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Commercial development plans for West Ashely Circle moving forward

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 10:10 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2022 at 4:24 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston city officials approved the first steps for a developer to build a car wash, retail space and restaurant space along West Ashley Circle near the Walmart.

“That would be fine with me, it’s already a cool spot. So expansion is good,” says Richard Brooks who has lived in West Ashley for a few years and says he likes the area.

“There’s lots of trees, there’s lots of stuff going on too at the same time. It’s not too developed, so a little more couldn’t hurt,” Brooks says.

Developers proposed a plan that would have a walkable plaza with a few businesses along the circle with parking in the back. They said they have an interested restaurant company who was part of designing the indoor and outdoor seating. They are also looking at take-out window on the patio.

“I’ll always take more food, more food more options. The better for me, not so much for my diet,” Miles White says.

White has lived in the area a few months. He says he isn’t sure about moving when his lease is up, but with a few new attractions right near his home, he says it’s a great place to be.

“If more restaurants come this way, all the better,” he said.

But, some people say the convenience of West Ashley is that it is not as compact as downtown. Kevin Earle says he doesn’t mind the idea, but worries that traffic is already overwhelming for the suburb.

“There’s advantages for it, but at the same time the more you pack in there the less you can move around,” Earle says.

There are some wetlands on the proposed property, but the developer is not planning to fill them. They will build the car wash and retail/restaurant building on the highlands.

Jordyn Goodman and her family just moved to West Ashley from the Summerville area. She says the local attractions are a big draw for the neighborhood.

“I’m excited. I mean we’re moving here and now something else is happening. It’s like – Woo! Stuff!” Goodman says.

The design review board approved the conceptual designs for the development with a few requirements for adjusting awnings, planning specific landscaping and making sure there are no noise violations.

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