Achievement Award winner, Hilton Head Island
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The Town of Hilton Head Island has received the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Award for Economic Development for the Mall at Shelter Cove. Officials accepted the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina's Annual Meeting on July 18. Twenty-nine cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.

Hilton Head's Mall at Shelter Cover was built in the mid-eighties and remained the town's largest commercial center for many years. 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.

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.

"The bustling Shelter Cove Town Centre is a prime example of repurposing existing property to meet a community's changing needs," said Miriam Hair, executive director for the Municipal Association.

These winning entries represent innovative projects undertaken by Municipal Association member cities and towns. More information and a video about the project are available on the Association's website.

The Municipal Association of South Carolina initiated the Achievement Awards in 1987 to recognize and encourage innovations and excellence in local government. In 2014, the economic development award was named in honor of Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. in recognition of his decades-long commitment to the economic development of South Carolina.