Business

New shopping center planned for Bluffton Grayco location

Members of the Beaufort County Design Review Board comment July 8, 2015, on proposed materials for a redevelopment of the former site of the Grayco Building Center on U.S. 278 in Bluffton.
Members of the Beaufort County Design Review Board comment July 8, 2015, on proposed materials for a redevelopment of the former site of the Grayco Building Center on U.S. 278 in Bluffton. Staff photo

A new shopping center featuring high-end shops and a grocery store could open in greater Bluffton as soon as 2017 at the Grayco Building Center on U.S. 278.

A Grayco official said the building-supplies store plans to relocate, making way for the new development.

Jaz Development presented plans Wednesday to the Beaufort County Design Review Board to redevelop the 10.6-acre site at the corner of U.S. 278 and Trimblestone Road. The proposal calls for a 98,500-square-foot shopping center, divided into three anchors, and two additional parcels totaling 15,800 square feet.

Jaz Development president David Oliver said he is eyeing grocery stores and medium-sized stores for the center, whose largest space will be about 50,000 square feet.

He said he doesn't envision any restaurants or fast-food chains in the development.

"The outparcels aren't designed for a Burger King or a Wendy's," Oliver said of the two stand-alone buildings that will be located in the center's parking lot.

The Grayco store will relocate, likely to a site on Simmonsville Road, general manager Travis Kelly said.

Kelly hopes to finalize plans in the next few weeks and close shop at the current location by the end of this year.

"We're excited and looking forward to having a fresh new store, because this store has served us well for the last 20 years. But it either needed some major repairs and updates, or we needed to move," Kelly said. "We opted for moving."

The Green Thumb nursery has already moved from the center, consolidating operations at its Hilton Head Island location on Dillon Road, according to its phone message.

Construction on the redevelopment could begin by early 2016, with plans to open the shopping center within one year, Oliver said.

On Wednesday, the review board voted 3-2 to postpone approving Jaz Development's plans until the company addresses a few concerns about inadequate parking-lot lighting and building designs.

Several board members commented that some of the colors, such as Pacific blue accents and mint green paint, should be toned down. They also asked Jaz to improve the appearance of some of the buildings' sides and increase continuity between the three anchors, or sections, of the shopping center.

"The others seem to make sense, where (Anchor B) feels like a collection of pieces thrown together," board member and architect Pearce Scott said.

Jaz will present updated plans at the board's meeting scheduled for Aug. 5 at the Palmetto Electric Cooperative building in Hardeeville.

Jaz Development, based in Atlanta, is responsible for renovating a large portion of the Island Crossing shopping center at Palmetto Bay Road and Sea Pines Circle on Hilton Head Island, and it developed the Lowe's and Low Country Village shopping center in Bluffton, according to its website.

The company is also building the Bluffton Gateway shopping center on the corner of U.S. 278 and S.C. 46.

Though Walmart has said it is looking for a site for a Sam's Club in Bluffton, it has not named a specific location for the members-only retail warehouse club. When asked whether Jaz Development would be bringing a Sam's Club to Bluffton Gateway, Oliver said no tenants have been confirmed.

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

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