Developers won final approval Tuesday to build a new outdoor mall to replace The Mall at Shelter Cove.
After examining landscaping drawings and brick samples from architects Wood + Partners Inc., the Town of Hilton Head Island's Design Review Board unanimously approved the plans with only minor stipulations.
Tuesday's endorsement allows developers -- Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial -- to proceed with the Shelter Cove Towne Centre, a mixture of shops and cafes that will be a part of the revamped mall.
Demolition began Jan. 10, and new construction could begin within the next 30 days.
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Plans call for an outdoor mall with several single-story shops and cafes, set between a Kroger grocery store on one end and the existing Belk department store on the other. A walking area leading to views of Broad Creek will bisect the mall.
The project is expected to cost about $40 million and feature 290,000 square feet of retail space, according to Mark Senn, president of Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial.
Construction will be completed in two phases. The first covers the northeastern half of the mall where the Kroger will be located. It is expected to be completed in the fall, Senn said.
The second phase covers the southeastern half of the project and is expected to be finished in the spring or summer of 2014, he said.
The project also includes plans for 210 apartments with views of Broad Creek. Shelter Cove Community Park would be relocated to land between the shopping center and the creek. This final portion of the project must still win town approval. If it does, work would be completed in the fall of 2014.
That part of the plan is expected to cost about $20 million, Senn said.
The town has agreed to pay for half the estimated $4.5 million cost of the park, but will pay no more than $2.25 million if the project goes over budget.
On Tuesday, the board seemed to favor the design features, which included indigenous trees, benches, a bike service station, drinking fountains with a dog-level fountain and surfaces made up of concrete mixed with oyster shells.
The plan passed with several minor conditions:
Board members Todd Theodore and Tom Parker Jr. abstained from voting -- Theodore works for Wood + Partners, and Parker, an island architect, was a design consultant.