Estate Planning Attorney inNorth Charleston, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in North Charleston, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time – and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in North Charleston that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in North Charleston. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law North Charleston, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The Cobb Dill & Hammett
Difference

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney North Charleston, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
North Charleston, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning – building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer North Charleston, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in North Charleston, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in North Charleston, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

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2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

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3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

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Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Law Firm North Charleston, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in North Charleston, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in North Charleston, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will
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Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in North Charleston, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries – the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Attorney North Charleston, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

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3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

Estate Planning Law North Charleston, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in North Charleston, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes – something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance – contact our office today and secure your future generations.

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Latest News in North Charleston, SC

North Charleston bowling center to close after 45 years

Vicki Gannon has been bowling at Sandpiper Lanes in North Charleston for more than 40 years.By the end of the month, she will have to find a new place to enjoy the pastime with friends.The 2.5-acre corner property at the heavily traveled Ashley Phosphate and Cross County roads intersection where the bowling alley has hosted countless tournaments for the past 45 years has been sold. Employees have been told the lanes will close by the end of May.The buyer of the property is Encore-Ashley Phosphate LLC of Sullivan’s ...

Vicki Gannon has been bowling at Sandpiper Lanes in North Charleston for more than 40 years.

By the end of the month, she will have to find a new place to enjoy the pastime with friends.

The 2.5-acre corner property at the heavily traveled Ashley Phosphate and Cross County roads intersection where the bowling alley has hosted countless tournaments for the past 45 years has been sold. Employees have been told the lanes will close by the end of May.

The buyer of the property is Encore-Ashley Phosphate LLC of Sullivan’s Island, an affiliate of Encore Real Estate Development of Tampa, Fla. The firm paid $3.1 million for the 32-lane bowling center in late March, according to Charleston County land records.

The previous owner was the family-operated CGC Recreation Inc. of Greenwood, which paid $1.25 million for the property in 2003.

An Encore representative did not immediately respond for comment about the purchase.

A site work permit application for a convenience store and gas station has been submitted to the city of North Charleston, city spokesman Ryan Johnson said.

Bowling center manager David Morga found it hard to digest when he first heard about the sale and looming closing of the longtime business.

“I was shocked,” Morga said. “They remodeled in 2017, and last year was one of the best years we ever had. This is definitely going to hurt the bowling world. Tournaments bring people from all over the state as well as North Carolina and Georgia.”

Gannon said she was saddened by the closing of the bowling alley, where senior leagues have played for many years.

“We have become like family,” she said.

Longtime bowler Michelle Eleazer Smith said she, too, was stunned to learn of the decision in April.

“The closure is so sad,” said Smith, who has been bowling since 1978 at Sandpiper Lanes. “There are not a ton of options if you play in a league or are a sanctioned player looking to play in a tournament.”

Smith said the bowling alley’s demise will leave three other venues in the Lowcountry for sanctioned players: Royal Lanes in Goose Creek, Ashley Lanes in West Ashley and Swamp Fox Lanes in Moncks Corner. Other public and private bowling sites are in the Charleston area, as well.

In a farewell nod to the longtime entertainment site, Morga said Sandpiper Lanes will throw a going- away party from 8 p.m. until midnight May 14.

Darius Rucker curating, headlining new music festival at North Charleston Riverfront Park

NORTH CHARLESTON — Riverfront Park has become a popular event destination, from High Water to Charleston Wine + Food to the upcoming High Tide Festival.Joining the list is a new endeavor by Hootie & The Blowfish’s lead man and a country star in his own right, Darius Rucker.Rucker, who lives in the Lowcountry and is a three-time Grammy winner, has curated a new two-day music festival called Riverfront Revival at the North Charleston ...

NORTH CHARLESTON — Riverfront Park has become a popular event destination, from High Water to Charleston Wine + Food to the upcoming High Tide Festival.

Joining the list is a new endeavor by Hootie & The Blowfish’s lead man and a country star in his own right, Darius Rucker.

Rucker, who lives in the Lowcountry and is a three-time Grammy winner, has curated a new two-day music festival called Riverfront Revival at the North Charleston park. It will take place Oct. 8-9 and include 18 acts performing on two stages.

The festival is described as a “love letter to country music and to South Carolina’s Lowcountry.”

“Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Charleston,” shared Rucker in a statement. “For years now, I’ve had this bucket list dream of bringing together a bunch of friends to perform in a way that also showcases this incredible city and all it has to offer. I can’t wait to see it become a reality this fall — and I hope the fans are as excited as we are.”

The inaugural roster of the family-friendly festival features some local performers, along with touring acts who have played the Charleston area frequently and a few fresh faces. The genres represented by these artists include country, folk, funk, singer-songwriter, pop and rock.

The lineup includes:

Indie band Susto, rock group Blue Dogs, Citadel graduate and former “The Voice” contestant Mitchell Lee, and country singer Lauren Hall are among locals playing the festival.

And, of course, Rucker.

“Darius is a home-grown star with a genuine love for his state, making him an incredible ambassador for South Carolina,” Duane Parrish, director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, said in a statement. “We are all looking forward to celebrating South Carolina’s Lowcountry and welcoming thousands of visitors to this one-of-kind music festival in October.”

The two-day festival will be loaded with live music, yet-to-be-announced cultural experiences engaging culture and food inspired by the region’s unique foodways, according to organizers at SRE Entertainment.

The company features High Water Festival veteran and Ear For Music founder Rob Lamble, along with partners Ean Wolf and Taylor Shomaker.

The daily schedules for the Riverfront Revival have not yet been released, but music will be performed from 1-11 p.m. daily.

General admission tickets start at an early bird price of $124.50, plus fees, before rising to $149.50 and then $174.50. VIP tickets, which include a special merchandise package, dedicated entrance lane, priority and up-close concert viewing, an exclusive lounge area, dedicated bar and premium restrooms, are $399.50, plus fees.

They will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. May 4 at riverfrontrevival.com.

Pedestrian bridge key for redeveloping the Navy base nears completion

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of North Charleston is nearing the completion of the Noisette Creek Pedestrian Bridge. When done, it will connect Riverfront Park on the old Navy base with Avenue B North and ultimately Park Circle about a mile away.North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey says completion of the bridge will kick off a new era of development in the area.“It’s a connector that brings both sides of the base together but it brings it together in a way that it can still be separate,” Summey said....

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of North Charleston is nearing the completion of the Noisette Creek Pedestrian Bridge. When done, it will connect Riverfront Park on the old Navy base with Avenue B North and ultimately Park Circle about a mile away.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey says completion of the bridge will kick off a new era of development in the area.

“It’s a connector that brings both sides of the base together but it brings it together in a way that it can still be separate,” Summey said. “That’s important because it gives us the capability to have different events and more events at the same time.”

On Wednesday, the city released a video showing the progress of construction nearing completion with much of the infrastructure in place and the iconic double rainbow arches in place.

Summey says there will be expanded areas in the middle of the bridge overlooking the water. He expects it to be completed by July.

“You could have a wedding in the middle of the bridge. You could have a birthday party and people could still walk through the middle, but the expansions are going to be wide enough to have small events over the water,” Summey said. “I think that’s a wonderful experience that nobody else has locally.”

Desiree Fasier lives in the area and was visiting Waterfront Park on Thursday.

She says the park is already a great place for the community gather but adding something like a pedestrian bridge wide enough for weddings would be perfect.

“I love seeing lovers, young and old,” Frasier said. “I think it [park] is highly accessible to a lot of places and that’s what people like. You see all types of people here from all socioeconomic realms and so that’s pleasing to me.”

The bridge is an $8 million project and represents a heavy investment into the old Navy base area. While the double rainbow arches of the bridge currently leads to a lot of vacant land, it’s land the city owns and plans to develop.

“We don’t know exactly what we are going to do. We could actually do a small theatre for small concerts right on the water and then have larger ones actually in the original park setting we developed,” Summey said, referencing Waterfront Park. “Our vision is to see all of this area developed in a cross section of whatever the market calls for but it will have waterfront. So we will have hotels, retails, restaurants, apartment complexes and things that will make this unique to the City of North Charleston.”

The bridge is the first piece of infrastructure to tie the two sides of the creek together.

Summey says it’s the city’s goal to transform the industrial area into a mixed-use development while giving the public access to the Cooper River.

See more on the project, along with renderings of the finished project here.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Cinco de Mayo 2022 in Charleston, SC

Happy (almost) Cinco de Mayo, Charleston.The holiday honors Mexico’s victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The Second Franco-Mexican War didn’t end that day, but the battle became a symbol of resistance against foreign powers.If you’re celeb...

Happy (almost) Cinco de Mayo, Charleston.

The holiday honors Mexico’s victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The Second Franco-Mexican War didn’t end that day, but the battle became a symbol of resistance against foreign powers.

If you’re celebrating this year, here’s where to eat, drink, and dance in the Holy City — on Cinco de Mayo and through the weekend.

Celebrate

Cinco de Mayo Block Party at Mex 1 West Ashley | Thurs., May 5 | $10 in advance, $15 at the door | 5 p.m. | Mex 1 West Ashley, 817 St. Andrews Blvd. | Head over to this local spot to enjoy food tents, local vendors, outdoor bars, and live music from Charleston-based Midnight City Band.

Cinco de Mayo Parking Lot Party | Thurs., May 5 | Free | 4-9 p.m. | Jalisco Taqueria & Tequila, 1271 Folly Rd. | Experience a full-service taco tent, music, yard games, and a margarita bar offering $10 Patrón margaritas and $7 shots of Patrón — family and pet friendly.

Cinco de Mayo Party | Thurs., May 5 | Free | 5 p.m. | Dashi, 1262 Remount Rd., North Charleston | Grab $3 tacos, $5 house margaritas, $8 frozen jalapeno & mango margaritas, $2 jarritos, and $3 Modelo & Dos Equis before a late-night comedy show with Cam Bertrand, Jeremy McLellan & Dedrick Flynn.

Cinco de Mayo at The Basement | Thurs., May 5 | Free | 12 p.m. | The Basement, 1055 SC-41, Mt. Pleasant | Dig in at the free taco bar from 2-5 p.m., all-day drink specials including $5 house margaritas and $5 Espolón shots, and wrap up the evening with live music from 6-9 p.m.

Margarita at the Beach | Thurs., May 5 | $39+ | 6-8 p.m. | Painting with a Twist, 2511 N. Main St., Ste. B, Summerville | Celebrate the holiday by painting a 16×20 canvas or 17.5×17 wood plank board at this local studio.

SOL Southwest Kitchen | Thurs., May 5 | Free | All day | SOL Mt. Pleasant, 1101 Stockade Ln., Mt. Pleasant | Partake in a complimentary tequila tasting from 6-8 p.m., enjoy live music from Patrick Norris between 6-9 p.m., and celebrate with all-day specials.

Charleston Margarita & Mimosa Fest | Sat., May 7 | $24.99+ | Registration 12-2 p.m. | Share House, 23 Ann St. | Bar hop between Share House, Silver Dollar, The Brick, and Uptown Social from 12-6 p.m. with your wristband good for various drink specials at each venue.

Eat + drink

Cinco de Mayo is about much more than delicious food and drinksbut the deals don’t hurt.

Cinco de Mesa | Snag a $5 Mesa Verde at your local Verde restaurant with the online promo code CINCO22.

$6 House Margaritas | Choose between coconut, pineapple, lime, mango, spicy, and signature margarita flavors at Pink Cactus for this hard-to-beat special.

Happy celebrating, Charleston. Let us know how you’ll be spending the day.

Deed restriction prohibits grocery store at new $200M North Charleston project

NORTH CHARLESTON — A decades-old deed restriction hinders the kinds of businesses, namely a grocery store, that can be included in a multimillion-dollar mixed-use project at Centre Pointe near the Tanger Outlets.Lenn Jewel is with RealtyLink, the firm developing the Uptown North Charleston project along International and Tanger Outlet Boulevards. The development calls for a Topgolf entertainment venue, a 300-unit apartment building, two hotels, two parking garages, a coffee shop, several restaurants and office space.Jewel...

NORTH CHARLESTON — A decades-old deed restriction hinders the kinds of businesses, namely a grocery store, that can be included in a multimillion-dollar mixed-use project at Centre Pointe near the Tanger Outlets.

Lenn Jewel is with RealtyLink, the firm developing the Uptown North Charleston project along International and Tanger Outlet Boulevards. The development calls for a Topgolf entertainment venue, a 300-unit apartment building, two hotels, two parking garages, a coffee shop, several restaurants and office space.

Jewel said at the April 11 North Charleston Planning Commission meeting that Walmart at Centre Pointe had a restriction put in place about two decades ago when the Centre Pointe area opened to limit a grocery store from being constructed nearby.

“They had a list of what they consider primary uses and that’s why there’s no gas station, there’s no grocery store, no drug store and no department store greater than 35,000 square feet unless it’s part of the original (plan) 20 years ago,” Jewel said.

Conversation about the grocery store restriction took place as the city’s Planning Commission recommended approval for rezoning 125 acres along International and Tanger Outlet Boulevards for the Uptown project from commercial redevelopment to planned development. City Council will make the final decision for the rezoning, which would pave the way for a number of variances needed for the project, given its density and height.

It was initially unclear as to whether the new zoning would also hinder the kinds of businesses that could be established at Uptown, including grocery stores, wholesale clubs, department stores, pharmacies, discount stores and gas stations. Jewel clarified by saying the prohibitions have nothing to do with the zoning of the properties, but rather with the agreement made when Centre Pointe was being planned decades ago.

Walmart’s grocery store restriction applies to several hundred acres of land near International and Tanger Outlet boulevards, including the 125 acres where developers are constructing the Uptown North Charleston project.

Walmart is about a mile from the the incoming Uptown development, serving as the site’s closest grocer.

Farther south, the city has tried to draw a supplier of food and fresh vegetables.

Much of the city’s southern end along Rivers Avenue has been federally designated as a “food desert” due to the lack of a grocery stores nearby. The city years ago tried to draw a store to the old Shipwatch Square Shopping Center, but those efforts fell through. Charleston County is currently building a social services building on part of the Shipwatch land.

Planning Commissioner Matt Brady was the only commissioner to inquire about the grocery store restriction during the meeting.

Brady said he wanted clarification about the prohibition because he understands the city has been working for years to attract a variety of grocers to North Charleston. Though Walmart might fill that void for the Centre Pointe area, a variety of stores is beneficial for residents throughout the city, Brady said.

A few miles east of the Uptown project is the Park Circle community, where Brady lives. He said there’s a desire in Park Circle for more healthy food options. Park Circle abuts Liberty Hill, a historically African American community that could also benefit from a grocery store in the area, Brady said.

“My neighbors all want access to a wider variety of full-service grocers,” he said.

Brady said the development of Uptown’s multifamily units, entertainment venues and commercial properties could possibly draw a supermarket to the area wherever one is allowed.

“I think with the growth coming from Park Circle and from Uptown, that eventually the market dynamics will shake out to where a grocer will want to locate somewhere in that area,” he said.

Mayor Keith Summey said a grocery store would be more ideal if it were located near Park Circle or on the southern end. He noted the small residential population in the Centre Pointe area.

“I think that is not a good location for a grocery store,” he said. The residential component in that area is minuscule.”

The Uptown development, which Jewel valued at over $200 million, gained traction last year when the Army Corps of Engineers gave approval to fill more than 20 acres of wetlands on the site and to offset the loss by acquiring 780 acres in Berkeley and Dorchester counties for mitigation.

In addition to addressing environmental concerns, engineers for the project said the plan also keeps in mind the need to address traffic along an often-congested commercial corridor that houses the city’s Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, and several hotels.

Uptown engineers performed a traffic study of the roads and intersections near the project, including International Boulevard, West Montague and the Interstate 526/International Boulevard ramps, said Reveer Group project manager and civil engineer West Mauney.

The project team recommended roadway improvements including a new signalized intersection off International Boulevard across from the coliseum, and a new road that connects Centre Pointe Drive and Tanger Outlet Boulevard, Mauney said.

“The traffic study concluded that the surrounding intersections will operate at an acceptable level of service as defined by the S.C. Department of Transportation,” he said.

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