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Mayor Lewis Says Hampton Inn and Suites Soon To Build At Boardwalk

Carolina Beach Mayor Bob Lewis announced last week the proposed Hampton Inn and Suites project on the northern end of the Carolina Beach Boardwalk might soon become reality.

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CAROLINA BEACH - Carolina Beach Mayor Bob Lewis commented on Friday March 15th, at Town Hall that a long awaited hotel project at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk is working to overcome some legal issues and will hopefully begin construction in the near future.
Mayor Lewis said representatives of the Georgia based development company were in town the previous week meeting with staff members and some individual council members.
On Friday Lewis posted on his Facebook page, "Big thanks goes our to Mayor Pro Tem, Steve Shuttleworth who has taken the lead on working out the details to get a large developer to construct a new 108 room Hampton Inn and Suites at the CB Boardwalk. Steve has resurrected the deal and working with a bank to help remove the obstacles to getting the developer to break ground within the next couple months. Steve has given up a lot of personal and business related time to make this happen for CB."
Lewis said North Carolina based First Bank has a judgment against the former developer who planned to build a Hilton Garden Inn hotel project on the same property on the oceanfront at Harper Avenue on the northern end of the Boardwalk.
Last year the Town Council voted to close a portion of Carolina Beach Avenue North to facilitate the new owners hotel project for a Hampton Inn and Suites.
Lewis would not go into details but said First Bank has a judgment against the previous development company and is seeking compensation for the roadway previously owned by the former developer to the tune of approximately $465,000. New Hanover County Tax records show the previous owner as Seaview Properties LLC.
Lewis said the Town's position is simple, they are not responsible for paying that judgment and the other parties are working out the details.
Councilman Steve Shuttleworth said it's a legal matter for the bank and the current owners to work out.
He said the Town looks forward to new economic development in the downtown area that will lead to more local jobs and increased sales and room tax revenues.
In February of this year Mayor Lewis indicated some progress for the project when he stated, "Some additional good news…Mayor Pro Tem, Steve Shuttleworth and our town attorney with council’s approval are working diligently to provide a solution to remove obstacles so the new developers can begin to build a Hampton Inn and Suites at the boardwalk.  This project is active and we are seeing movement but we have to work out a few legal details concerning part of the property that will be used to build the new hotel."
In 2007 the Town Council approved a project to construct a high-rise oceanfront 191 room Hilton Garden Inn on the north end of the Boardwalk at Harper Avenue and Carolina Beach Avenue North.
That project never materialized and since that time has remained vacant serving only as a sand lot providing parking during the summer seasons.
In 2011 the property was purchased out of foreclosure by Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial, a real estate development and commercial brokerage firm in Augusta, Georgia.
In March of last year, the Council voted to close 170' feet of right-of-way at Carolina Beach Avenue North and Harper Avenue.
That portion of the road was previously closed in 2007 for the previous Hilton project, but when that project didn't materialize, the Town used a condemnation process to take the right-of-way back.
Lewis said First Bank is now claiming interest in that right-of-way based on a judgment against the prior owners.
Plans submitted to the Town last February for the Hampton Inn and Suites project called for a 106 room 10-story hotel with a two-floor oceanfront restaurant area, oceanfront pool and tiki-bar and two levels of parking. Nine public spaces would be included along Canal Drive within a 35-foot easement granted to the Town following the road closure.
That plan is one story less than the original Hilton proposal. The restaurant would accommodate up to 100 people at a time.