Shelter Cove shopping center continues to take shape

tbarton@islandpacket.comDecember 29, 2013 

The brick facade of the main entrance to the former Mall at Shelter Cove, shown Thursday, is all that is left of the central section of the mall, which is being demolished and converted into an indoor-outdoor shopping area.

JAY KARR — Jay Karr Buy Photo

Construction continues on smaller shops flanking either side of the Kroger and Belk stores that anchor the new 42-acre, outdoor Shelter Cove Towne Centre, at the site of the former Mall at Shelter Cove.

A handful of tenants have committed to leasing space at the shopping center. They include Jos. A Bank and GNC, which are already at the mall. A SERG Group restaurant, Heritage Fine Jewelry and Jake's Wayback Burgers also have committed.

Mall manager Roni Allbritton said Friday more tenants will likely be announced in coming months, and construction of the 290,000-square-foot center remains on schedule for completion in late spring or early summer.

The Kroger grocery store opened Dec. 11, a month earlier than expected and has seen heavy traffic, she said. A final phase of the project will add 210 apartments east of the mall with views of Broad Creek, and a relocated 5-acre park will bisect the shopping center.

The Town of Hilton Head Island has agreed to split the park's cost -- expected to be about $4.5 million -- with the developers.

Plans for the park are still being completed, and construction is expected sometime next year, Allbritton said. No timeline has been finalized for the apartments, but work is likely to begin sometime near the end of 2014, with completion in 2015, Allbritton said.

The $76 million project is expected to generate 450 jobs and $5.1 million in annual sales-tax revenue, according to developer Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial.

"We've gotten phenomenal response from the community and have been very pleased with the feedback," Allbritton said. "This is a project that has been sorely needed on the island, and it's been exciting to see the progress that has been made."

SEEKING PARKING Lack of parking, though, remains a concern.

The town has been working with the developer, the Island Recreation Association and Shelter Cove Harbour Co. on a parking study to determine how many parking spaces are needed for events at the park and how many could be used at the new shopping center. Some on-street parking would be provided, according to plans, but it was not clear Friday how many spaces would be created.

"It's a work in progress," said Charles Davis, president of Shelter Cove Harbour Co. "We recognize there's going to be a real problem and are attempting to address it, including looking at securing off-site parking and providing shuttle service to and from the park, like was done for Fourth of July fireworks displays at Shelter Cove."

Sites being considered include Chaplin Community Park and existing parking spaces throughout Shelter Cove Harbour.

RESTAURANT PLANS EMERGE Steve Carb, president of SERG restaurant group, which operates seven restaurants on the island, provided more details Friday of his new dining and retail concept for the shopping center.

Carb said the group plans a 10,000-square-foot restaurant offering coastal cuisine, with adjoining retail space selling SERG apparel, picnic supplies and novelty gifts.

The new restaurant, called Poseidon, will include outdoor dining, an oyster bar and a rooftop bar with views of Broad Creek, as well as a "seafood shack meets food truck" serving lobster rolls, and fried and grilled seafood for takeout.

"Downstairs will feel like you're sitting on a covered porch having dinner overlooking the new community park and Broad Creek," he said. "Upstairs will be more festive and will feature live entertainment and sunset balcony dining."

He hopes to have it all running by early summer.

"We want to showcase the Lowcountry and Hilton Head as a premier coastal dining destination -- offering a variety of coastal dinning experiences, all under one roof and where the pages of Coastal Living, Garden & Gun and Southern Living magazines are brought to life," Carb said. "This will be an economic shot in the arm for Hilton Head, and (we) love being a part of that."

Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/IPBG_Tom.

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