WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Big plans are in the works to change the look of West Ashley, including renovations to the Citadel Mall and other shopping centers.
Throughout Mayor John Tecklenburg's campaign he promised that changes would come to the area as soon as possible.
Hours after his inauguration on Monday he held a meeting with city staff who have a hand in those projects and efforts.
"[We need to get] those going and getting them completed, and thinking outside of the box on new things we can do to help out West Ashley," he said Tuesday.
Revitalization is at the core of what he hopes to accomplish during his four years as mayor.
At the top of the list is the Citadel Mall; changing it into a mixed-use area filled with stores, office spaces, green spaces, and apartments.
"We supported Citadel Mall when it first opened," said Lori Cary-Korthera, of West Ashley. "Then they had the revitalization, and it's nice to be able to shop in your neighborhood."
"There's been a renewed focus on this project," said city planner director, Jacob Lindsey.
However decline in foot traffic at the mall may have caused many businesses to leave; calling on a new plan for that area.
Now city staff are putting together a plan to create a 'tif district' for the upcoming project.
"It's an economic incentive for businesses to get involved with the vision for the area," Lindsey said.
Businesses who are on board with the incentive plan would get an ongoing property tax break.
The city is working with several agencies in order to have this plan presented to the council before the summer.
The mall isn't the only spot that will see some changes.
Also on Tecklenburg's list is the Sam Rittenberg Corridor.
Westwood Plaza off Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Ashley River Road is expected to get a Harris Teeter sometime in the future.
"I would really like to see some small businesses," Cary-Kohthera said. "There are enough chain businesses, but I would really like to see West Ashley be the area that brought in the local businesses and made it affordable for those businesses to be here."
There's also talk of something going in to the old Food Lion off Saint Andrews Boulevard.
Lindsey said the department has yet to receive any kind of permit for either location.
However those who live in West Ashley are hoping for one thing in particular.
"Trader Joe's...," Cary-Kohthera said.
"It's a food desert in that area," said Kelley Clinger, of West Ashley. "Those folks who live in that area need a grocery store. I would be there every day if we had a Trader Joe's."
There's even a whole Facebook page dedicated to trying to get the store to come to West Ashley.
At this point the popular store chain hasn't indicated whether or not they would consider.
Calls to the developer of the old Food Lion site have yet to be returned.
Tecklenburg is also hoping to revitalize the Dupont/Wappoo Road area off Savannah Highway, and revamp under-utilized spaces around West Ashley.