Leaders hail just-finished Shelter Cove Community Park on Hilton Head

THE ISLAND PACKET
By Zach Murdock
Online Article Here

A year's worth of arguments about the Shelter Cove Towne Centre project fell by the wayside Wednesday morning as Hilton Head Island leaders gushed about the just-finished community park's new views over Broad Creek.

Under the park's new performance pavilion and out of the drizzling rain, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Harkins said the new park caps the development's long road from design to nearly completed outdoor mall, with some heated public debate along the way.

"Three or four years ago, this location unfortunately became a symbol, by many, of inertia," Harkins said. "A symbol, by many, that the town had peaked.

"What's here today is going to serve us will into the future and for many generations to come. It really is a turning point for the community."

The new park is one of the final pieces to completing Shelter Cove's mall, which is now nearly full of new and relocated shops, said Mark Senn, president of Shelter Cove developer Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial, and mall manager Roni Allbritton.

A New York City Pizza location has moved in just across from the park. Women's clothing boutique Coastal Bliss opened at the center Wednesday, and Francesca's will open there Friday, Allbritton said.

"Every time I come here I'm just amazed at how the results have come together," said Jerry Moreton, vice president of Kroger's Atlanta division, which partnered with Senn and the town to help pay for the development.

Moreton, Senn, Allbritton, Harkins and other town leaders formally christened the park and playground with a ribbon-cutting ceremony when the clouds parted Wednesday morning.

Work will continue at the development throughout this year, Senn added. Allbritton is working to fill the final few retail spaces by the end of this year. Senn and his staff are working on specific designs for the planned five-story, 210-apartment building that will be built on the old Shelter Cove park, he said.

Those plans could be ready for town consideration by mid-summer, he said.

"We've still got some work to do, and no project is ever really finished, but this is a happy morning," Senn said.

Follow reporter Zach Murdock on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Zach and on Facebook atfacebook.com/IPBGZach.


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