Proposed land-use changes to aid redevelopment of The Mall at Shelter Cove were praised Thursday by the Hilton Head Island Town Council.
Developers said the complex would take about 18 months to construct and generate about 250 jobs. The public can comment on the proposal at a June 8 Planning Commission meeting.
Mayor Drew Laughlin was among several council members at a workshop Thursday who endorsed the plan.
"I view this as an example of what can be achieved through a cooperative effort between the town, the property owners and groups within the community," he said. "It's going to have my support, and I hope the support of council and citizens in this community, because I think it will be the beginning of a major asset in that area."
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The plan calls for demolition of much of the languishing mall, except the Belk department store and an area that will become a Kroger supermarket. The property would be turned into a shopping and dining district with public access to Broad Creek.
A real estate affiliate of The Kroger Co. purchased the 42-acre property and 300,000-square-foot mall in August for about $17.3 million.
Mark Baker of Wood and Partners, which is involved in the mall's redevelopment, outlined the three key elements of the proposed complex:
"The Town of Hilton Head has these beautiful rivers and creeks, and in many cases, we don't even know they're here," Baker said.
The park would be larger than Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in Beaufort and could feature a pedestrian promenade similar to the Beaufort park, Baker said.
Laughlin has said he would support the swap, and other council members endorsed the overall project.
"We have an opportunity here with a private company willing to come in here to spend tens of millions of dollars to help our island," Councilman George W. Williams Jr. said. "We're very close to having this done, and I will fully support this."
Town manager Steve Riley said the designers "continued to listen and continued to refine, and I think that's a good sign."