103-room Hyatt Place hotel coming to downtown Florence - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

103-room Hyatt Place hotel coming to downtown Florence

Mayor Stephen Wukela helps present plans for the new hotel. (Source: WMBF News) Mayor Stephen Wukela helps present plans for the new hotel. (Source: WMBF News)

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – A new 103-room Hyatt Place hotel is coming to downtown Florence.

The long-anticipated project, until now dubbed “Project Tulip,” was finally unveiled Tuesday morning during a special presentation.

The hotel will be located at the corner of Dargan and Evans streets in downtown Florence, which will be completely realigned. The city of Florence bought the corner lot to straighten out Evans Street to fit the five-story hotel, Hyatt Place.

Shrouded in secrecy until now, the project was previously revealed to be a $15 million investment that will bringing 30 to 40 jobs to Florence. 

The nationally branded hotel will be managed by Raines Hospitality.

Grey Raines, president and partner with SpringBridge Development, announced the news.

“It’s all about an evolution of who we are as a company and who we are as a town," Raines said. "I mean, Florence has really grown leaps and bounds from where we did just service the interstates at I-95 and I-20.”

The location is where the group’s five Marriotts sit on Hospitality Boulevard near the Florence Civic Center. After Hyatt Place comes, Hotel Florence won’t be the only one in downtown.

Instead of competition, the city and Raines Hospitality said it will be a compliment to Hotel Florence, which is also managed by the company.

“Hotel Florence added new rooms this past year because they have been so successful, and I think it’s their success that has given them the confidence," said George Jebaily, a Florence city councilman

Jebaily was part of the revitalization process from the beginning, almost 20 years ago. He said an overlay of districts was made across Florence, specifically the largest in downtown covering 70 square blocks, which is called the Redevelopment District.

Since there is historic nature, the businesses have access to a tax credit.

“So many of the existing buildings have been renovated, and the use of that tax credit has enabled the renovations of those buildings because it’s more expensive to renovate an older building than it is to build new," Jebaily said. "So you’ve seen that happening and it's currently happening.”

The plan is to break ground no later than the beginning of 2017. Afterward, construction is slated to last a year.

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