Charleston unveils long term vision for West Ashley to packed auditorium

VIDEO: Charleston unveils long term vision for West Ashley to packed auditorium

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Mayor Joe Riley and city officials presented a fresh, new outlook to an auditorium full of residents eager to see West Ashley's future.

"One time West Ashley was the up and coming place," says Larry Millhouse, who has lived in West Ashley for 40 years. "Somehow it got overshadowed by Mt. Pleasant, of course, downtown has always been a jewel, and, now, I think it's time for West Ashley to become that to."

"We're starting a race and this is the firing of the gun," says city council member Marvin Wagner. "This is what we're thinking about. This is what we're looking at."

Planning Director Tim Keane laid out the plan. He says revitalizing Citadel Mall and Sam Rittenberg Boulevard are the larger-scale projects that will transform West Ashley.

"Northbridge, down through the middle section out by Chuck E. Cheese's and then all the way down to the mall area, the whole Highway 7 corridor, which was originally built when the Navy was here," says Wagner.

Keane says the design for the mall is preliminary and does not currently have the support of the mall's owner or manager. He says their hope is to build a community with parks, apartments and a hotel.

Residents say they were impressed but not convinced it's possible.

"It's a little tough because some of the more major things require more buy in from some of the business owners, for example, the Citadel Mall," says West Ashley resident Jonathan Georgas.

"It looked gorgeous," says Kevin Bush, who grew up in West Ashley. "I would love to see it happen! It does seem extremely ambitious that they're going actually going to put the money and get it through all of the red tape."