Two More Commercial Buildings Planned for Hilton Head Island, S.C., Project

Dec. 7--BLUFFTON -- Parts of the once-controversial Calhoun Street Promenade project moved forward quietly Wednesday night before the town Historic Preservation Commission.

Two more of the 15 buildings in the project were approved by the commission in a 2-0 vote. Only four of the board's seven members were present, and two recused themselves from voting because they had done work for the promenade's developer in the past.

Members Kim Ward and Doug Corkern voted for the two buildings. Hank McCracken and Paige Camp recused themselves.

The project will have 82,176 square feet of commercial space and 64 residential lots in the

15 buildings at the northwest corner of May River and Bluffton roads. State Rep. Bill Herbkersman is the developer.

Including the two buildings approved Wednesday, nine of the 15 buildings have been given a "certificate of appropriateness" by the commission. Five buildings are under construction,

Herbkersman said.

Plans for two other buildings, which will house restaurants, will be returned to the commission with new designs, because Herbkersman said the designs approved were not acceptable to him. "That was approved, but it's not something we care to do," he said of the design of one of those buildings.

The relationship between the developer and the commission has been contentious, but was cordial Wednesday. Over the summer, Herbkersman had talked about filing a lawsuit against the commission, because it had missed the 45-day deadline to review the projects. He also has disagreed with many of its design suggestions.

The developers, town staff and two commission members met outside of the meetings to work through their differences. The ill will seems to have subsided, and Herbkersman said the approval process is working now.

Copyright (c) 2006, The Island Packet, Hilton Head Island, S.C. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.