Work begins on delayed Charleston hotel project

A demolition crew razed a building at Meeting and Reid streets earlier this year to make way for a Homewood Suites. Construction of the 139-room hotel is now underway.

Construction is underway on a downtown Charleston hotel that’s been on the drawing board for at least two years.

BL Harbert International, a contractor for developer Tara Investments, filed a formal notification with Charleston County last week that it has started work on the Homewood Suites at 415 Meeting St.

A completion date was not provided by the Birmingham, Ala.-based builder.

The five-story property at the corner of Reid Street will have 139 guest rooms and about 3,000 square feet of meeting space, according to Charlotte-based Tara, which owns the neighboring Holiday Inn at Meeting and Wolfe streets.

Homewood Suites is part of the Hilton chain.

The Charleston hotel being built on the former longtime site of Burris Liquor Store, which relocated to a new building across Meeting Street last year. It took Tara about six years to negotiate a long-term lease for the land, according to a report about the Burris move last year.

A Tara official previously told The Post and Courier in 2013 that hopes to open the hotel at 415 Meeting in 2014. The company could not be reached for immediate comment Tuesday.

At least two other hotels are under construction north of Calhoun Street. Bennett Hospitality broke ground earlier this year on a $101 million, 185-room eight-story hotel at the former Charleston County Public Library site on King Street, next to Marion Square.

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Nearby, Dewberry Capital is converting the former Mendel Rivers Federal Building into a 165-room upscale lodging.

Also, a dual-branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt House with a combined 394 guest rooms and suites recently opened near King and Spring streets.

Reach Allison Prang at 937-5705 or follow her on Twitter @AllisonPrang.