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Business: New owners will dig in to upgrade landscape at Hammock Shops

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Brad Truluck, one of the new owners of the Hammock Shops, was on the property this week making preparations for repairs to buildings and a fresh landscape plan. He was getting advice about how to restore the tourist attraction from a former employee of the Original Hammock Shop’s fudge counter, his wife, Jodi.

“She was the one standing behind me saying this is what it used to look like,” Truluck said. “She remembers the Easter egg hunts. We are trying to get it cleaned up for that.”

Truluck Industries of Charleston purchased the iconic Pawleys Island property last week for $6.1 million from partners in South Neck Investors, owners for the past 14 years. The Truluck family has been involved in property management and construction for over 50 years. Truluck Industries is the purchaser, and Truluck Properties, a separate property management entity, will manage the property.

“I understand the historic significance of the Hammock Shops and the role it has played through the years,” Truluck said. Home of the original Pawleys Island Rope Hammock since the early 1930s, the Hammock Shops complex is host 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.

Truluck said two landscaping companies are preparing quotes on a complete overhaul of shrubs and trees on the property. “We want it looking fresh,” he said. His tenants have already started giving him repair requests. “When we first looked at it for maintenance it was run down, but we knew it had potential,” he said. “I like taking stuff that’s broken and fixing it, making it look good again. Once you get in there talking to the tenants, it’s like a big family. I’m ready to get moving.”

In addition to landscaping, improvements will include: a playground, new windows, roof repair and replacement, painting, repaving existing asphalt areas and paving the dirt road that connects the Hammock Shops to Lachicotte Drive and a rear parking lot, refurbishing the gravel parking and walking areas and a general cleanup.

Will Anderson, owner of Harbor Specialties in the Hammock Shops, said he feels good about the new owners but hates to see Jim and Diane Warwick and their partners leave. “I’ve been here 12 and a half years and always got along with Jim Warwick,” Anderson said. “They were good landlords partly because they had a stake in it. They lived here. My only reservations were that the new owners lived in Charleston. I don’t think it’s a situation where they’ll be absentee landlords. It sounds like they are truly interested in keeping this property as an unusual shopping experience. Anytime there’s a change you enter with some trepidation. So far I’ve seen nothing but good signs from the Trulucks.”

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