WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - Some plans for a couple of shopping centers along Sam Rittenberg Boulevard have emerged showing the Starbucks and stores coming to West Ashley as a push for redevelopment picks up momentum.
"It desperately needs a facelift," says Lillian Martin, who visits often. "They need to do something about the traffic, and they need to make people want to come here to shop."
"I would like to see some better restaurants over here," says West Ashley resident, Mitchell Gilbert.
People who live, shop and eat in West Ashley are on board for some new options.
"People should start seeing a lot of stuff, little stuff, but it's part of an overall big plan to really redo the whole West Ashley area," explains Charleston City council member William Moody.
Ashley Landing at Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Old Towne Road is already seeing some improvements with more trees. It is home to a Burlington Coat Factory, Big Lots and Red Orchid's. According to the city, construction of a drive-thru Starbucks is set to begin within a month.
And a Harris Teeter is coming to Westwood Plaza, within a couple of years. It will be built between the T.J. Maxx and Barnes and Noble. Blockbuster and Fazoli's are among the businesses that have closed down.
"North Charleston got their Tanger Outlets," says Moody. "That created a lot of buzz out there. Downtown is the Golden Goose, so we need to protect downtown, and now it's time to work on West Ashley."
"It's the one place that can continue to grow," says Martin. "The others have almost reached their peaks, and so West Ashley is the one place that does have the room for people to keep coming."
Some people say it isn't the development that worries them. It's the traffic that comes with it.
"If there was to be greater development, I would like to see that accounted for in infrastructure projects as well, widening of roads and so forth," says Gilbert.
Moody says change will take time but a big push from the city and county is underway.
"It's a full court press and team effort, but it's going to take 10 years, 15 years before you really see it. The rest of those places didn't get that way overnight."
Speculation of a Macy's in West Ashley has been circulating on social media. Moody says, at this time, it's just a rumor.