NORTH CHARLESTON — North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey will operate a backhoe and begin the demolition of the long-abandoned Shipwatch Square shopping center at the corner of Rivers and McMillan avenues at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

After sitting idle for many years, Shipwatch Square was purchased by the city of North Charleston to help revitalize the city’s blighted southern end. The demolition is part of the first steps in the city’s master plan to redevelop the old shopping center into a grocery store, bank, drug store, small retail establishments and office space.

Demolition should be complete by late this year.