In just a couple years, Summerville’s Nexton community will be home to a premier, dual-branded hotel and conference center.
On Thursday, officials held a ground-breaking ceremony for the Hilton Garden Inn-Homewood Suites Summerville Hotel and Lowcountry Event and Conference Center. The 208,000 square-foot hotel will be eight stories high (93 feet), serving as the tallest building in Summerville and Berkeley County.
Nexton, a bustling community with homes, businesses and schools, is located off Interstate 26 exit 199 in Summerville. The project will be on a 6-acre site on Sigma Drive. Officials lauded the community as the ideal location for the multi-purpose facility.
“It’s going to be iconic for this area,” said Scott Fennell, president of Lowcountry Hotels which owns the hotel. “What drew us to the area was Nexton...the walkways, the pathways, the green space and everything that’s involved...eating, wining and dining.”
The hotel will serve as the Fennell Holding’s first dual brand hotel and the second dual-branded hotel in the Lowcountry. It will feature 250 guest rooms, a full-service restaurant, bar and lounge, business center, workout facility, resort style pool with cabana, and multiple outdoor green spaces.
Mayor Wiley Johnson said the new facility will benefits from being inside the municipality — lauding Summerville’s fire department for it’s number one ISO rating.
“(This project) is something that Summerville has needed for a long time,” Johnson said.
The project comes on the heels of the opening of the Nexton Interchange in May that should help alleviate traffic on Summerville’s North Main Street. Berkeley County Supervisor William Peagler said the project is part of booming development in the county.
“It’s a great day for Berkeley County,” Peagler said.
Probably the project’s largest asset is the conference center that will serve as a much-needed meeting space in Summerville. The two-story center will feature 14,000 square feet of versatile ballroom and event space.
Scott Fennel said the conference center could play a role job readiness for industries looking to prepare workers.
“We’re going to attract a lot of businesses that are looking for job placement, “We’re hoping to provide that space available to them whether it be an industry, commercial establishment, or development. We’re certainly encouraged by all the Volvo construction...but it’s not just them. There’s so much going on in this area.”
Plans fell through years ago when Summerville was to construct it’s own conference center in Downtown Summerville after opposition of placing a facility in the historic area.
Fennel said his group has tried for years to construct a conference center in town.
“We’ve been looking at Summerville for almost ten years,” Scott Fennell said. “We failed and I’m kind of thankful we did because we’re here in Nexton — a premier community with premiere brands and a premiere location.”
The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2020.