West Ashley in the midst of revitalization

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Master planning efforts for revitalization and growth in West Ashley are now beginning.

Officials say this is the largest planning effort ever undertaken in the city of Charleston.

Multiple apartment complexes and homes are being constructed or proposed and city officials say they anticipate many West Ashley shopping centers will be redeveloping as well; all of which will have a positive effect on the entire area.

"Going forward we want to make sure that the quality of retail services and retail stores is really high. That improvement is just beginning and it's going to go for a long time," Jacob Lindsey, the Planning Director for the City of Charleston, says.

"One of the things we know about West Ashley is there are a lot of shopping centers that are maybe a little tired. We know there's new interest in them. So we do anticipate that many of West Ashley shopping centers are going to redevelop in a very positive way," Lindsey says.

That's the case with the shopping center where True Value is located. It's a hardware store which opened about 15 weeks ago and is one of the newer businesses to the West Ashley area. Management says they're staying busy.

 "Everyone who have been coming through the doors tells us how happy they are that we're here. They're happy to have a local store. All of the customers have been really grateful, we're meeting some awesome people. So it's been going good. It's getting busier every day, which is awesome," Claire Curtis, the manager of True Value, says.

In taking a look at the population growth for the area: In 2010 there were 68,599 people living in West Ashley. In 2016, that number grew to 75,142. Officials project there will be 81,526 people by 2021.

"We know that West Ashley is a great place to live and is going to be more desirable as time goes by," Lindsey says.

That's something many are excited about.

As for the timeline: the master planning process is already underway.

The planning commission will begin research in March, the team will start public input in April and then a full design workshop will begin in May.

The goal is to have a lot of input and opinions from the public about what they would like to see in the revitalization.

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