Hilton Head’s Mall at Shelter Cover was built in the mid-eighties and remained the town’s largest commercial center for many years. With its back to the scenic Broad Creek and with little connection to the surrounding community, the property served solely as a shopping destination. When the mall began experiencing numerous vacancies, officials as well as private stakeholders were eager to redevelop the parcel into a more modern, multifaceted destination.

The process began with talks among the developer, landowner and town officials. Quickly a plan developed to enhance the property with residential options, a library, a waterfront park, new pathways and attractive views of the marsh. They identified other beautification efforts like relocating power lines and roadbeds. With a powerful public-private partnership in place, it wasn’t long before these goals became a reality.

The developer purchased the land from the mall and paid for all commercial and residential elements, as well as pathways, power line and road relocation, on-street parking and approximately half of the new waterfront park. The Town paid for the remaining half. Impact fees from construction of the new apartments will offset any necessary transportation improvements, as well as park and library needs.

Community members stayed involved with the construction by attending multiple hearings and development review meetings to have a voice in how the project proceeded. They also turned out in full force when the complex finally opened. The bustling Shelter Cove Town Centre is a prime example of repurposing existing property to meet a community’s changing needs.

Contact Heather Colin at or 843.341.4607.