When Collin Davidson was in high school, he and his friends dreamed of leaving Beaufort and never looking back.
But Davidson, 21, has found that dreams change.
"I see a lot of opportunity here," he said. "All sorts of things are happening rather quickly."
Davidson and his parents, Kelly and Bobby, are teaming up with Lundy and Dianna Baker to open a convenience store in Old Bay Marketplace.
Although Davidson plans to go to the College of Charleston in the fall to finish a political science degree he started at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, he wants to put down roots so he has something to come back to.
The store -- which has yet to be named -- will be in suite G, where Finishing Touches, Etc., was until it closed in January. Davidson hopes to open in early April.
The plan, Collin and Kelly Davidson said, is to have a little of everything that people might need while downtown, whether they work in the area, are visiting or just passing through.
That includes local organic food and produce, grab-and-go items, art and local gifts, and toiletries like toothbrushes. Seating areas for eating or relaxing are also planned, Collin Davidson said.
"Any little item like that so people don't have to get in their car and leave," Kelly Davidson said. "And with the marina expanding and people coming down on boats without cars, they need to be able to walk."
Along with the Beaufort Downtown Marina expansion, city officials are considering redevelopment of the marina parking lot. A private parking-garage company is eyeing Port Republic Square, behind Old Bay Marketplace. And Beaufort Inn and parent company 303 Associates plan a large expansion downtown.
Collin Davidson said all that activity could equal strong demand for a convenience store.
The store will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, he said, and services, such as dry cleaning pickup and delivery for guests staying downtown, may be added as needs arise.
The look will be similar to Salt Gallery, with plank walls and an industrial motif, Kelly Davidson said. The Davidsons and Bakers opened the gallery at 802 Bay St. earlier this month.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.
- Salt Gallery opening in March in downtown Beaufort, Feb. 21, 2014
- Georgetown fire victims to start new restaurant in Beaufort, Nov. 22, 2013