CAROLINA BEACH -- The view along Carolina Beach could soon change with the addition of a big, new beachfront hotel. It's a project Town Council and many residents are for, saying it will add a much needed economic boost to the area. Carolina Beach business owner Duke Hagestrom said, "We've got a lot of great things going in Carolina Beach, but we really need a shot in the arm. Something that can take us to the next level and this project does that beautifully." The proposed hotel is 191 rooms, 10 stories, with oceanfront and marina views. Project architect Jonathan Wolk said, "We really looked at truly a nice hotel that would bring more visitors to the town." Architects of the project say they don't know what hotel franchise will eventually go there. Marriot and Holiday Inn are interested. Reviewing the plans has been an 18-month process. This was a crucial step as the planning and zoning commission OK'd them. There was only one no vote. The main concern is a new traffic pattern the new structure would enforce. Planning and Zoning commissioner Michael Kopitopoulos said, "The reconfiguration of the public right of way left some unanswered questions for me, and that was my main issue was public safety." The proposal adds another lane to Canal Drive. It would also redirect Carolina Beach Avenue north with three lanes. Despite the commission's approval of the plan, workers are far from breaking ground. The matter now goes to the Carolina Beach Town Council. The next council meeting is June 12. The architect says once the plans are final it will take at least two years to build.
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