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Developer of new Harris Teeter for West Ashley Circle gets feedback from community on project plans

The proposed location for the new Harris Teeter in West Ashley. (Source: Live 5) The proposed location for the new Harris Teeter in West Ashley. (Source: Live 5)
Proposed plans for the new store. (Source: Live 5) Proposed plans for the new store. (Source: Live 5)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

A new Harris Teeter is coming to West Ashley Circle and residents are speaking out about the plans.

Developers held a community meeting on plans for the grocery store at Grace on the Ashley Baptist Church on Bees Ferry Road. Local residents learned the details of the plans, asked questions and shared concerns.

Many are in favor of the new Harris Teeter, which would also be near the entrance to the Grand Oaks neighborhood. 

"I, like many others, am very excited about the Harris Teeter coming to the area and all of the shops that are going to be associated with it," West Ashley resident Cam Wills said.

Linda Maxwell-Allen, who also lives in West Ashley, says she's also hoping for a new shopping center in the area.

"We are kind of outside of I-526 and there's not a whole lot available to us," Maxwell-Allen said.

But there are some concerns that have people unsure about traffic flow and flooding. The surrounding area has experienced major flooding in the past two years. 

"A lot of people had water damage and complete destruction of their homes," Maxwell-Allen said.

City officials say this site is not in the 100-year flood plan that is near the property and they are confident it won't contribute to additional storm water runoff.

Charleston City Councilman Dean Riegel represents the district and supports the new grocery store.

"Not only is it a great supermarket, but they have over-engineered their site," Riegel said. "They actually are going to have less water running out of the property than prior to them building."

There's also another worry.

"Trucks coming into the back of Harris Teeter and coming out on Grand Oaks Boulevard a residential area," Maxwell-Allen said.

After Tuesday night's meeting the planning team will consider changing the truck route from Grand Oaks Boulevard and keeping it on the West Ashley Circle. There are two truck routes a day.

John Rivers is the President and CEO of River's Enterprise, the project's developer. He says the new Harris Teeter will improve the area.

"This project, believe it or not, it will take a lot of congestion off the roads, it's going to be biker friendly, pedestrian friendly, and neighborhood friendly so that's our goal," Rivers said.

The project is still in the design approval process with the city. After the designs are approved it will take about one year for construction.

"We love the idea of how they've landscaped it, but there are some real issues that need to be addressed," Maxwell- Allen said.

The planning team says the design plans include sidewalks, bike racks and green spaces. 

"These developers need to be thanked," Wills said. "They've spent so much time creating something around the community's desires."

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