Hotel planned for site of former Mount Pleasant restaurants, church chapel

The former Grace Chapel, shown in better days, is being demolished to make way for a new hotel. Previous occupants of the Mount Pleasant building included Quincy’s Steakhouse.

A long-vacant building at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant is being razed to me to make room for a new hotel, the latest demolition projects in that part of town.

A company formed by Charleston-based Fennell Holdings LLC acquired the property that formerly housed Grace Chapel, and before that, at least two different restaurants.

The seller was a company affiliated with local developer Robert Clement.

Fennell Holdings began bulldozing the building at 250 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. on Thursday. A hotel of about 100 rooms will rise in its place on the two-and-a-quarter acre parcel, said Daniel Blumenstock, director of hotel operations with the company.

County property records show the structure was built in 1981. The reason behind the demolition was two-fold.

“One, it’s an eyesore, and two, it’s a hazard,” Blumenstock said. “That building has been vacant for a long time.”

The height of the hotel hasn’t been determined, and no architectural plans have been prepared, he said.

The demolition permit was issued for the former Grace Chapel property in July, according to the Mount Pleasant Planning Department.

Blumenstock said the move to begin work this week came in response to the increasing competition between hotels in the East Cooper market.

Another new lodging is going up just across U.S. Highway 17. Premiere Development Group of Charleston recently pulled down the aging Masters Inn at McGrath Darby Boulevard and Wingo Way, where a 133-room Hilton Garden Inn is set to open in mid-2014.

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“We went ahead because of the way the hotel market is right now,” Blumenstock said.

The development group will announce the brand of the new hotel next week.

“We’re excited about helping revitalize that whole area,” he said.

Fennell Holdings owns several Lowcountry hotels including Ansonborough Inn in downtown Charleston, and three hotels in North Charleston near the airport.

Demolitions in Mount Pleasant have been occurring more rapidly in recent months as money flows back into the commercial real estate business. An office building at 389 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., next to the Staples in Patriots Plaza, was razed this month to make way for a Walgreens pharmacy.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 or on Twitter @A_Big_Gail. Warren L. Wise contributed to this report.