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Baker Motor Co. looks to build new Porsche dealership in Charleston

March 29, 2017 GMT

Baker Motor Co. is looking to expand showroom space for one of its luxury cars lines.

The upscale auto dealer is asking the city of Charleston to approve construction of a two-story display area and service center for its Porsche dealership.

Owner Tommy Baker currently offers Porsche at a site down the street in a building shared by other high-end vehicles. The proposed stand-alone building would sit at 1515 Savannah Highway, next to a city of Charleston fire station. An existing structure on the site would be demolished.

The city’s Design Review Board will consider conceptual approval Monday.

Sip and shop

A new shop opens Saturday on King Street in downtown Charleston.

Skinny Dip will offer men’s, women’s and lifestyle brands as well as coffee and wine in the former Boone’s Bar space at 345 King.

It’s the second retail location for the company’s founders and the first to be open year-round. The other seasonal store is in Nantucket, Mass.

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Friends Sara Rossi and Taylor Ivey co-founded The Skinny Dip as a way to showcase their own New York City-based fashion brands, Beau & Ro Bag Co. and Ellsworth and Ivey, respectively. The local shop will feature complementary brands from around the country, including those of some Charleston-area entrepreneurs.

With two floors in about 4,000 square feet, the ground level will feature men’s and women’s clothing while the second floor will be dedicated to interior lifestyles in a space called “The Living Room” along with a coffee and wine bar and outdoor seating area.

The nautically themed shop will feature a rowboat on the store’s ceiling as well as white shiplap walls.

The store also will offer yoga classes, wine tastings, trunk shows, jewelry-making workshops, flower-arranging classes and other seminars.

A grand opening celebration will follow on April 9.

Harris Teeter grocery store will anchor the proposed West Ashley Circle Shopping Center in Charleston while five smaller buildings for other unannounced tenants will sit on the site as well. McMillan|Pazdan|Smith Architecture/City of Charleston

Shopping for approval

A proposed grocery-anchored retail center in West Ashley is seeking a go-ahead nod from the city.

West Ashley Circle Shopping Center, at the juncture of West Ashley Circle and Grand Oaks Boulevard off Bees Ferry Road, will be anchored by North Carolina-based Harris Teeter supermarket and include five smaller buildings on outparcels. Tenants for the outbuildings have not been announced. Construction could start in January and take about a year, depending on the city review process and permitting.

The 13-acre site is owned by Long Term Holding LLC, an affiliate of Rivers Enterprises of Charleston. The city’s Design Review Board will consider conceptual approval of the project Monday.

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On the way

A former downtown Charleston restaurant space will begin serving new patrons Friday.

Gentry Bar & Room is taking over the former Sermet’s space at 276 King St.

The new offering will feature Marvin Woods’ spin on Lowcountry fare inspired by the area’s Gullah-Geechee cuisine, designed to pair with Gentry’s whiskey and craft cocktail selections. It will be open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunches. Live music will be offered 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. VIP lounges featuring private cocktail service will also be available with reservations.

Adding on

A Cigar Factory shop that opened 15 months ago is adding more space.

Fritz Porter, a design collective offering a curated selection of antiques, contemporary art, lighting and period furnishings, will grow by 2,600 square feet of showroom space.

Charleston native Sarah Hamlin Hastings launched the shop in January 2016 and stocked the 6,700 square feet with 30 hand-picked brands, including those from antique dealers and local artisans.

With the expansion, the store will now offer textiles, wallpaper, custom furniture, lighting and rugs — new resources for interior designers and architects.

“With the new showroom, Fritz Porter will offer the best of to-the-trade collections that used to demand a six-hour drive to Atlanta,” Hastings said.

An open house is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 6 to celebrate the new showroom. Representatives of some of the store’s offerings also will be on hand.

The National Retail Federation projects Easter spending to rise to record levels this year. File/Provided

Hop in sales

This year’s late Easter should bring a basket of increased sales to retailers.

Americans will spend more than ever to celebrate the annual spring holiday, which arrives April 16, three weeks later than last year, and gives shoppers more time to buy in expected warmer weather.

The National Retail Federation projects spending on pastel clothing, assorted candy, greeting cards, decorations, flowers and food will rise 6 percent to $18.4 billion.

The average celebrant will spend about $152, up from last year’s $146. Food will account for the highest amount of spending, but clothing purchases should rise to a record as well.