of the property, which was for $350 million, according to county property records, was finalized in October. Navarro plans to "deploy significant investments" at the hotel, and Beemok said in the fall that renovations would begin in the next 18 months.

Touching King, Meeting and Market streets, Charleston Place is about half a mile from the future Cooper hotel site. 

Los Angeles-based Lowe has had a significant stake in the Charleston region for a few decades. Since 1990, it has owned the Isle of Palms resort Wild Dunes. It opened a new lodging there, the Sweetgrass Inn, this past spring.

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Reach Emily Williams at 843-607-0894. Follow her on Twitter @emilye_williams.