Graffiti, broken windows boarded with plywood and a vast empty parking lot greet people as they pass the Church Creek Plaza shopping center on Highway 61 and Old Parsonage Road. It stands as an eyesore along the heavily traveled highway and a blight on the adjacent neighborhoods of Church Creek and Pierpont.

The shopping center, once home to a Piggly Wiggly, has been mostly vacant for a decade. Of the dozen retail spaces, only two are occupied.

Much attention has been given to the closing of the Food Lion on St. Andrews Boulevard. I hope that Charleston County officials and the property owner will also give this neglected and under-utilized space their renewed focus.

Another grocery store may not be the solution. But in respect for the current tenants, improvements and other uses for the property need to be considered.

An appropriate business or organization might do well in a renovated space. Mixed-use apartment and retail spaces may also be an answer.

The over-sized parking lot provides ample room for new construction.

Regardless of the end result, a plan that engages the property owner and neighbors is needed in order to revitalize this neglected space and remove an eyesore from the West Ashley community.

Wes Floyd

Rice Pond Road