A Walmart grocery store will anchor a new shopping center in Bluffton.
The world's largest retailer will open a Walmart Neighborhood Market at Bluffton Parkway and S.C. 170, according to a sign posted at the property.
It will be flanked by about 18,000 square feet of shops, a gas station and two or three spaces for banks or fast-food restaurants, according to Sal Biondo of Coastal Retail Services, an Atlanta company that's developing the center.
No other tenants have been signed, he said Monday. He said local shops such as dry cleaners, hair salons and pizza parlors will likely occupy the available retail space.
Construction is tentatively scheduled to start July 15 and could be finished by the end of the year, Biondo said.
The Neighborhood Market is Beaufort County's first such store.
Walmart has pushed to build more across the country to compete with dollar stores and supermarkets. Last week it opened its 500th market, according to a company news release.
Shoppers can expect produce and meats, frozen foods and groceries, and health and beauty products, as well as pet and cleaning supplies. Most of the markets have a drive-thru pharmacy.
The markets typically are smaller than the discount retailer's other stores. The Bluffton version will be about 43,000 square feet, or about a quarter the size of the typical supercenter.
The planned 13-acre shopping center is part of a larger development called Buckwalter Crossroads.
Bluffton developer Tom Zinn's company owns the 67-acre site, which is made up of about a dozen parcels.
Zinn expects it to become a commercial focal point as Bluffton grows. The S.C. 170 widening project and plans to extend Bluffton Parkway make the development a "one-of-a-kind piece of real estate," he said.
He made no new announcements Monday but said he was "excited about Crossroads in the same way we were excited about Buckwalter Place," another Bluffton development his company owns.
"It's teed up for a lot of things," he said.
Follow reporter Dan Burley on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Dan.