Officials here are literally raising the roof in the hopes of attracting a new hotel to the downtown riverfront area underneath the iconic bridge.
By nearly doubling the building height limit on riverfront properties to 75 feet, the council hopes to attract a boutique hotel with space enough a ballroom.
No official offers to are pending from developers looking to build a hotel several stories high overlooking the picturesque Waccamaw River, but the council is moving forward to make the zoning changes necessary for future construction.
“We’re really hopeful,” Conway Barbara Blain-Bellamy, of the prospects of their action in drawing in new development.
“We so want a hotel, a very nice hotel that incorporates something like a ballroom,” Blain-Bellamy said. “Every event of any substance and size in our city has to be held out of our city because we don’t have the accommodations.
“When you consider Coastal Carolina and all the great things that is bringing here like NCAA girls basketball, we need a hotel where people can be entertained,” Blain-Bellamy said.
An ideal location that could accommodate a hotel with at least 100 rooms is next to the peanut warehouse and water tower, underneath the bridge, she said.
One of the key issues being examined by the council is the ability of the Conway Fire Department to fight fires of that size and worst-case scenarios.
Council officials are also seeking input from city commissions before moving forward with any votes, that would take place next year.
“We want to make sure that fire engines can adequately respond to emergencies if the fire goes that high, and we’re always concerned about maintaining the integrity of the community. We don’t want it to be an eyesore, either. We’re an old fashioned downtown with historic distinction and we don’t want something jumping out that doesn’t fit the landscape,” Blane-Bellamy said.