A new fitness center soon will open in part of a former James Island grocery store, just a few doors down from a competing gym.
Planet Fitness plans to add a seventh Lowcountry location in the former Bi-Lo supermarket space at 860 Folly Road. On the opposite end of the shopping center is O2 Fitness.
Demolition of the former grocer’s interior is underway, and the gym plans to occupy 25,000 square feet of the 64,538-square-foot building on the east side, according to Mark Hoffman, director of development for New Jersey-based Garden Communities, which has owned the 4.5-acre retail center since 1994.
The new workout site is expected to open by October, Hoffman said. A lease has not been signed for the remainder of the building.
“I have two prospects that have expressed interest,” Hoffman said.
He declined to name them, but said both are retailers and the remaining 40,000 square feet will likely be occupied by one tenant to avoid any additional new wall separations.
“It will be a nice complement to what’s there now,” Hoffman said.
It’s unlikely to be another grocery store.
“I’m not talking to one now,” Hoffman said.
He believes a new tenant could sign a lease as early as the fall.
“Once one starts moving along, the others want to jump in,” Hoffman said.
The opposite end of the shopping center, where O2 Fitness and PetSmart operate, are owned separately by an affiliate of Gramling Brothers Real Estate & Development of Charleston.
Planet Fitness has other Charleston-area locations in Goose Creek, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Summerville and West Ashley.
The Bi-Lo store was one of the last two in the Charleston area to close in April 2021 after parent company Southeastern Grocers of Jacksonville decided to shelve the brand. The other store that closed on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard in West Ashley is now Palmetto State Armory.
A new business is headed to a former restaurant in East Cooper.
Lacey’s Take Away plans to open in part of the former Liberty Tap Room & Grill at 1028 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Lacey Lauterio and Mark MacGillivray will operate the healthy grab-and-go concept. Beer and wine also be available.
MacGillivray said the new venue could be operational in two or three months and will be open daily.
The former restaurant site sold in July 2021. Renovation work is now underway.
Mark Volkmann, CEO of MassageBook, a massage-industry version of the online restaurant-booking site OpenTable, bought the 10,051-square-foot building overlooking a small pond next to Chick-fil-A for $3.2 million.
At the time of the purchase, Volkmann said he planned to convert a portion of the former main dining space and bar near the water to office space and leave the kitchen and other restaurant space available for a culinary tenant.
The vacant restaurant is near Anna Knapp Boulevard and the Publix-anchored Queensborough Shopping Center. It’s has been mostly idle since the spring of 2019, after operating for 10 years as Liberty Tap Room. Previously, the building was home to TBonz Gill & Grill for 13 years.
On the way
A fast-growing pizza chain plans to add a 12th location in the Lowcountry by the fall.
Marco’s Pizza plans to open in November at 2826 U.S. Highway 52 in the developing Moncks Corner Marketplace near Cypress Gardens Road.
Franchise owner Roshan Ayub will operate the new pizza site. He owns seven locations in the Lowcountry, and franchisee Mark O’Driscoll owns four.
Marco’s plans to continue to expand in the Charleston market.
The shopping center, developed by Branch Properties of Atlanta, will be anchored by Publix supermarket, which has not announced an opening date.
Dog & Duck restaurant also recently leased 2,940 square feet in the new retail center. An October opening is planned.
A new convenience store and gas station is in the works for Mount Pleasant.
Tempe, Ariz.-based Circle K plans to build a new location on Long Point Road at Wando Park Boulevard.
The site originally was purchased in 2007 by The Pantry convenience store chain of Cary, N.C., for $2.1 million, but it never developed the property. In 2015, Quebec based Alimentation Couche-Tard, the parent company of Circle K, acquired The Pantry for $860 million and converted stores to the Circle K brand.
The corner wooded parcel has remained vacant for several years.
A Mount Pleasant custom framing and art store plans to open a second location on Johns Island.
A Simple Tree will launch a new 1,400-square-foot shop in the developing Hayes Park mixed-used complex under construction on Maybank Highway near Main Road.
Owners Carol Williams and Chris Williams will maintain the longtime East Cooper shop at 1304 Erckmann Drive that includes the sister business, Affordable Art of Charleston Art Gallery off Coleman Boulevard near Toast All Day restaurant.
The 16-acre Hayes Park, by New Leaf Builders, will be a mix of retail, office, restaurants and service-oriented businesses. It also will include a residential mix of 36 single-family attached dwellings and 19 duplexes and townhomes, according to its website.
Two new retailers are now open in Cedar Grove Shopping Center in North Charleston.
Discount store Five Below and cosmetics shop Ulta recently opened on opposite sides of Ross Dress For Less, which welcomed customers earlier in July in the center on Dorchester Road near Riverbluff Parkway.
Home Goods and PetSmart are on the way. Also, inside shelf work has started on the nearby Lidl discount grocery store after several months of inactivity. A spokeswoman recently said to check back in the fall for an opening date.
On the perimeter
A new fencing vendor is now open in the Lowcountry.
Superior Fence & Rail at 7710 Southrail Road in North Charleston is the third franchise location in South Carolina. It’s owned by Pat and Sue Monegan. He previously worked as a manufacturing executive, but he and his wife decided they wanted to try their hand running their own business.
Monegan said he studied several other options, but found an immediate connection with the fencing franchise.
“Once we started to meet and engage with the team at Superior Fence & Rail, it all clicked for us,” Monegan said.
The Jacksonville-based company’s leader believes the couple will find success in the growing Charleston market.
“They have a great business acumen and know how to build a strong team that can take their business to the next level,” said Zach Peyton, president.