Grocer is re-entering the Upstate market with a new store planned for a renovated Lewis Plaza
Dozens of Augusta Road residents attended a community meeting Monday night at Augusta Road Baptist Church where plans were unveiled for a redesigned Lewis Plaza and a new, upscale, two-story Harris Teeter grocery store.
Harris Teeter is once again entering the Greenville market after leaving several years ago. The company was purchased in January 2014 by Kroger Co. but maintains the Harris Teeter brand with headquarters in Matthews, N.C.
“We wanted a one-of-a-kind store to re-enter the Greenville market,” said a Harris Teeter representative, adding that the Augusta Road area was missing a “first-quality grocery store.”
“When this location was first considered by Harris Teeter, they said it was a special location and they wanted to make it the best grocery store not just in Greenville but in the whole state,” said Rajeev Bhave, architect at Matthews, N.C.-based Arcons Design Studio.
The new 53,000-square-foot store is custom-designed and will offer all of the amenities that a “super flag or high-end store” offers, said Bhave. A second-floor mezzanine area will have a sit-down wine bar with outdoor terrace seating.
The store will feature a lot of glass and brick, providing transparency into the store. The overall design is a mid-century, modern, eclectic design and not typical big-box architecture, said Bhave. “The final design reflects the progressive nature of where Greenville is going,” he said.
Bhave stressed that the newly designed shopping center will be pedestrian-friendly with many sidewalks, a plaza area with water features, natural paths and vegetation and outdoor seating. Special attention was also paid to the rear of the store with architectural details, landscaping and screening so people don’t feel like they are walking by the back of a store, he said.
After neighbors voiced concerns at the meeting about the store being open 24 hours as originally proposed, a Harris Teeter representative made the decision on the spot to limit store hours from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. Most in the audience applauded the decision.
Lewis Plaza, which opened in 1948, is considered to be the first shopping center in Greenville. Several businesses have occupied the plaza, most recently an antique store and Earth Fare grocery store where the new Harris Teeter will be situated.
In the redesigned Lewis Plaza, most of the current shop owners will remain, with their space getting a facelift to match the new look of the plaza. They will remain open while construction is taking place. The Dollar General Store will be demolished along with the old post office, most recently a Shogun of Kyoto restaurant. Additional streetscaping improvements, including removing power poles, will be made along Aberdeen Drive, Augusta Street and Lewis Drive.
A new 5,000-square-foot space with an outdoor seating area will be available that would be ideal for a restaurant, said Paul Holder, vice president of Avtex Commercial, which owns and is redeveloping the shopping center.
Another 6,000-square-foot space will also be open to new tenants. Holder said he is looking for a “mixture of both local and national tenants that suit Augusta Road and its residents.”
Wells Fargo will move to a new freestanding building located at the corner of Lewis Drive and Augusta.
The plans still need to go in front of the Design Review Board, Planning Commission and City Council. If all goes as planned, construction is expected to start in late March 2015 with the Harris Teeter opening in third- or fourth-quarter 2016.
- Developer: Avtex Commercial
- Architect: Arcons Design Studio and Narramore Associates
- Leasing: Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine
The new Harris Teeter at Lewis Plaza will have:
- A fresh-prepared juice bar
- Floral department
- Deli and bakery
- Asian and American hot-foods bar
- Oversized cheese and pizza area
- Artisan bread kiosk
- Full-service meat and seafood department
- Smoked meat case
- Fully stocked beer and wine section with craft beers
- Full-service health and beauty area
- Full-service pharmacy with a secondary entrance
- A wine bar
- Walk-up window to order made-to-order foods