A busy commercial area in Beaufort could be adding a new place to eat as part of a larger development.
A vacant property at 188 Robert Smalls Parkway is slated to become various new businesses. The tract sits across from a Lowe’s shopping center and its several new businesses.
Butler Chrysler Dodge Jeep plans a new dealership on the east side of the property.
On the other side would be a LongHorn Steakhouse restaurant and dental office, city documents show.
Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2019 and both business aim to open late next year, said Phil Warren Jr., of Warren Commercial Real Estate. Work on the restaurant and dentist office can’t begin until some of the early work is done on the car dealership, where site work is just beginning, he said.
The 5,500 square-foot casual dining restaurant would employ 35 people and have about 180 seats, Warren wrote in a letter to city planning officials. LongHorn parent company Darden Restaurants owns more than 500 locations of the steakhouse chain and expects to add 13 locations a year, the developer said.
Aspen Dental would occupy a 3,500 square-foot building nearby as part of the same development. The dentist office chain has more than 600 locations, including Bluffton.
The area is a hub of new business activity, with room for more.
A Navy Federal Credit Union, Dollar Tree, Taco Bell and KFC have been built on Robert Smalls Parkway in front of Lowe’s in recent years. A Grainger Nissan dealership popped up next door.
And a Discount Tire Store is under construction on a nearby corner of Robert Smalls Parkway.
The surrounding businesses, high traffic and visibility of the proposed restaurant site make development attractive to retailers, Warren said.