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Final beam tops out Hotel Bennett

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Work crews placed the final beam atop a new, $101 million hotel under construction in downtown Charleston today, a construction milestone before Hotel Bennett opens in the fall.

Guests, including former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, signed the beam before it was installed.

“This hotel is more than just a hotel to me,” said Michael Bennett, the hotel’s owner and the founder of Charleston-based Bennett Hospitality. “It’s my crowning achievement. It’s my life’s story.”

General contractor Balfour Beatty Construction is building the 179-room hotel at the corner of King and Hutson streets, beside Marion Square.

The hotel will include a heated rooftop pool with cabanas and a bar, a spa, a French patisserie, event and meeting spaces, a restaurant and a bar that will have reclaimed pink marble from the former library building that was once on the site.

Hotel Bennett’s architects of record are Buck Lindsay of Lindsay Pope Brayfield Clifford & Associates in Atlanta and Chris Schmitt of Schmitt Walker Architects in Charleston. Fairfax and Sammons Architects of New York City is the hotel’s design architect, and Design Continuum Inc. of Atlanta is the interior designer.

Virginia-based Salamander Hotels & Resorts, founded in 2005 by Sheila C. Johnson, will operate Hotel Bennett. Johnson is vice chairwoman of Monumental Sports, which owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.

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