CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A former West Ashley grocery store will soon be no more.
The demolition of the old Piggly Wiggly at the corner of Sumar Street and Sam Rittenberg Boulevard began Tuesday morning.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, West Ashley Revitalization Chairman Peter Shahid and members of Charleston City Council held a press conference before the demolition began.
"Rome wasn't built in a day, neither was West Ashley," Tecklenburg said. "But as we tear down this dead pig, it will be a symbol of good things to come."
Last year, the city bought the building for $3 million.
"The primary reason the city bought this property was to straighten out the mess of an intersection that's behind the property," Tecklenburg said. "We have been working on various plans to improve that intersection to get rid of what they call the suicide merge lane and to make it more pedestrian friendly."
The city says what's next for the old Piggly Wiggly location is up to the public.
Those a part of the West Ashley Arts Initiative were at the demolition with their instruments.
"We're trying to help spread the word about what we want in West Ashley, which is a fine arts center," saud Chris Bluemel, a West Ashley resident. "I think it's up to the community to decide its own fate when it comes to this property. And I think if people don't speak up it's going to become something that doesn't benefit the citizens here."
Another West Ashley resident, Bill McSweeney, agreed.
"It would be great if there was a small amphitheater, maybe an outdoor sitting spot, a place for people in the communities that live across these streets to simply walk over and enjoy something in their own neighborhood," McSweeney said.
The city and the West Ashley revitalization commission will hold public forums in July to get feedback on what would be the best fit for the area.
In the meantime, if you would like to send an email regarding your ideas for the site you can send that to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tecklenburg added he hopes to have an idea, with the community's help, of what the city is going to do with the property by the end of the year.