Hobby Lobby, The Fresh Market and PGA Tour Superstore will anchor a new shopping center in Bluffton.
The shopping center, located at the intersection of U.S. 278 and Burnt Church Road, will feature a large building that houses the stores and, potentially, some restaurants.
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“Construction is projected to be completed during the first quarter of 2017,” Tom Thompson, a partner with Jaz Management, LLC, said Thursday afternoon. “(By then) the whole shopping center will be built, and the spaces delivered to tenants.”
In addition to the main building, a Sleep Number store and an Aspen Dental office will occupy two “freestanding buildings” facing U.S. 278, Thompson said.
Thompson said his partner, David Oliver, has a record of developing shopping centers in Bluffton. Although construction hasn’t begun, some Bluffton residents are excited. And while a sign at the intersection advertises the soon-to-come retail stores, the retailers themselves are, at the moment, silent. Oliver was unavailable for comment.
During his time with Stafford Properties, Oliver helped bring stores such as Target, Best Buy and Lowe’s to the city. Thompson said Oliver was working with The Fresh Market, PGA Tour Superstore and Hobby Lobby on the project. The shopping center has been in the works for about two years, Thompson said.
The Fresh Market store will occupy about 20,000 square feet, Thompson said. The PGA Tour Superstore will be approximately 35,000 square feet, and the Hobby Location will be roughly 55,000 square feet.
“We have not issued any building permits yet,” Chuck Atkinson, building codes director for Beaufort County, said, adding that he’d seen drawings for the Hobby Lobby store. “But it’s pretty early in the process.”
“We aren’t able to comment on rumored or speculated locations until we’ve made an official lease announcement, so The Fresh Market has chosen to respectfully pass on this opportunity (to speak),” a Fresh Market spokesperson wrote in an email to the Island Packet and Gazette on Thursday.
The newspapers were unable to reach PGA Tour Superstore for comment.
A Hobby Lobby spokesperson wrote in an email, “At this point I don’t have any information to share.”
But Thompson said the leases for all three stores are signed. “You can take ’em to the bank,” he said.
“We’re in discussions with a few different restaurant groups,” Thompson said, “but those leases aren’t done at this time.”
There will be a maximum of two restaurants in the shopping center, he said, adding that Jaz Management was also in discussions with “a high-end salon.”
Bluffton resident Cassie Clayshulte recently posted a picture of the sign at the intersection of U.S. 278 and Burnt Church Road to her Facebook page, entitled “We Need A Hobby Lobby In Bluffton/HHI.” The caption reads: “WE DID IT!!!!!!!! A HOBBY LOBBY IS COMING TO BLUFFTON!!!!!!!!!!”
Clayshulte started the page in November 2013. It now has almost 600 “likes.” The picture she posted Tuesday has 292 “likes” and has been shared 160 times.
“You know, with us having Sun City and a college and a lot of young families in the area,” Clayshulte said Thursday, “I’m surprised that we haven’t gotten (a Hobby Lobby) before.”
“Usually we had to go to Savannah for anything like that.”