CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston city officials are still figuring out the best use of the former Piggly Wiggly site in West Ashley.
Officials laid out redevelopment options during Wednesday’s West Ashley Revitalization meeting. Officials say that based on past public comment sessions, most people want a mixture of open outdoor space, community facilities, and commercial development.
The proposals include using the 2.5-acre lot for offices, restaurants, retail facilities, and creating public parks.
Jacob Lindsey, the Director of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability for the City of Charleston, says this is the right move for that area.
“We think some kind of commercial redevelopment is going to be the right fit for West Ashley to bring jobs as well as retail opportunities,” said Lindsey. “We also want to make sure there’s public space and public parks and a beautiful streetscape around this area.”
The area has been vacant since 2013, and then the City of Charleston bought it in 2017 for $3 million. Lindsey says they have been working on this project since then.
The meeting was an opportunity for people to give feedback on the proposals. Some people felt like there should be nothing built in that area at all, for fear that it will add to existing traffic issues and larger development.
Other residents believe that the mixture of commercial redevelopment will bring something new to the area.
Teri Lash has lived in West Ashley for almost 55 years. She believes that something needs to be built that will show the beauty of the neighborhood.
"West Ashley is a very historic area with a lot of historic properties,” said Lash. “I really think that something like a welcome center would just be phenomenal.”
Officials say they hope to create a public and private sector partnership in order to bring this vision to life.
Lindsey says the next step is to seek qualifications from construction teams and move forward with them.