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Long-time Charleston business faces zoning change with new owner

For over 60 years, Burbage's grocery shop and restaurant has been a fixture in Charleston. As long as the business has been open it has been owned by the same family until very recently, which could change very soon. Another local businessman has expressed interest in purchasing the commercial real estate and business.

Even though the transaction has yet ot be completed, the potential owner has already submitted plans to the city zoning board for approval. The man who will likely take charge of the store intends to keep many aspects of the business the same, but hopes to improve the overall experience for customers.

In addition to reconfiguring the grocery store portion of the business, the new owner has submitted a zoning request to expand the seating and dining area. This will allow the shop to accomodate more customers to enjoy food in store, while also providing a better shopping experience.

Beyond the seating expansion, the presumptive owner looks to serve beer and wine at the store, which would also require legal clearance from the city. This is the kind of zoning-related concern that can cause issues for new or long-term commercial property owners.

As this story shows, purchasing commercial real estate can create opportunity. A person can achieve their professional goals by starting their own commercial opportunity from the ground up or purchasing an existing property and reshape it. Either route can create complications during the transaction's closing or when submitting zoning requests.

Although there is no indication that the new owner of the South Carolina business discussed in this post will run into any major issues, running into a property-related problem can completely derail a person's plans. This is why it can be very beneficial to be prepared for the unexpected when dealing with commercial real estate.

Source: Charleston City Paper, "Burbage’s sale in the works," Susan Cohen, May 17, 2013

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