On the Boulevard: Developer adds closed diner to Coleman holdings

The recently closed Boulevard Diner property on Coleman Boulevard was sold this week.

A Charleston real estate company that’s developed an appetite for one of Mount Pleasant’s main business corridors has added to its holdings in the area.

Gramling Brothers Real Estate and Development this week purchased the recently closed Boulevard Diner at 409 W. Coleman Blvd. As part of the $1.4 million deal, the buyer also acquired an office building at 24 Broadway St. behind the restaurant, according to Mikell Harper with Gramling Brothers.

The sale was finalized Thursday. The seller, Sal Parco of the Dining With Sal restaurant group, closed Boulevard Diner after 16 years in business to focus on his three remaining Mount Pleasant establishments.

Gramling Brothers has no immediate plans for the property, and Harper believes it will remain a restaurant.

That’s not the company’s only investment along the boulevard.

Gramling Brothers also paid more than $2.1 million this week for an auto repair shop called Automotive Excellence next to the former diner. That business will remain for now as a tenant, Harper said.

The company previously has invested in other real estate on Coleman and is reworking those nearby properties.

Harper likened Coleman Boulevard to Upper King Street in downtown Charleston five to eight years ago, when interest was just percolating for the former boarded-up, run-down stretch. Upper King is now a thriving section with new hotels, bars, restaurants and retailers.

“We see it as a very walkable and attractive corridor going forward,” Harper said of Coleman.

He called the town’s plans to encourage taller buildings along the road “smart development,” but he said Gramling’s plans aren’t over the top.

“We are not trying to cram as much as we possibly can onto the properties we bought,” Harper said. “We believe in kind of a moderate-density, responsible development.”

Last fall, Gramling Brothers bought the site of the former Fonduely Yours cafe and Oriental Garden sushi restaurant at 835 Coleman for $1.7 million. A 12,000-square-foot, two-story building will rise on the site by year’s end. The bottom floor will have three or more retailers while the upper floor will consist of offices.

The tenants have not been announced.

The company is also redeveloping a former gas station site at 349 Coleman into a 30,000-square-foot retail and office building. Kickin’ Chicken, now at 1179 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., will move into the site when it’s completed later this year. Other tenants have not been announced.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.