Hotel giant Marriott International announced that it will build a Courtyard by Marriott in the now-vacant Parks of Berkeley, where Highway 17A and Interstate 26 meet in Summerville, setting the tone for the major business and residential development planned there.
The hotel, which will open in early 2012, marks the first Marriott property built using the brand's eco-friendly lodging criteria, such as energy efficient lighting systems and water fixtures.
Costs have not been finalized for the 100-room inn, currently in the design phase and on track to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Construction should begin next year.
Packaging giant MeadWestvaco Corp. owns the Parks of Berkeley, a 5,000-acre development approved for 13,500 residential housing units. Augusta-based Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial, under a joint venture with MeadWestvaco, will oversee the construction of the hotel.
Ken Seeger, president of MeadWestvaco's community development and land-management unit, said the Courtyard fits the design scheme for the larger project, which is "intended to be a sustainable and environmentally friendly community."
Seeger said that means homes will sit close to 10 million square feet of office space, places where people can work and shop without getting onto local roads and highways.
Builders in the Parks of Berkeley will incorporate the latest green technology to conserve energy and water, Seeger added. Residential construction will begin in 2012, and residents should start moving in later that year.
MeadWestvaco is incorporating into its Parks of Berkeley an adjacent property it owns at I-26 and 17A that houses its land-development headquarters, which is to be replaced. A new corporate office for that division is to be built near the hotel.
Seeger said construction on the first office buildings, occupied by MeadWestvaco and available for lease, should begin next year. Those buildings also will seek LEED certification.
Drivers will see the new Courtyard hotel from I-26, near where a $160 million interchange is to be built between Summerville and Jedburg by around 2013. That same year the Parks of Berkeley anticipates construction of a second hotel, a Residence Inn, also part of the Marriott brand.
MeadWestvaco repurchased the land in late 2008 for $40 million. The company owned the site until 2005, when it sold the land to Crescent Resources LLC as it moved away from land development.
John P. McDermott of The Post and Courier contributed to this story.