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The Hampton Inn and Suites in Carolina Beach is almost complete. Photo by Hannah Leyva.
The Hampton Inn and Suites in Carolina Beach is almost complete. Photo by Hannah Leyva.

The much-anticipated Hampton Inn and Suites in Carolina Beach is nearing completion.

Crews have nearly finished exterior work on the eight-story, 100-room oceanfront hotel, located at 1 Harper Ave. just north of the town’s boardwalk area. According to the town’s planning department, the hotel should be open before the end of the summer.

“Originally they were aiming to be open by July 4th,” Carolina Beach Senior Planner Jeremy Hardison said. “Now they’re looking at the end of July or early August.”

Plans for a hotel at that location have been in the works for years. After previous proposals fell through for various reasons, a conditional use permit to build the Hilton-owned Hampton Inn and Suites was approved by town council in January 2014. Groundbreaking on the $12 million, 66,248-square-foot development was held about a year later, in February 2015.

In addition to building the hotel structure, construction crews are also working on part of the northern wooden boardwalk extension project that the town got approval for last fall. While town officials opted to move construction of the 850-foot extension, which will stretch north to Pelican Lane, back to the fall, they had previously promised developers that the Hampton Inn would have access from the hotel to the wooden boardwalk and on to the beach strand. The two sides reached an agreement that allows developers to build their portion, which extends approximately 65 feet from the current northern terminus at Harper Avenue, in order to have it ready for the hotel’s late-summer opening. The town will later reimburse them for the cost.

The Hampton Inn and Suites will anchor the northern end of the town’s concrete boardwalk area. A 144-room oceanfront Courtyard by Marriott, the largest hotel in Carolina Beach, sits at the southern end of the boardwalk.