Greer Scoggins, Director of Construction, and Kristi Rooks, Director of Real Estate for The Sembler Company of Atlanta, GA joined us Wednesday morning, January 20, to make a presentation on Okatie Crossing Mall, the 1.5 million sq. ft. retail center proposed for the northwest corner of highways 278 and 170. (One third in Beaufort County, two thirds in Jasper County.)


Concerns about current retailers being negatively impacted by the mall were quickly addressed. The target market for the center is two fold – (1) to serve the residential growth areas from Okatie towards Savannah and Beaufort who are traveling to Savannah to shop and (2) to attract shoppers from out of market with high end luxury stores and boutiques not currently found in the region.

Sembler's original master plan has been reduced in size as the developer has made careful concessions to address Beaufort County's aggressive storm water requirements via retention ponds, plantings to aid in evaporation and replacing clay with sand for better drainage. With the development and improvements to the property, there will be an 8% reduction in storm water run off and a reduced flow rate (fecal matter from nature.)


The plan also includes reconstructing highway 170 in front of the mall to four lanes, with enough space cleared on either side to go to a six lane configuration at a later date – which will be a savings to Beaufort County.


Construction is slated to start this spring with phase I opening in 2011. There will be 14 general contractors involved with the project who will be hiring local sub contractors and vendors which in turn will create between 800-1000 construction jobs. At build out, the mall will create an additional 2350 retail jobs.


If all goes as planned, Sembler will be the largest developer in the county and will bring an estimated $215 million in tax dollars over the next five years. Photo taken by:  Michele Puffinburger



To learn more visit their website at CLICK HERE.