New businesses continue to change local landscape

Staff, members, families and supporters of Programs for Exceptional People (PEP) gathered July 24 for a ribbon cutting and celebration of the completion of the organization's new location in Bluffton's Sheridan Park. Marielena DiMatteo, center, holding th

Commerce continues to enjoy a stronghold in the Lowcountry. Here's the latest in new construction, renovations, relocations, mergers, planned projects, closings and grand openings.

The Sandbox, an interactive children's museum, opened a second location at Tanger 2 in Bluffton July 1, with an official grand opening held July 6.

The nonprofit organization was formed by a group of Lowcountry moms last decade who recognized the need for community space to provide educational play for preschool and elementary-aged children and their families.

The original Sandbox Children's Museum opened in 2005 on Hilton Head Island. The museum and its outreach programs have served more than 350,000 children and families since its inception.

• Elsewhere at Tanger: Spartina 449 opened a second location at Tanger 1 June 24 and still operates its original site at Tanger 2. Kitchen Collection recently relocated from Tanger 1 to Tanger 2. Uniform Outlet expects to open in early August in Tanger 2. Simply Southern expects to move into its Tanger 1 space by early fall. Aerie, a sister brand to American Eagle, has opened at Tanger 2.

Joe's Classic Cuts recently opened at 23 Johnston Way, Suite B, in Bluffton Village. Owner Joe Gancio, a master barber for 23 years, said the vision is "to bring back the original barbershop vibe to Bluffton." Walk-ins are welcome for "a quick buzz cut for a few bucks," he said.

Gancio said his barbershop is more than a haircut - it's where men can gather after work, with a classic, old-school vibe. But it's also a place where both dads and moms can bring their sons for a haircut and feel comfortable.

Spandrel Development Partners, Gardner Drive, Hilton Head. The Hilton Head Town Council approved a rezoning petition on July 17 for this New York-based company to build 260 apartments on the site of the Hilton Head Christian Academy, which is moving to Bluffton in 2020.

Development plans call for three 55-foot and one 45-foot building to be constructed. The original version sought 300 apartments. The proposal will move on the town's design review board.

Aerial Adventure Park, 33 Broad Creek Marina Way, Hilton Head. The Hilton Head Board of Zoning Appeals approved on July 15 an electric go-cart track on 16 acres at the park off Marshland Road. The proposal was forwarded to the town's design review board.

The Fresh Market, 890 William Hilton Parkway, celebrated its 15-year anniversary with in-store festivities July 27-28, including free food samples, cupcakes and giveaways.

The store, which is focused on fresh foods and specialty items, opened in 2004 in what was called Shoppes on the Parkway, which has since been renamed Fresh Market Plaza.

Grand openings, ribbon cuttings and closings:

Programs for Exceptional People, 39 Sheridan Park Circle, Suite 2, Bluffton, July 24. The staff at this new 11,000-square-foot facility promote independence, social interaction and employment opportunities for adults who live with intellectual disabilities.

"We are thrilled about our beautiful and spacious new facility in Bluffton," said Taylor Sullivan, PEP's community relations coordinator. "We are confident it will allow us to grow our programs and provide many more opportunities, specifically employment related to the adults we serve in our community."

Bad Biscuit, 19 Dunnagans Alley, Hilton Head. The customers at this new breakfast and lunch eatery that opened in mid-July will decide if "bad" really means "good." This fast-casual restaurant next to Ruby Lee's serves "rebellious" Southern fare inside or outside from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Order off the menu at the counter for eggs, meats, veggies, sides and grit bowls, or you can "build" your own with an assortment of goodies.

Sherwin-Williams, 6 Palmer Grace Drive East, Unit 200, Bluffton/Okatie, held its ribbon cutting July 18. The company is the nation's largest specialty retailer of paint and painting supplies.

Pier 1, 20 Hatton Place, Hilton Head. In a nationwide restructuring, this home furnishings retailer is closing 57 stores, including the island location. The Bluffton store at Malphrus Road remains open.

Have Bluffton or Hilton Head business news to share with our readers? Send information to Dean Rowland at

Lowcountry resident Dean Rowland is a veteran senior editor and freelance writer.

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