CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The City of Charleston announced a three-step plan designed to offset the impact of a downtown grocery store's closure planned for next month.
Mayor John Tecklenburg met with community and neighborhood leaders Tuesday about the pending closure of the Meeting Street Bi-Lo grocery store, according to city spokesperson Cameron Wolfsen.
"As I said last week, maintaining a useful, diverse mix of businesses throughout the city is a critical aspect of neighborhood livability and quality of life for our citizens," Tecklenburg said.
The first step will have the city partnering with the Lowcountry Street Grocery, a local farmers market organization, "to assure that affordable, high-quality fresh fruits, vegetables and meats will be available to Eastside and Midtown neighborhood residents" when the store closes, she said.
The second step involves the city working with CARTA to create a shuttle service for former BI-LO customers to transport them from the store site to the Food Lion and CBS shopping center on Upper King Street.
The city will then develop as the third step a series of "targeted incentives" designed to attract a new grocer to the property "if and when" it is redeveloped, she said.
The BI-LO location is expected to close on Oct. 5, a move that would leave only two grocery stores on the downtown peninsula: a Food Lion on King Street and a Harris Teeter store on East Bay Street.
The announcement of the store's pending closure prompted a Charleston man to start a petition that calls for a boycott of all BI-LO stores.