Lexington’s Planning Commission members approved a site plan Wednesday for another new commercial center that is expected to bring development to one of the last remaining parcels fronting Sunset Boulevard.
The Lever and Outlaw families have sold their land on the 5300 block on Sunset Boulevard, and Columbia Development is planning to bring a long-awaited Fresh Market to Lexington.
Developers have plans to build on 18 of the 24 acres, which will create 143,000 square feet of commercial space in four separate buildings. Access will be from Palmetto Park Boulevard and Saluda Springs Road, and Palmetto Park Boulevard will become a four-legged intersection when the entrance to the development is built.
Jenkins Williamson of Columbia Development said Fresh Market officials have been wanting to bring a location to Lexington for several years, but it was difficult to find land with access to a traffic signal that also is close to S.C. Highway 6.
Williamson said representatives of retailers like Ulta and several restaurants have expressed interest in joining the development.
Developers plan to keep the existing vegetation along the property line to shield adjacent neighborhoods. A large retention pond for collecting stormwater runoff also is included in the project scope.
Residents in the Whiteford and Saluda Springs neighborhoods are concerned about the additional traffic.
Homeowner Tony Barfield said the neighborhoods already are seeing a lot of turn-around traffic since there is no outlet on Saluda Springs Road. He said they also have seen increased traffic in the Whiteford community, which people use as a cut through from Highway 6 to Sunset Boulevard.
“It’s a lot of development … for that narrow tract of land,” resident Karen Campbell said. “It’s going to be right in my backyard.”
Resident Tommy Outlaw said he approves of the plan and has worked for years to find the right development for his family’s land, where he currently resides.
“It’s a commercial area now. We see we’ve got to move on,” he said.
Town officials said the proposed Hobby Lobby will be moving from the Hope Ferry development to the Fresh Market site. Another grocery store still is planned for the Hope Ferry center.
Planning Commission members approved annexation of the land into the town limits.
A Fresh Market is also planned for The Shoppes at Two Notch in Northeast Columbia.