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Empty land on New Street is being eyed for new homes and buildings, potentially filling in some rare patches of space in the historic and affluent Point neighborhood.'
Although ideas are preliminary, landowner Beecher Hoogenboom said Monday that development could include renovating the 85-year-old Von Harten Brothers building on Carteret Street and adding new buildings behind it and across the street.'
"We're exploring the concept," Hoogenboom said. "It's premature to discuss it."'
Though only about an acre or two in size, the group of properties is large for The Point, which contains few empty parcels and is filled with expensive and historic mansions and homes.'
Developer and Realtor Billy Keyserling said that residentially zoned land across from First African Baptist Church on New Street could contain as many as three new homes but said that measures would be taken to preserve a view of the historic church, possibly by only building two.'
The Rev. Alexander McBride of First African Baptist Church declined to comment about the potential development.'
Hoogenboom also owns land behind the Von Harten building and The Chocolate Tree, and Keyserling said that new construction likely would not entail rezoning the commercially and residentially zoned land, some of which is used as parking lots.'
Donna Alley, Beaufort's historic planner, said the Von Harten building was built in 1921 and is listed as a "contributing resource" on the Beaufort County Historic Site Survey of 1997.'
"It's a great building. It's a neat building," said Alley, who mentioned the former hardware store and car dealership's brickwork and large windows.'
Keyserling estimated a plan for the parcels would be shaped in the next year.