For many years, the abandoned Heritage Square mall was a highly visible blight on the vibrant and growing town of Summerville, SC. Not only was it a visual eyesore, the level of mold in the buildings was very high and Building Inspectors had condemned several units as the roof structure was unsafe or contained asbestos. When Palmetto State Armory looked at renovating this site for its own retail store, many townspeople, including Mayor Bill Collins, were delighted. Finally the broken sign would come down. Finally the eyesore would be gone! The owners needed a talented commercial architect to undertake this badly neglected property and to re-envision it for new tenants.
Before the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the Palmetto State Armory, many design problems were addressed and resolved. These included: removing the asbestos, repairing the parts of the structure damaged by years of neglect and rain, complying with the rules for buildings located in a Flood Plain (see Rachel’s blog post) and creating a brand new look within the budget allowed for buildings within a FEMA flood zone.
Now renamed Collins Square, in honor of past Mayor Bill Collins, the renovation has breathed fresh life into the once abandoned mall. With Palmetto State Armory and other new tenants, Collins Square is now a thriving retail center and has quickly become a destination for Summerville’s residents.