A Statement from the HBF Board of Trustees
Change is Coming
The Port Republic Street that we know today and have known over the last 100+ years is about to change.
A part of Beaufort’s original 18th century town plan, Port Republic Street and its cross streets grew initially as a residential street. By the 1920s, the street was evolving into a mix of residential and neighborhood commercial uses becoming a center of commerce and trade. Over the years the street has been impacted by war, fire and economic changes to the market. Businesses were lost or moved on and parking lots took the place of hometown names such as Tom’s, Mobley’s Chitty, Morrall, Bampfield, Keyserling and more, while national chains like Western Auto, A&P, Piggly Wiggly and Coca Cola left the street and moved on to newer more modern locations outside of downtown. The street has lost much of its built environment, but its character and legacy remain.
Major change is coming to the streetscape we know today. Five major development projects are currently planned or proposed for Port Republic Street and it’s cross streets. Two demolitions are slated to occur as a part of these developments and a third request for demolition is on the City’s Historic Review Board Agenda for March 10, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.
Five major development projects are planned and/or proposed for Port Republic Street and its cross streets – two hotels, events and meeting center, residential apartments, and a 450+/- parking garage.
The City’s 2014 Civic Design Master Plan presented a conceptual vision for redevelopment of Port Republic Street with two story commercial and mixed use infill that respects the architectural legacy of Port Republic and its cross streets. Your voice is important to ensure that Beaufort’s architectural history and legacy are protected and respected.
If these developments move forward as proposed, they will bring approximately 95 hotel rooms, a 450-odd space parking garage, a three-story apartment/office building and a conference and events space to this two block area.
Please let your voice be heard by participating in the City’s Historic Review Board (HRB) meetings or sharing your comments with Mayor and Council at their regular meetings. Links are provided below for accessing HRB and City Council meetings by Zoom.
HRB meetings are currently held through Zoom the 2nd Wednesday of each month. Regular City Council meetings are currently held through Zoom the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. Citizens are allowed to comment on any topic NOT on the current agenda during the Public Comment section at the beginning of the meetings. Both HRB and City Council meetings can be accessed on the City’s Facebook Page or by going to the City’s Website Agenda Page and clicking the download for the desired meeting and date.