Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pineland Station: Hilton Head Island, SC

Pineland Station, while not an actual mall, certainly has some bona fide mall qualities.  It is a shady, cozy center tucked alongside the same road that The Mall at Shelter Cove is on (US 278 Business) closer to the bridge back to the mainland.  It is also very much of a boutique place with lots of local shops and a few restaurants that likely lost a few chain stores when Mall at Shelter Cove opened.  This open-air center is quite neat as well, coming back to an area featuring a small pond, a mill wheel and a bridge over the pond.  Every walkway is covered as well, meaning the lack of climate control does not necessarily mean that you will get soaked in the typical summer downpours.

Pineland Station looks to be the oldest mall-type development on the island.  Its design suggests it was built in the 70's with its mansard roofs covering all the walkways.  Gracing the outlot is a Starbucks, suggesting this place is largely about leisure other than actual shopping.  While very few chain establishments are found in the place, the main anchor in the center is a Stein Mart.  A Tuesday Morning is also found adjacent to the pond toward the back.  The center also boasts a couple restaurants and many local shops.  While today it is largely overlooked by chain stores, will it pick up the slack and possibly expand if Shelter Cove Mall fails? Time will only tell.  In alll, tourist-oriented development often results in some unique shopping centers, and this one is one of the more picturesque I have run across.  I am glad to show you this, since I almost passed it up.

The front of the center.  The open covered area is one of two front entrance areas.  Stein Mart is the building on the far right.  The first photo is looking along the second veranda-covered mall portion, which actually does not connect to the front.

It even has its own mall map!

Now, the map in conjunction with the main entryway.  This is still open-air.

The one thing open-air malls of any sort have over enclosed malls is the ability to provide patrons with very lush, perfect landscaping.  The fountain looks just right there as well.

Coming past the covered area, the mall area opens up into this huge courtyard surrounded by shops fronted with a covered walkway.

...and in the middle is this neat little pond with a mill wheel.  Tuesday Morning is the store on the right.  It is a little odd to see shopping carts in a place like that.  Lets hope they keep the alligator population down in that pond, though.

Continuing onward along the "mall".

Not one, but two fountains!

They also provide a bridge over the pond as long as you plan to use feet to cross it.

Can you pick out what is wrong with this picture?  If you can, your eyes aren't deceiving you.  I did not even notice it when I took it.

One final look at the courtyard.

Back in the corridor pictured in the first photo, this odd little flower bed sits to the side of the covered veranda.

The covered walkway to the right of the main entry veranda ends quite differently with this flat, transluscent cover.  The diagonal wood on the sides of the businesses speak volumes of the age of this place.  What's not to like, though?


  1. Very pretty location for a shopping center. The architectural details are so-so, but it's done well.

    Could a post on the Mall at Shelter Cove be coming soon?

  2. nice blog! I like it. do you like this?

  3. My first trip to Hilton Head was in 1976; at that point, there weren't a lot of shopping centers on the island, and all of them came across more as "shopping enclaves" rather than shopping centers due to the island's restriction, landscaping, and architechure.*

    At this time, Pineland Station was called Pineland Mall, but it looked like no other mall "regular folks" had seen. I'm digging way back here, but I believe the Stein-Mart location was originally Edwards, which was a Charleston-based store that was somewhere between a variety store and a discount store. In the late seventies, they were bought out by Big K [Kuhn's?], and within a couple of years had all turned into Wal-Mart stores. The Pineland location never became a Walmart, however, and it is possible that Big K didn't keep that store when it bought Edwards.

    There also seemed to be a BigStar located at this mall, but I'm not sure where it would have been.

  4. JimBobGa...thanks for your feedback! I've been very interested in everything you posted. As to Pineland...I have heard about Big K/Edwards actually. I kind of figured Stein Mart had been something slightly more substantial before, but needless to say that store was too small and too low-key for long overblown and tacky as hell Wal-Mart. I personally liked Pineland Station more than Shelter Cove...the former just did not seem appropriate for a tourist market, while Pineland had a really fun atmosphere to it.

    Kmart, I was just reading your blog last night. I haven't commented any, but I like your concept. Just don't let such a specific focus blind you to other opportunities like I have done myself before. The next couple years look to be extremely volatile and depressing retail-wise, so capturing much of this is important while its still around.

    Also, I wanted to say that I am very disappointed in what happened with Sears Grand. While I think Sears is doing okay, I think that Kmart and many, many Sears mall stores need to be shut down. What few times I have gone to Kmart, I found it sleazy, overpriced and their selection was a joke. I left empty handed most every time. They should have closed Kmart and downsized Sears already to raise money for a proper Sears Grand rollout. Of course, a hedge fund manager running Sears/Kmart is quite foreboding.

  5. I was curious as to if a supermarket operated at Pineland, my guess would have been Winn-Dixie, due to the mansard style roofs evoking the look of Winn-Dixie in the 1970's. I assumed the Stein Mart had been something, but didn't consider Edward's, as it would have been low brow for Hilton Head. Winn-Dixie tended to be in resort areas of Florida, so its low brow image wouldn't have hindered their expansion to Hilton Head, coupled with grocery shopping being considered utilitarian.

    JimBobGA, did Big Star survive on Hilton Head until Harris-Teeter acquired the Carolina division in 1988? Or is Harris-Teeter a later arrival? Harris-Teeter has survived in Charleston and Hilton Head along with St. Simon's in Georgia and Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach in Florida despite the chains retrenchment and Publix's aggressive expansion.

  6. Edwards wasn't a large variety-store chain, and I'm not sure about the company having stores anywhere except for Charleston and Beaufort, SC. Savannah didn't get an Edwards until about 1975, and Hilton Head's Edwards opened whenever Pineland Mall was opened. When Edwards began building suburban stores, they somehow managed to straddle a line between "variety store" and "discount store," and if they had continued today, they would probably have evolved into something like Target.

    At any rate, while Hilton Head has the image of beiong upscale and gated, there has been a working-class population on the island since the building of the bridge to the mainland in the 50's. Prior to that, the island was a lot like Daufuskie Island in that it was home tyo a sizeable African-American community. The location of Pineland Mall/Station was closer to the older section of Hilton Head...away from the gated communites along the ocean, so it fit the area perfectly.

    As for Big Star...the stores started disappearing in the Low Country [SC] and Coastal Empire {GA} around 1975; all of the Savannah stores were gone by 1980, but the Hilton Head store hung on well into the mid-eighties. By the time Big Star/Grand Union was bought out by A&P, their store on Hilton Head was gone. [The A&P in Beaufort/Port Royal, SC, was never a Big Star; the Big Star in Beaufort was located on US 21 northwest of town, and closed by 1980, as well.]

    For awhile, it seemed as though every chain possible had a store on the island: Big Star, Winn-Dixie, Piggly Wiggly, Red & White, and later, Harris-Teeter and Publix. Only A&P and Kroger didn't make an appearance, although there may be a Kroger there now.

  7. Lease plan:

    Also, I give. What's wrong in the one pic?

  8. TenPoundHammer...I honestly am still surprised nobody noticed it. Look closely...there is a tree growing up in the middle of the covered walkway, apparently up through the roof of the covered walkway. Perhaps it's a visual effect, but it is very puzzling to me.

  9. There were really aliigators in that pond?

  10. That was kind of a joke, but I figured it was possible.

  11. I remember that tree now. I think I remember there being a Winn Dixie where the Stein Mart is. I always recall a drug store, that I believe stared with a C, something like Captains. I think there was one at Coligny Plaza too. As far as I know Coligny is the oldest shopping center on the island. Pineland Station used to have some neat outlet type stores. It's currently being remodeled.