Shelter Cove redevelopment praised by Hilton Head Town Council

gmartin@islandpacket.comMay 31, 2012 

Proposed land-use changes to aid redevelopment of The Mall at Shelter Cove were praised Thursday by the Hilton Head Island Town Council.

Developers said the complex would take about 18 months to construct and generate about 250 jobs. The public can comment on the proposal at a June 8 Planning Commission meeting.

Mayor Drew Laughlin was among several council members at a workshop Thursday who endorsed the plan.

"I view this as an example of what can be achieved through a cooperative effort between the town, the property owners and groups within the community," he said. "It's going to have my support, and I hope the support of council and citizens in this community, because I think it will be the beginning of a major asset in that area."

The plan calls for demolition of much of the languishing mall, except the Belk department store and an area that will become a Kroger supermarket. The property would be turned into a shopping and dining district with public access to Broad Creek.

A real estate affiliate of The Kroger Co. purchased the 42-acre property and 300,000-square-foot mall in August for about $17.3 million.

Mark Baker of Wood and Partners, which is involved in the mall's redevelopment, outlined the three key elements of the proposed complex:

  • The relocation of Shelter Cove Lane father inland to allow for a public waterfront park and to build the new retail and dining complex closer to Broad Creek.

  • "The Town of Hilton Head has these beautiful rivers and creeks, and in many cases, we don't even know they're here," Baker said.

    The park would be larger than Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in Beaufort and could feature a pedestrian promenade similar to the Beaufort park, Baker said.

  • A new central street offering easier access and a view of the water from William Hilton Parkway. The street would intersect a new pedestrian-friendly road with a variety of businesses and on-street parking. Baker said both streets also would feature "significant tree plantings that would add to the beautiful canopy on the island."

  • About 220 apartments and carriage houses, many of which would be built in what is now Shelter Cove Community Park along Broad Creek. Their construction would require swapping about five acres of mall property to be used for the waterfront park for roughly the same amount of town land.

  • Laughlin has said he would support the swap, and other council members endorsed the overall project.

    "We have an opportunity here with a private company willing to come in here to spend tens of millions of dollars to help our island," Councilman George W. Williams Jr. said. "We're very close to having this done, and I will fully support this."

    Town manager Steve Riley said the designers "continued to listen and continued to refine, and I think that's a good sign."

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