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Charleston native

West Ashley becoming more urban

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Check out this article in the Chas Business Journal about the Ashley River Bridge District. The city of Chas designated this area just across from DT as part of its citywide zoning districts. These districts are not necessarily limited to any type of zoning, but they help distinguish the many various areas throughout the city that have unique neighborhoods and urban makeup.

The article reports of this district (which is the west gateway to DT) being a residential hot spot with the many infill and redevelopment projects that have sprouted along this once-semi-industrial segment of the city. Residents of other neighborhoods in Chas and newcomers are flocking to the many condominium complexes that have been built, with more planned to be constructed this year. New residents have actually been quoted as saying, "it

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What are the approximate (or exact) boundaries of this district? I think the infill is a good sign in general, but it all depends on what it looks like. A lot of those restaurants you mentioned are generally generic suburban restaurants. it their design is simliar to that of North Charleston, then its not a step forward at all. If their design is more desne, more like what would be acceptable downtown, then its a great thing! I am only somewhat familiar with this area though, so I can't get into too much detail when it comes to this area.

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I'll try to get some pics of the area next time I'm down there. The area is currently a mix of suburban and urban development, with many of the suburban areas being older. The area is right next to old surburban neighborhoods of Windermere, The Crescent, and Wappoo Heights. The new projects are definitely not suburban, averaging 4-5 stories in compact areas of land.I think the restaurants can be built with current land and/or buildings available, such as the old Fulton's/Crab House building next to the Spring Hill Suites and Residence Inn.

The keys for this whole area are sidewalks and connecting the West Ashley Greenway. Getting those built will stimulate the pedestrian foot traffic that will be needed to create an urban feel.

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There are more developers that are looking into WA becoming more urban. According to the P & C link below, a developer named Al Wilson of Loanfinders Inc. plans to build 16,000 square feet of retail and office space on two corner lots he bought at the intersection of U.S. Highway 17 and Blitchridge Road. The area is shown in this mapquest link.

This looks promising and continues to demonstrate that West of the Ashley will be more urban in the future. Mr. Wilson is hoping to generate "urban buzz" with his development, which will be named Savannah Square, that will contain a cafe and other boutique shops. Although the $2 million project is modest in scale, nearby residents said it could help revitalize the neighborhoods that are tucked near the busy commercial corridor. With its planned pedestrian-friendly storefronts facing the highway and room for parking behind, local residents say that the project will stand out among the car dealerships and strip mall-like buildings nearby.

I hope that future development will be encouraged around Savannah Hwy, and in addition, it may necessitate the widening of nearby Wappoo Road to a 4-lane street. Current infrastructure needs to be improved on though, like burying utility lines and increasing street lighting.

Developer strives for 'urban buzz'

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This area definitely has a lot of potential (and I remember it when it used to just be the forest behind Porter-Gaud). But I think the city needs to make it more friendly for pedestrians. There are no contiguous sidewalks in that area. It's that weird suburban situation where one condo complex decides to put a sidewalk in front of its property, but then the sidewalk ends at the next block! There is getting to be enough density there to actually support some neighborhood shops and restaurants that could attract foot traffic. And if the bridges across the Ashley are ever made more walkable, you might actually see people walking from downtown to go places in West Ashley, and vice versa.

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I've noticed that the sidewalk problem isn't just limited to Chas...it's up here in Cola as well. What I don't get is that the majority of WA is in the city, and city codes should require sidewalk paving on all major arteries. Why aren't these developers required to link their sidewalk section with another section? I agree lsg, sidewalks need to be contiguous, particularly in the Ablemarle Point area. I've even said that there should be a pedestrian bridge from the Residence Inn to the Holiday Inn; restaurants such as Macaroni Grill, Maggiano's or even Cheesecake Factory need to be built there as well as other retail; and there should be sidewalk linkage to the WA Greenway bike trail.

The potential for this area is just tremendous. It just seems that the city and developers are shuffling their feet.

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I've noticed that the sidewalk problem isn't just limited to Chas...it's up here in Cola as well. What I don't get is that the majority of WA is in the city, and city codes should require sidewalk paving on all major arteries. Why aren't these developers required to link their sidewalk section with another section? I agree lsg, sidewalks need to be contiguous, particularly in the Ablemarle Point area. I've even said that there should be a pedestrian bridge from the Residence Inn to the Holiday Inn; restaurants such as Macaroni Grill, Maggiano's or even Cheesecake Factory need to be built there as well as other retail; and there should be sidewalk linkage to the WA Greenway bike trail.

The potential for this area is just tremendous. It just seems that the city and developers are shuffling their feet.

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requirements for sidewalks are relatively new. As properties are developed or redeveloped, the owners are required to provide sidewalk from property line to property line. The thought is that over time, you will develop sidewalks along the major arteries. In the short term, you end up with sidewalks from nowhere to nowhere.

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This isn't exactly "becoming more urban", but I just couldn't find a general West Ashley thread to put it in. Recently, an exciting example of re-development has occurred that removes a blight on the WA landscape that existed for far too long. Here is the article:

http://www.charleston.net/news/2009/feb/16...rsonality71864/

Woo hoo! Goodbye sleazy video joint! :lol:

West Ashley is becoming more urban with the VERY exciting re-development of the shopping center near Coburg dairy. Most of the old buildings have been demolished, and I'm sure the new construction must have begun. Does anyone have time to take some pics of how this is coming along, and can post them on this forum?

Also, I wonder whether the demolition and re-development of the tired old Kmart a little further down Savannah Highway has begun? That one was tremendous in its scope and ambitions, and I hope it happens!

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I can't say I'm overly excited about a gas station, but I suppose its better than a vacant site.

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Please no chain restaurants!! We have some of the best locally-owned restaurants in all of Charleston right here in West Ashley. As a resident of West Ashley, I'm happy that we're having this growth, but I'm a bit scared of the developers. Just as long as they don't turn it into Mt. Pleasant, I'm okay with it.

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Also, I wonder whether the demolition and re-development of the tired old Kmart a little further down Savannah Highway has begun? That one was tremendous in its scope and ambitions, and I hope it happens!

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Was that actually an official plan by Kmart or something the city had proposed? I don't see Kmart doing a significant amount of updating to their stores these days. (Well, they slapped a new coat of paint on the Mt. Pleasant store, but that's it).

The Harris Teeter down the street is progressing nicely. I've also heard rumors of a Petco going in nextdoor to the HT. They're also out of the ground with the new Starbucks out front.

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