Pig Destruction.jpg (copy)

Crews began demolishing the former Piggly Wiggly supermarket on Sumar Street in May. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

The city of Charleston wants residents' help deciding how to turn a former grocery store site into a community destination for West Ashley.

Last year, the city purchased a 2½-acre site where a Piggly Wiggly store once stood for $3 million after surrounding neighborhoods vehemently opposed the previous owner's plans to develop an upscale gas station there.

The property is situated where Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Old Towne Road come together, a prominent location in that part of town. The building, nicknamed the "Dead Pig" because the store stood vacant and underused for many years, has been demolished.

The West Ashley Master Plan adopted earlier this year identifies the property as a key site that can spur revitalization throughout the area. It's part of the larger vision to transform Sam Rittenberg into a walkable commercial corridor with a mixture of uses, much like King Street on the peninsula. 

Anyone interested in the property's future can offer ideas or learn more about what's being considered at a drop-in community input sessions from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday at The Schoolhouse at 720 Magnolia Road.

The West Ashley Revitalization Commission will discuss the input at its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the same location.

For those who can't make it in person, the city is running an online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/northbridgepigsurvey to gauge what people feel should be the top priorities for the site. 

It asks whether the redevelopment should include landscaping, more car capacity or village-like characteristics seen in Avondale, one of the most popular dining and shopping hubs in West Ashley. 

When Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg pitched buying the property last year, he said its redevelopment could involve a new park and potentially a municipal building. There was also some discussion of using it for a park-and-ride site, at least temporarily.

However, the city is still exploring all options for the site. 

Fixing the so-called "suicide merge" of Sam Rittenberg and Old Towne Road at the north end of the property is a firm goal. The Charleston County transportation department has started the long, complicated process of designing the road improvements.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 843-937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail.

Abigail Darlington is a local government reporter focusing primarily on the City of Charleston. She previously covered local arts & entertainment, technology, innovation, tourism and retail for the Post and Courier.