by John Steinberger | February 5, 2019 12:26 pm
The City of Charleston Design Review Board granted preliminary approval for Savannah-based retail chain Parker’s site plan for the former Exxon property at Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Orange Grove Road Monday. Parker’s plans to operate six gasoline pumps at the site, along with a convenience store and serve Parker’s Kitchen freshly prepared foods. The company will work out some issues with city staff regarding the dimensions of the privacy fence along the property line it shares with Northbridge Baptist Church, the lighting plan, landscaping, signage and the fuel pump canopy design.
The church and several residents of surrounding neighborhoods praised Parker’s for its strong community engagement efforts. More than 60 residents participated in a community meeting a Westminster Presbyterian Church in January to see the site plans and ask questions. The company also met with several smaller groups and even individual homeowners. Property owner Morris Harper, who is leasing the site to Parker’s, said he has fielded more than 150 inquiries during the process. Community input led to several design changes along the way.
Benny Michael, who operated the Exxon station on the property for 40 years, said that he and his family are pleased with what Parker’s will bring to the site. The next step in the permitting process takes place Wednesday at the 5 pm Board of Zoning Appeals meeting at the Gaillard Center office complex. Parker’s hope to begin operations at the site by October. The West Ashley store is the first of 15 that Parker’s plans to open in the Greater Charleston area.
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