War of words: Dick Stewart attacks Historic Beaufort Foundation

In a sharply worded, verbose tirade worthy of a spurned suitor, Dick Stewart, owner of 303 Associates, the developer of five massive proposed new structures in Downtown Beaufort including a 50,000 sq ft hotel (see scale model above) and a 175,000 sq ft parking garage, attacked Historic Beaufort Foundation (HBF) in an “Open Letter” published yesterday, March 18, as a paid advertisement in The Island News, a local weekly printed newspaper.

Stewart accused John Troutman, HBF’s chairman, of embarking “on a campaign of misinformation and deceit…to cast doubt on the propriety of our investments in the core commercial area of Downtown Beaufort. This is shameful, immoral and demeans HBF,” according to Stewart. Stewart proceeded to accuse “a few elitists” of being behind the rising alarm of local citizens expressing concerns about 303 Associates’ plans and the City’s purported approval of them as being in compliance with the City’s Code.

According to sources, HBF’s board met yesterday and is drafting a public response to Stewart’s letter, which will be published for free in The Beaufort Tribune when it is released.

Below for free is a facsimile of Dick Stewart’s paid advertisement of his letter in The Island News. Below that is the original letter sent by Mr. Stewart to Mr. Troutman, dated March 9.