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Hammock Shops: Landscape restoration is priority for new owners

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

New owners of the Hammock Shops at Pawleys Island say they plan to hire a landscape architect to transform the grounds into a garden-like atmosphere before summer.

Truluck Industries of Charleston has purchased the property on Highway 17 from South Neck Investors. Brad and Chuck Truluck will be in charge of the refurbishment and management of the property.

“I understand the historic significance of the Hammock Shops and the role it has played through the years,” Brad Truluck said. “My wife was born and raised in Pawleys Island. She has shared many fond memories of the times she spent working and shopping at the Hammock Shops.”

Home of the original Pawleys Island Rope Hammock since the early 1930s, the Hammock Shops complex is home to 22 stores and restaurants on 8 acres. It was founded by the Lachicotte family on the island and moved to the highway in 1938. “We are ecstatic to add this legendary asset to our family’s properties,” Chuck Truluck said. “Our family has a history of acquiring assets that we can own for a lifetime, and of all the retail properties we have looked at, none of them carry the iconic nature and history of the Hammock Shops. We decided to make this long-term legacy investment because we believe in this landmark property.”

The Trulucks said they plan to make a major investment to refurbish the property. “We will not be changing the uniqueness in any way but will be reconditioning the property back to its former glory days,” Brad Truluck said. “For example, we hear people say they would really like to see the beautiful landscaping and garden-like atmosphere return, and that’s what we intend to do.”

He said work will start immediately and should be completed by the start of the summer tourist season. In addition to landscaping it will include: new windows, roof repair and replacement, painting, repaving existing asphalt areas and paving the dirt road that connects the Hammock Shops to Lachicotte Drive, refurbishing the gravel parking and walking areas and a general cleanup.

Jim Warwick and his partners in South Neck Investors, owners of the property since 2000, have been negotiating with the Trulucks since January. Market value of the property, according to county tax records, is just over $4 million. South Neck Investors paid $4.5 million for it in 2000, county records say. The Trulucks did not reveal their purchase price.

Warwick said he and his wife, Diane, plan to retire and take life at a slower pace. “We’re going to do some traveling,” he said. “I’ve never been a good golfer. Maybe I’ll learn some golf, some Spanish, do a bit of cooking, just sit back. I don’t want the phone to ring so often.”

He said the Truluck family sold 200 acres of land near Charleston’s airport for future Boeing expansion and wanted to defer some income tax by investing in an income producing property. The Truluck family lives in Charleston and has been involved in property management and construction for over 50 years. Truluck Industries is the purchaser of the property. Truluck Properties, a separate property management entity, will manage the property.

“They want to keep things the way they are,” Warwick said. “They are going to do some nice landscaping and remodel some buildings but keep the ambiance we had.” He said he expected all the tenants and both employees to remain. “The tenants liked what they saw,” he said, after meeting family member Brad Truluck. “They felt that he really cares about the shops.”

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