Long-rumored plans for the redevelopment of a major Beaufort shopping center are taking shape.
A Publix grocery store is planned for Beaufort Plaza, city documents show.
Beaufort Plaza Stadium movie theater, a car shop and other retail space would be demolished to build the 48,000-square-foot store, according to plans owner Paul Trask filed with the city.
Upgrades are planned to the remaining storefronts, including resurfacing sidewalks, painting facades, new LED lighting and replacing signs, documents show.
The shopping center at the intersection of Boundary Street and Robert Smalls Parkway has been primed for redevelopment, pending the completion of a major road project that reconfigured the intersection adjacent to the property.
“This is the prime area,” Beaufort City Manager Bill Prokop said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the end of the $33 million Boundary Street project in June. “Right here where we’re standing is where people want to be if they’re a retailer.”
A phone message and email for Trask weren’t returned by Tuesday afternoon. Trask previously declined comment on his plans, citing a nondisclosure agreement.
He was involved in early planning for the Boundary Street road work, Mayor Billy Keyserling said, and has a master plan for the property, including major retailers.
The 12,000-square-foot movie theater was built in 1975, county property records show. Highway 21 Drive-In screens movies outside at its location off of Parker Drive in Burton.
City planning Director Libby Anderson said she wasn’t aware of plans for another theater.
The design of the new grocery store is being reviewed by city planning staff and must be approved before a building permit is issued, Anderson said.
Publix is the latest grocery store to show interest in building in northern Beaufort County.
Harris Teeter is pursuing a new store on Lady’s Island, planning to build on a site vacated by Publix for a new store on the other side of Sea Island Parkway. Discount grocer Lidl explored a new store on the wooded lot at the corner of Parris Island Gateway and Robert Smalls Parkway near Walmart, but those plans have been canceled, Anderson said.
The potential for more homes in the area could be attracting interest.
Developers have eyed a 100-acre tract off of Salem Road for a potential housing development. New homes continue to be built in the Shadow Moss subdivision a few miles south on S.C. 170.
The area’s retail landscape has been active in recent years.
A new Walmart opened last year on Lady’s Island. Discount box store Kmart in Beaufort Town Center closed last year and is being filled with smaller businesses, including a restaurant and distillery.