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LOWCOUNTRY LOWDOWN

5 mins read

By LOLITA HUCKABY

East or West of Beaufort River? 
Mirror developments represent change

BEAUFORT – It’s been in the Boundary Street Redevelopment plan from the start, but city officials are closing in on removal of Wendy’s, one of the two remaining structures on what was the former Civil War defense post Battery Saxton.

City Manager Bill Prokop outlined a $3 million-plus-financing plan last week to purchase the fast-food restaurant property, a plan which includes money from the city, the Beaufort County Open Land Trust and the county’s Rural and Critical Lands program.

The goal has been to create a passive park, basically an open space for motorists navigating Boundary Street to get a glimpse of the scenic Battery Creek headwaters. But Prokop noted there has been some discussion about using the building as something of a welcome center – bathrooms, maybe a historic kiosk about the location, etc.

No decision has been made on the future use of the Wendy’s building or what the county plans to do with the other structure in the redevelopment area, the former home of United Way which is being used for the county engineering department.

But for those worrried “where can I get my Wendy’s Frosty” on the western side of the Beaufort River, fear not. The city is also in the process of annexing and rezoning property one-half mile down Boundary Street toward the MCAS.

Plans are for a new Wendy’s at the corner of Boundary and Neil Road, with different owners than the new Wendy’s under construction on Lady’s Island.

So not only with residents west of the River have a new Publix in 2021, just like their comrades east of the river, they’ll have a Wendy’s too. The city of Beaufort, thanks to selective annexation, already has two Walmarts, two Taco Bells, two McDonald’s.

Of course, West of the River is getting a new Harris Teeter … wouldn’t the Boundary Street Bi-Lo, rumored to be closing by the end of the year, be a lovely location?

Marina Village looking at changes

LADY’S ISLAND – The Lady’s Island Marina Village, like every place else, is looking to grow.

Owners of the 5.6 acre tract, whose center is the 80-slip marina and Dockside restaurant, are petitioning the Beaufort City Council for some flexibility in their 2006 development plans.

Changes to planned unit development (PUD) opens the potential for a second restaurant and an “events center” on the site

Thomas Daniels said last week, during a public hearing, the owners have purchased vacant lots within the area to provide additional parking.

Council will take action on the request later this month.

Seawall around Parris Island?

PORT ROAL – The future of Parris Island is a subject near and dear to this community’s heart, as was seen last month during the First Congressional District campaign when Republican challenger Nancy Mace accused the incumbent Joe Cunningham of putting the training depot “on the chopping block.”

Politics aside, concerns about the impact of rising sea levels on the federally owned island are ongoing, as the former commanding general of Parris Island contended in a recent article with Military.com.

Retired Brig. Gen. Stephen Cheney said during a meeting of national policy analysts he was well aware of the impact of global warming on coastal bases such as Parris Island.

“They are going to have to put a sea wall around parts of Parris Island, otherwise it’s going to go under water,” Cheney said.

The former Beaufort resident pointed out Parris Island already floods in places during normal rainfall.

Cheney currently works with a nonprofit research organization that studies climate change, the American Security Project.

Officials at Parris Island, which is still closed to the public because of COVID, also has relocated recruits from the depot when hurricanes threaten the area because of concerns about flooding.

Lolita Huckaby Watson is a community volunteer and a former reporter/editorial assistant with The Beaufort Gazette, The Savannah Morning News, Bluffton Today and Beaufort Today. She can be reached at bftbay@gmail.com.

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