The Holliday Companies/Incorporated is a multifaceted real estate investment firm with holdings throughout the Southeast. As owner and CEO, Hank Holliday has a long and successful track record of recognizing unique opportunities that he transforms via renovation and/or redevelopment into nationally recognized destinations and businesses.
Mr. Holliday began his career as a real estate investment banker at Equitable and Bank of America with assignments in New York City, San Francisco and Atlanta. In 1985 he purchased the 2,500-acre Isle of Palms Beach and Racquet Club and turned it into an internationally acclaimed resort named Wild Dunes, home to the world's 32nd best ranked golf course. Holliday also consummated more than $250 million in real estate sales and construction during his tenure at Wild Dunes.
In the early 1990s he turned his attention toward buying hotel properties in the Southeastern United States, including the 212-room Doubletree Charleston Historic District and the 200-room Clarion Townhouse in Columbia, S.C. In 1994, Holliday purchased the historic Planters Inn after recognizing its premier location in the very heart of Historic Charleston at the corner of Meeting and Market Streets. Although originally built as a dry goods emporium in 1844, Holliday knew the building's bones were as good as the location and undertook an ambitious refurbishment. The extensive project was capped off with the 1997 opening of Peninsula Grill, one of America's Best New Restaurants according to Esquire magazine. The restaurant quickly became a highly sought after dining destination serving gourmet Lowcounty cuisine in a sophisticated setting. That same year a $5 million expansion of Planters Inn increased the number of rooms, retail and meeting spaces in addition to enhancing the restaurant's captivating courtyard. In 1999 Planters Inn was invited to join Relais & Châteaux, the prestigious, worldwide association of small, exclusive hotels and restaurants. The Planters Inn and Peninsula Grill are both recognized annually by leading travel publications such as Travel + Leisure, which named it one of the Top Ten Best Small Hotels in the United States in the magazine's World's Best issue.
By 1998, Holliday had begun to focus on a sweeping restoration of Charleston's Historic City Market area. He acquired a number of parking lots and buildings including an abandoned warehouse at the corner of Hayne and Church Streets, which he carefully renovated into the wildly popular Hank's Seafood Restaurant. He then opened the stylish Mercato Italian Restaurant located a few doors away from Peninsula Grill. Holliday's next project was the $7 million, 30-room Hayne Street Inn. With his Charleston City Market area holdings encompassing 275 hotel rooms, 15,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, 30,000 square feet of retail/office/restaurant space, and 175 on-site parking spaces, Holliday turned his attention to projects in Atlanta and South Florida.
But Holliday's focus would return to the Charleston City Market area in 2009 when The City of Charleston selected his firm to spearhead the restoration of The City Market itself, one of the oldest public markets in the nation.
On June 28, 2011, Holliday and his City Market Preservation Trust, LLC partners reopened the Great Hall and the four-block long City Market to rave reviews—the culmination of a meticulous $5.5 million, three-year renovation project that enhanced the architectural integrity and iconic character of the entire Charleston City Market, which houses more than 300 full and part time merchants.