Tag Archives: commercial design

This Recent Article in the Post and Courier features three of our projects in Mt. Pleasant that are part of the new Zoning to create more pedestrian friendly streetscapes along Coleman Blvd.

MOUNT PLEASANT — Call it Suburbia 2.0 — or maybe 3.0.

A handful of new developments along Coleman and Ben Sawyer boulevards shows that what some have derided as sprawl can be remade into something better — one building at a time.  The town has a history of being a leader in this area. It was among the first to require architectural review for new buildings and major renovations along its busiest streets.  That led not only to more interesting buildings but also better landscaping, more modest signs and pedestrian friendly touches along the town’s most well traveled roads.  But the town’s new zoning — one that encourages “activity zones” — is taking things a step further.  The most recent example can be seen at the new pocket park next to the Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union at 847 Coleman — former site of a Burger King.  Designed by landscape architect J.R. Kramer of Remark Studio, the park offers a small shady space with large timber benches, a nice break for anyone on foot or on bike. Rows of palmetto, live oak and columnar tulip trees add an appealing sculptural quality.  The bank building, by Level5 architects of Atlanta, is two stories tall along the street, much like the new Juanita Greenberg’s restaurant at 410 Coleman.  That restaurant — which offers some outdoor dining along the sidewalk and along a side porch —is among the first projects done under the town’s new rules to make Coleman, Ben Sawyer, Johnnie Dodds and Chuck Dawley boulevards more appealing to those not in cars — more like Main Streets than simply commuting roads peppered with offices and shops.

“It is trying to get more activity and more density there, and it’s something that takes time,” Town Planning Director Christiane Farrell says. “This doesn’t happen even in five years.”  Farrell says Coleman has been important to the town historically, and the new rules are designed to restore its central role.  The zoning allows property owners to build slightly higher and denser and gives them reductions in buffers and setbacks.  In return, the town not only wants good architecture but also activity zones — places where people can eat, shop or simply hang out along the street.  The town also led by example in creating the farmers market sheds along Coleman next to Moultrie Middle School three years ago.  Since then, the private sector is following suit. A new terrace outside Yobe frozen yogurt, decorated with umbrellas and tables, is a small example of the kind of activity zone the town wants to see. The terrace is made from pervious concrete so it doesn’t pose a drainage problem.

And the best example so far can be found just down Ben Sawyer Boulevard from Yobe, where the Triangle Char & Bar has a series of tables and chairs, along with flags and greenery separating the diners from the passing traffic.  Kramer, who worked on that project as well, applauds the town for the change.  “They’re really thinking long-term how things are linked up to create an urban pedestrian feeling,” Kramer said.  It’s not exactly urban, but it’s certainly a better kind of suburban.

“We’re not trying to recreate something that’s in some other place,” Farrell says. “It’s taking what we’ve got and being able to enhance it.”  And now, with the addition of some onstreet parking, these places could get better still.
Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771

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It’s not often that you find a fast food restaurant that incorporates nature into its site planning.  More often than not, these vehicle oriented destinations are covered with asphalt with little consideration to existing site features and potential for patron enjoyment in the outdoors.  We set out to change that scenario in the design of this Bojanges on highway 17 in Mt. Pleasant.

Significant consideration was given for all parts of the project design to create a plan that goes beyond the status quo for fast food restaurants.  This project accommodates the need for a drive-thru, patron parking, outdoor dining, stormwater detention and wildlife habitat in a way that is thoughtful and elegant.  It also provides an innovative precedence for using bio-swales as part of the required buffers in lieu of separating these two requirements.  Further, the use of native plants for the entire site creates a beautiful setting, significant wildlife habitat, and a low maintenance landscape.



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Triangle Restaurant

A new restaurant has opened in Mt. Pleasant with landscape architecture by REMARK. Although this project came with its own challenges and opportunities, the result is a wonderful new place for the people in the Charleston area to dine, along with a sustainable landscape.

The new Triangle Char and Bar opened its East Cooper location last week and is already a success among evening hot spots.  This project is unique as a remodel of an existing commercial space.  It is located in the shopping center at 1440 Ben Sawyer Blvd, on your way out to the beach.  The addition of a metal awning on two sides of the building set the stage for a wonderful new outdoor dining space.  The existing small concrete walkway that hugged the street side of the building is replaced with a generous, permeable concrete patio.  The existing Oak trees lend an established air to the space while providing much needed shade in the evenings, and are augmented by new generous plantings of native palms and groundcovers.  The before and after photos are truly amazing.

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