Business

There are walls up at Bluffton Fresh Market site, but what else is new?

The construction site at the intersection of Burnt Church Road and highway U.S. 278 where a Hobby Lobby, PGA Tour Superstore and The Fresh Market are planned.
The construction site at the intersection of Burnt Church Road and highway U.S. 278 where a Hobby Lobby, PGA Tour Superstore and The Fresh Market are planned. Madison Hogan

Back in March, a partner with Jaz Development LLC, the developer of the shopping center where The Fresh Market is going, told The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette that construction should be completed by the first quarter of 2017.

The website for The Fresh Market contains a “Coming Soon” page, but from what I can tell, it hasn’t been updated in a while, since no stores are listed.

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When I called The Fresh Market, this is the statement they emailed me:

“In order to provide more flexibility in developing the company’s long-term growth strategy, The Fresh Market has re-evaluated the timing of its new store opening announcements. The Fresh Market is continuously reviewing its investment priorities, which often results in shifting opening dates. As such, the company does not plan on projecting or speculating on specific store opening timing prior to construction start.”

Now, I’m confused, because aren’t there huge cinder-block walls currently situated on the property where The Fresh Market intends to build? Looks like they’ve started construction to me.

I contacted Jaz Development and David Oliver, the president, told me he’s still shooting to finish the project by March 2017, but he said “it's possible that there will be a little bit different timing” due to tenants working on the interior of their buildings once Jaz has finished construction. He also said the shopping center has plans for a national furniture store in one of the outparcels and a couple of local shop tenants, but Jaz hasn’t signed any leases yet.

Take this from someone who’s practically studied developments all summer — workers on site and infrastructure that starts to look like an actual building is a good sign.

But it would be nice if we could get some fresh news out of The Fresh Market.

Madison Hogan: 843-706-8137, @MadisonHogan

Help Madison Hogan do her job

Email Retail and Arts reporter at mhogan@islandpacket.com or call her at 843-706-8137 if you hear of a new business opening, an old one closing or if you’re just curious about what might be going in that building, who bought that land and why, or what that pile of dirt is going to be.

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