Anyone who ever grew up dreaming of one day living in a treehouse might soon have a chance to live out those childhood fantasies — albeit with a noticeably higher quality of living.
The Staytion is a proposed new community already in the works on Old Buncombe Road just off the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, near the U.S. Highway 276/U.S. Highway 25 North connector. With a design that aims to blend in with the nature that surrounds it, the community will consist of “treehouse-style” cabins, cottages and other lodgings.
Spearheaded by TR Hospitality Group with Caldwell Banker Commercial Caine, the developers have now submitted a request to the city of Travelers Rest to annex and rezone the roughly 5.4 acres of land so that a visitor accommodation and event center can also be included in the development.
“Our vision is to build an eco-friendly boutique lodging accommodation along the Swamp Rabbit Trail that respects and honors its pristine, natural setting,” the applicants said in their submission to the TR Zoning Board.
For those unsure what the development will actually look like, think of a typical campground in the woods with multiple cottages and a main lodge — but swap out the woodsy cabins for more high-end, luxurious dwellings that nonetheless resemble their rustic counterparts.
“The Staytion is designed to adapt to and fit within the topography of the land to create a natural and organic experience for guests and locals alike,” the applicants said. “With easy and direct access to the Swamp Rabbit Trail and the dozens of natural attractions within reach, we are confident our authentic experience will convert guests to frequent visitors.”
The Staytion will consist of up to 15 one-bedroom, one-bath cottages build as two-, three- and four-unit layouts with a shared wall for short-term, recreational rentals. Each of these units will be approximately 725 square-feet or less.
As for the “treehouses” — which can best be described as cottage-like homes on stilts surrounded by trees, thus giving the feel of the treehouse without the structural downsides — those will be elevated cabins used as guest accommodations. Up to 26 treehouses are planned, all situated among existing trees that will be preserved on the side. Each will be one bedroom with an optional loft space, with parking provided via surface spaces using a shared parking lot.
The “lodge” on site will be a three-story multipurpose building, with the second and third floors offering 16 one-bedroom, one-bath units for short-term rental, while the first floor will be a commercial space for a food-and-beverage-type operation. A patio outside the area will offer seating for patrons.
An additional two three-story lodging buildings with 24 units in one building and 20 in the other are also planned for the site, along with a two-story event building with a main event space on the first floor and office space on the second.
“From the landscaping to the smallest details, our goal is to deliver an authentic and local hospitality experience that celebrates the best of the Upstate and Travelers Rest,” the applicants said.
Construction is set to take place in phases over a period of years, with an initial eight cottages already under construction that are planned to be ready for guests by the second quarter of 2021. The next phase will likely be eight to 12 treehouses on the southern end of the property near Hill House Creek. Developers said the phased approach to construction is aimed at ensuring a minimal impact on the community.