02/10/2022

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Renovations aim to bring life back to mid-century hotel > Charleston Business Journal

Renovations aim to bring life back to mid-century hotel > Charleston Business Journal

Renovations aim to bring life back to mid-century hotel > Charleston Business JournalA pale pink mid-century present day motel on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston built in 1961, which savored its heyday by means of the 1970s, is set to arrive back again on-line this drop soon after new house owners entire a full historic renovation.

Homeowners say the Starlight Motor Inn at 3245 Rivers Ave. — previously Star of America — will contain 51 rooms, a cafe, a cocktail lounge, a pool (to be open up in spring 2023) and a poolside bar at an very affordable price position.

The new entrepreneurs program to keep the motel’s pink shade, neoclassical facade and attractive lattice exterior beams, and will lean into the mid-century topic with its decor.

Longtime close friends and companions on the undertaking are Ham Morrison and Walker Lamond. Morrison has renovated quite a few houses he owns in the Charleston location, together with historic renovations of a 32,000-sq.-foot developing that houses the Redux Up to date Arts Center on King Street.

The Rivers Avenue inn initially piqued Morrison’s desire thanks to its control attractiveness, in spite of getting shuttered to the public considering that the 1990s and a portion getting used as a home.

“With the pink and white, it appeared like it was proper out of South Florida,” Morrison reported.

Following discovering that proprietor Jay Patel was open to promoting, Morrison questioned Lamond to appear on board and direct the creative and branding aspect.

Extensive renovations to the Starlight Motor Inn in North Charleston are underway. The historic building, once slated for demolition, will be remodeled to include 51 rooms and a swim-up pool bar, among other planned improvements. (Photo/National Register of Historic Places application)  “We talked to the authentic proprietor who mentioned that back again in the ‘60s and ‘70s, the bar was packed with Navy sailors and contractors and people by the pool. It actually arrived from an period when (nearby) Reynolds Avenue was definitely the Most important Road of North Charleston,” Lamond said.

The duo ramped up renovation programs following mastering the motel, which had fallen into disrepair, was slated for demolition. In accordance to Charleston County land data, Star Motel LLC obtained the residence for $800,000 in March 2020. Morrison explained the property sits on about an acre of land.

The very first purchase of enterprise was to get the resort on to the Countrywide Sign-up of Historic Locations and use historic tax credits to enable fund the complete renovation.

“Historic tax credits can be the variation in a undertaking working out or not,” Morrison mentioned.

Morrison explained he labored with historian and marketing consultant Brittany Lavelle Tulla, whom he labored with through the Redux Present-day Arts Heart renovation. Tulla uncovered that the America Motor Inn was probable the to start with prefabricated motel in the region, a note that went into its Nationwide Sign up of Historic Destinations software.

“They produced this steel structure and like an erector set, introduced in these rooms that had been manufactured in a factory in Ga and transported by railroad, and like drawers, slid them into the rectangular framework,” Morrison stated.

That special historical past “added to the allure of the assets — it felt crucial to help save,” Lamond explained.

Obtaining the assets off the list of condemned places was a longer method, according to Morrison. The owners necessary to employ a forensic engineer to establish to the metropolis that the building could in truth be saved.

“We experienced to show it wasn’t just a pipe desire we had to present conclusions to a committee. Understanding the building could be put on the National Historic Registry was a major aspect of convincing them to consider it off the condemned checklist,” Morrison mentioned.

Main renovations in excess of the earlier two decades on the a person-acre web site included adding a new roof, new electrical work, plumbing, heating and air and renovating the pool and pool dwelling bar, which was manufactured with historic bricks. The house owners plan to revive the whole-company restaurant on the ground ground of the inn and hold the original bar’s name, Burgundy Lounge.

Jay Patel’s son, who grew up in the motel and is now in his late 20s, is working carefully with the duo on the venture, Lamond claimed.

In addition to the motel, the owners strategy to ultimately open up the Starlight Village, a assortment of restored two-bedroom cottages straight away future door. Managed by StayDuvet, all of the rooms will have higher-stop touches at an reasonably priced price tag level, entrepreneurs stated.

“There are loads of motels staying rehabbed through the nation with $350 price tag tags per space, and that’s not our move,” Lamond explained. “Ham (Morrison) reported from starting that in preserving with the spirit of this residence and this neighborhood, we should selling price these as Days Inn premiums, to continue to keep it affordable for families and folks traveling to Charleston by motor vehicle, family members in North Charleston acquiring spouse and children reunions, people today coming to perform in city — that’s what will established us apart. We hope we can fill that gap and enchantment to individuals on a finances.” 

An interior designer whom Morrison has labored with on furnishing brief-tern rentals has been tasked with outfitting the inn with a mid-century modern vibe.

“We’re leaning into mid-century vintage, but also want to seize what’s quintessentially South Carolina and Southern about these spaces and also mirror the group in North Charleston,” Lamond said. “There will be texture and wood and cane and loads of vegetation. It will have a pleasant southern patina to it all. We want it to sense vintage, lived in, snug and available. … It will be very ‘Instagrammable’ for positive.”

Morrison reported he hopes the reopening of the Starlight Motor Inn will spur other development in the corridor.

“We come to feel we can bring life again to the corner of Rivers and Reynolds Avenue,” Lamond mentioned. “We’re on a mission to activate this total community mainly because we really like it so significantly and it has so substantially of the old Charleston spirit in it and it is brimming with prospective. If we can polish up the landmark on the corner, we hope it has an influence of receiving additional storefronts taking place.

Get in touch with Jenny Peterson at 843-849-3145.