New development plans underway in Bluffton

BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) - A $30 million development is coming soon to Bluffton.

The town has partnered with a company to build a mixed-use shopping center that will be home to multiple businesses. It's going to be built in a lot across from the Publix on Buckwalter Place. There will be shops, a grocery store, restaurants and luxury condos. The towns says this is a huge economic win for Bluffton.

Town officials say Bluffton has grown exponentially in the past decade – and it's getting ready to get bigger with a newly planned development.

"It's fabulous to have store fronts, businesses, and apartments, and high-end rentals, a park. It really is what we thought that land would be," said Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulk.

The new development is a partnership between the town and Southeastern Development Associates – the company will build the shopping center – while the town foots the bill for infrastructure improvements.

"We knew we needed to put in more road infrastructure, and it would be something we'd be looking at anyways. To do that in a partnership, they'll pick up the slack. In the agreement, they will partner with us to complete it," said Mayor Sulk.

The mixed-use area where there's retail, commercial, residential development already works well at the Promenade in Old Town Bluffton. Some residents think it would be a perfect fit in just a few miles away in Buckwalter Place.

"I'm excited. I can't wait for it to come. I think it brings competition to Publix. I think we are very busy, we're growing, and the stores are always busy so I think they'll do very well," said Lyn Demarco, Bluffton resident.

Others aren't too happy with one of the development's confirmed tenants.

"It's going to be awfully big. Although I like the restaurants idea, but another grocery store? I don't' think we need it. Its three Publix's, one Kroger, there's Food Lion. Bigger is not necessarily better," said Susan Albero, Bluffton resident.

Construction on the $30 million project will get started at the beginning of next year, and the town expects it to be completed by mid-2017.

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