New retail centers planned in Mount Pleasant and Summerville are expected to bring major big chains to the Charleston market for the first time.
Charlotte-based Atlantic Retail Properties plans to develop a 104,800-square-foot shopping center called the Shoppes at Oakland along U.S. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant, adjacent to Blackbeard's Cove Family Fun Park. The property was once used as Slammin' Sammy's Lighted Driving Range.
Its anchor tenants, according to plans submitted to the town, will be Academy Sports and Aldi, two retailers that have never operated in the Lowcountry.
Town planner Christiane Farrell said construction likely wouldn't begin until early next year.
Aldi is an international supermarket chain owned by Germany's Albrecht family, who also own Trader Joe's. Aldi operates nearly 1,300 small-format stores in the United States, and the company announced late last year that it intended to add 650 locations across the country over the next five years.
Like Trader Joe's, the grocer relies mostly on its own line of products that are often sold at lower prices than traditional brand-name groceries.
Academy Sports, a Texas-based athletic and outdoor retailer with 175 stores across the Southeast, competes with chains such as Dick's Sporting Goods, which also is eyeing Mount Pleasant.
Aldi and Academy Sports also are expected to be the anchors of a shopping center planned along Berlin G. Myers Parkway in Summerville, according to commercial real estate agent John Orr of Colliers International. Orr said the center, which could be as large as 230,000 square feet, might be named Summerville Towne Centre.
Summerville zoning administrator Jessi Shuler said the developers of that project, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, have not officially submitted plans for town approval..
Orr is handling leasing for Horizon Square, another new shopping center in Summerville that's expected to break ground in roughly 30 days. The retail hub at 1101 N. Main St., which is being developed by the local firm Gramling Brothers Real Estate and Development Inc., will be anchored by Earth Fare and PetCo.
Horizon Square also will include at least 14 other retail units, some of which will be occupied by fast-casual restaurants, Orr said. The center will open in phases beginning with the Earth Fare grand opening in early 2015.
When it opens, the North Carolina-based supermarket chain will be the first specialty grocery chain to enter Dorchester County. Until now, Earth Fare, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have operated only in West Ashley and Mount Pleasant.
Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail