MOUNT PLEASANT -- The operator of the hotel at Patriots Point got the green light Friday to add 93 rooms after its landlord signed off on a planned boardwalk around the expanded lodging.
The walkway is the last piece that required approval from the Patriots Point Development Authority for the addition to the waterfront Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. The property is at the tip of state-owned Patriots Point's sprawling acreage on the edge of Charleston Harbor across from the lower peninsula.
Oliver Rooskens, the hotel's general manager, said he hopes to take bids in March and start construction before the summer. The addition, which will include a restaurant between the existing pavilion and the new hotel, should be completed by spring 2014. The restaurant could be finished by summer 2013.
"I'm very excited," Rooskens said immediately after the board's unanimous decision.
Charleston Harbor Resort currently has 130 rooms.
The addition, a separate five-story building, will be connected to the existing structure via a covered entrance. The expansion will be built in a parking lot beside the existing building.
The fifth floor will include a bar and panoramic views of Charleston Harbor. The bottom floor will include a spa, lobby, theater and other amenities. The middle floors will be made up of suites averaging 530 square feet, Rooskens said.
The tourist attraction's board of directors held up the project in January over questions of the boardwalk's actual location.
Earlier plans had projected it running closer to the new pool, but Rooskens said those proposals would require an expensive retaining wall.
The approved boardwalk will use most of the existing walkway leading out to the marina and tie in on the front of the new hotel addition with a pathway the town wants to complete all the way to its new park at Shem Creek.
That would require a bridge of some sort over a tidal creek separating Bayview Acres subdivision from the golf course at Patriots Point.
But Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails, who is a member of the development authority, said the town might have to revisit a planned drawbridge so Bayview residents could have boating access on the creek. Otherwise, officials could consider another path around the creek.
"It needs to be connected," Swails said.
Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or on Twitter at @warrenlancewise.