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Lafayette Street redevelopment takes root

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The first of six Lafayette Street homes being built in a public-private partnership in downtown Beaufort is expected to be ready by late spring, the developer said.

The project is located at the corner of Lafayette Street and Rodgers Avenue in the Pigeon Point neighborhood and is part of a larger effort by Beaufort leaders to create affordable workforce housing.

The developers are Brad Bowden and Lance Gooding of Gooding Contractors, Inc. and architect Eric Brown of Brown Design Studio.

“We are pleased to announce the construction of six Lowcountry-style cottages in the City of Beaufort,” Brown said.  “These cottages and civic investments will be a wonderful addition to the popular Pigeon Point neighborhood.”

The cottages will range from two to three bedrooms in the 1,000-1,250 square foot range and are designed in a traditional Lowcountry architecture.  All units will have an outdoor space and/or porch and are to be served via a new alley.

City leaders, through the Beaufort Redevelopment Commission, in 2012 sought proposals from developers to create affordable and appropriate housing on the then city-owned vacant land. Beaufort’s Civic Master Plan identified this area as having good potential for this type of development.

In return, the developers agreed to improve Lafayette Street through planned on-street parking, street lights and a sidewalk while preserving the younger live oak trees along the street. The focal point of the project is the small park on the corner.

“It’s exciting that our many months of hard work and deliberations about this project are coming to fruition,” said Jon Verity, chairman of the Beaufort Redevelopment Commission. “Not only are we partnering to create more affordable housing and to redevelop one of our older neighborhoods, but we are also putting formerly vacant city-owned land back on the tax rolls.”

The new cottages likely will be served by a rear alley to keep cars and trash cans off the street for a better overall appearance. A natural landscape buffer is also maintained in the rear behind the alley for privacy, stormwater management and to save many old growth trees, Brown said.

Completion of the first cottages is expected to be completed in late spring 2015 and units are available for both reservations and customization.  For more information, visit www.lafayetteproject.com.

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