Tanger Outlet to be Rebuilt to LEED Standards

Tanger 1 to offer a new plan for reviving itself

May 17, 2008

By Jim Faber – Island Packet

Plans to knock down and rebuild Tanger Outlet Center 1 in greater Bluffton are back in the hands of Beaufort County’s planning staff.

An initial set of plans was so negatively received by county planning staff that Tanger removed them from the January agenda of a southern county Planning Commission subcommittee before any public discussion.

After months of working with county planners, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, filed a new plan Thursday.

Construction would take place in phases. Changes include creation of a 50-foot buffer between the new shopping center and U.S. 278, architectural and color standards in line with county standards and more landscaping, according to Tanger officials.

Walter Nester, the attorney representing Tanger, said the outlet center staff worked closely with county officials to create a plan that met both sides’ needs.

“My appreciation is that this is something that will be favorably received,” Nester said.

County planning director Tony Criscitiello confirmed that the county and Tanger have worked closely on the revised plan.

If Tanger has included everything the county asked for, it could mean smooth sailing for the plan, Criscitiello said.

The county has a three-day window to review submitted plans and offer its comments.

The shopping center, which is the Tanger outlet mall farther inland, was built in 1988 before the 1994 adoption of county architectural, landscaping and sign standards.

The center fails to conform to current parking, landscaping, setback and buffering rules, Nester said. Tanger has agreed to meet county codes on those issues, he said.

Tanger announced plans in November to rebuild the aging 230,000-square-foot shopping center. The company plans to use “green” building methods, and will seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The LEED program is one of the leading national benchmarks for green building. Plans also call for the center to be rebuilt with more than 260,000 square feet.

The project can’t be put on a meeting agenda because county planning staff hasn’t yet determined if the submitted plans are complete.

Nester said his clients want to move forward with the project as soon as possible.

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