After months of stalled construction and financial setbacks, work at the former Pineland Station on Hilton Head Island is expected to begin again soon.
Wheeler Real Estate Co., the Virginia-based developer of the new Sea Turtle Marketplace, halted construction on the site in May, according to Tommy Smith, president of Sandcastle Constructors. At the end of that month, Smith — who originally expected to resume construction by mid-July — filed a nearly $900,000 lien against the developer for completed work and materials used.
Despite not receiving payment since late spring, Smith has had some of his employees monitoring the site and others working on internal estimates so they will be ready when work picks back up.
“We’re anticipating Sept. 6 (to resume work),” he said. “I’m as confident as I can be without being in control.”
Denbeigh Marchant, a spokesman for Wheeler Real Estate Co., would not comment on why construction was halted, what has caused the ongoing delays or when work will resume at the site.
“We can say that the anticipated delivery (of Sea Turtle Marketplace) is for the end of first quarter in 2017, early second quarter 2017,” he said.
Sea Turtle Marketplace, located mid-island at 430 William Hilton Parkway, is expected to include a PetSmart, Another Broken Egg and Kitchen & Company. German grocery store Lidl is also looking at the site, but Smith said the out-parcel under consideration by the grocer would not be managed by Wheeler.
Smith said Sandcastle Constructors has an “excellent” relationship with Wheeler and that all the subcontractors working on the project are happy.
According to a document submitted to the Beaufort County Register of Deeds, Smith filed a mechanics lien May 31 against former and current property owners amounting to $890,801 for work performed and materials supplied for the project by the consent of Pineland Associates; Cahoon Hilton Head; WD-1; and Jon Wheeler, CEO of Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust.
“The only thing that I can comment on is that we’re aware of the lien, and it will be taken care of in a timely manner,” Marchant said. “I can’t comment on anything else at this time.”
Smith also would not comment on the lien.
“All of the team that we’ve put together,” Smith said, “are patiently waiting to go back to work. Everyone is planning on returning.”