By PRENTISS FINDLAY
The Post and Courier
Mount Pleasant - The town's rapid growth has pole-vaulted it into the
spotlight as the state's fourth-largest municipality, but its leaders want
one of the main arteries, Coleman Boulevard, to have a small-town feel.
Another phase of that $4 million effort got under way Thursday with the
first meeting of the Coleman Revitalization Advisory Board.
The town envisions the future of the boulevard, now a fast-paced,
four-lane road winding from the shadow of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge to
the Ben Sawyer Causeway at Simmons Seafood, as a pedestrian-friendly place
where people mingle on sidewalks in front of storefronts with condos
"This is where Mount Pleasant began, and we're trying to build it back,"
said Christiane Farrell, division chief for planning and development.
When the project is finished next summer, Coleman Boulevard will be a
place for mixing and mingling, an evening stroll and window shopping.
"This is probably one of the most outstanding things that we'll do,"
Mayor Harry Hallman said.
The 20-member advisory board is a key element of the Coleman Boulevard
revitalization process. The board includes representatives of retail
business, homeowners, restaurants, schools, banks, tourism and utility
companies. "It's an incredible pool of talent," said Mac Burdette, town
The talent ranges from Rial Fitch of Mt. Pleasant Seafood and Everett
Jones of Southcoast Bank to William Lewis of the Charleston County School
District and Glenn Hollis of The Beach Co. The committee members listened to
presentations from Burdette, Farrell and Eric DeMoura, deputy town
administrator, among others.
The officials presented the board with an overview of the boulevard
revitalization plan, including a pedestrian-friendly mix of retail business,
restaurants and residences with improvements such as crosswalks at more than
half of the intersections, underground power lines and on-street parking.
"We want activity on the street. People attract people," Farrell said.
The town's Revitalization Plan 2005 includes a number of provisions to
achieve the goal of turning Coleman Boulevard into a people-friendly place.
It encourages restaurant and retail businesses rather than office space.
Building fronts would be 20 feet from the curb, and front sidewalks would be
10 feet wide. Large canopy trees, street furniture and planter boxes are
As part of the revitalization, the town is looking at curing a
long-standing safety issue for drivers merging from Chuck Dawley Boulevard
onto Coleman Boulevard who have to whip their heads back to see if the coast
is clear. The current idea for solving that problem is construction of a
The town will pay for the improvements with $3.4 million in bonds and a
$600,000 grant, DeMoura said. The committee expects to finish work in