Hilton Head Island Town Council on Tuesday deferred an agreement with developers to revitalize The Mall at Shelter Cove after hearing objections from nearby residents to possible gas and liquor sales.
Project attorney Wes Jones made the request during a public hearing on the agreement, telling council the pact requires amendments to the town's land management ordinance that should be vetted by the Planning Commission first.
The Planing Commission has previously endorsed plans by developer Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial. Yet to be resolved are issues related to a proposed land swap between the town and mall owner, and land-use and zoning changes.
"We felt the prudent thing to do is to take this extra step to make sure everything is done as it should be," Jones said after the meeting.
Councilman George Williams Jr. added: "It's a procedural matter, and council is enthusiastic about the concept for the mall, and we look forward to getting it back to us as soon as possible."
Plans call for demolishing much of the mall except for the Belk department store and an area that would become a Kroger supermarket.
The redeveloped property would have 295,000 square feet of commercial space and 210 apartments, many of which would be built along Broad Creek in what is now Shelter Cove Community Park.
Plans also call for liquor and gas sales, which some residents of neighboring Newport Villas objected to Tuesday despite their support for redeveloping the mall.
"Our initial excitement about what we thought would be an advantageous development has now turned into fear and anxiety as we look at what appears to be a drastic shift from the initial concept into one that is fraught with environmental, ecological and economic issues ... ," resident Juana Quick told council.
Plans also call for a new community park that would require the land swap.
The town would give the developers 4.9 acres for the apartments.
In exchange, developers would give the town 5.11 acres for the new waterfront park.
Shelter Cove Lane would be relocated farther inland to accommodate the new park. The street would create a waterfront drive that would intersect a new pedestrian-friendly road that would have a variety of businesses and on-street parking, according to designs.
The cost to build the new park, which has not been determined, would be shared evenly by both parities, town officials said.
A real estate affiliate of The Kroger Co. purchased the 42-acre property and 300,000-square-foot mall a year ago for about $17.3 million.
Victor Mills, CEO of Blanchard & Calhoun, said Tuesday the redevelopment would create a new walkable village of high-end shops with up-scale restaurants and living, while providing a place to gather along the water with stunning views of Broad Creek.
He said the apartments would cater to a neglected market of "high-end renters," such as young couples, single professionals and retirees who choose not to own a home.
The development agreement will go to the Planning Commission for a public hearing Oct. 3 before being sent back to Council for consideration Oct. 16.
Blanchard & Calhoun has said the complex would take about 18 months to build and generate about 250 jobs.
"We can't make everyone happy, but we're working hard to try to," Mills said, noting the plan has the support of the Shelter Cove Harbour Co., town staff and other residents.
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