It’s strange to think that people commenting on social media outlets as recently as 2011 were wondering what ever happened to Carolina Park.
Not that such remarks were a surprise: the highly-visible property unveiled in the mid 2000s wrapping around Wando High School in Mount Pleasant had paved streets, infrastructure, a few small businesses, a church, Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital and four customized homes but no signs of sustained development — the victim of the housing downturn starting in 2007.
What made the look so stark was the community was proposed to encompass 1,750 homes, neighborhood attractions, school, fire station and retail outlets.
Then, almost as soon as the public was mentally writing off Carolina Park, a host of behind-the-scenes action started taking shape in early 2012. That in turn has spawned quite a bit of in-front-of-the-scenes clearing, framing, decorating, landscaping and selling on the site.
In brief, the master planned community:
Secured a new developer Carolina Park Development LLC to provide financial backing, planning and marketing guidance.
Lined up builders Ryland Homes and David Weekley Homes last fall. They have opened models, erected homes and signed close to two dozen sale contracts.
Kicked off construction of an amenities center to include a swimming pool, changing rooms and playground to open this summer near a central roundabout directing traffic to builders’ neighborhoods. Future attractions will include tennis courts.
Installed homestyle “monuments” along U.S. Highway 17 North to boost exposure and direct house hunters.
Brought in marketing and sales veteran Carolina One New Homes to oversee the project.
Disclosed this week that three more builders are onboard in a posh new section called Riverside at Carolina Park, located on the northern edge of the property backing up to marsh. Eventually, 575 homes will be raised in Riverside, situated off Darrell Creek Trail with lots up to a half-acre. A second Carolina Park amenities center to include a pool will be built there.
Homes start in the low $300,000s and are expected to run up to around $650,000, probably higher in the future.
In a year then, things went from few indications of development to almost no signs of a let-up.
“The biggest thing that people are wanting to know, obviously — is Carolina Park back?” says Haley Cuzzell — community sales manager and an associate with Carolina One New Homes — who is based in a sales center off Highway 17 at the neighborhood’s entrance.
“The new developer already (has the project on track),” she says. “It really is a wide variety. We’ve received so much positive feedback.”
Will Jenkinson, broker-in-charge of Carolina One New Homes, says the Mount Pleasant development is part of a growth spurt east of the Cooper from the upper Wando River to beside the Ravenel Bridge.
“We have 21 sales right now (at Carolina Park),” he says, noting that the buying blitz took place with little promotion until late fall. About 15 to 20 residences are under construction or finished, and the first closing is in 30 days, he says.
According to Cuzzell, the new builders are Saussy Burbank, Sabal Homes and Cline Homes. Sabal and Cline Homes will be constructing in the Riverside enclave and Saussy Burbank is building higher-end homes in Riverside and middle-range houses in the $400,000s elsewhere in Carolina Park.
Ryland Homes and David Weekley Homes have their own sales staffs although they coordinate with Carolina One New Homes.
The first to build at Carolina Park, Ryland offers seven floor plans priced from $332,000 to $379,000 and sized from 2,072 to 2,964 square feet. Models are the Savannah, Thompson, Edisto, Beaufort, St. Helena, Coosaw and Wando.
Home features include front porches, fiber-cement siding and raised foundations. Its sales office is located on Croaton Crossing.
David Weekley likewise showcases seven floor plans costing $333,990 to $425,990 and sized from 1,872 to 3,045 square feet. The sales office is on Anacostia Avenue.
Carolina Park is expected to be a big community draw in the next several years, considering a library, elementary school, fire station and walking and biking trails are all on tap, Cuzzell says.
Meanwhile, “We do have future plans to build townhomes maybe within the year,” she says. Apartments are also in the works later on. “Our goal is to have something for everyone,” she says.
To learn more, contact Carolina Park at 843-654-5083 or visit www.carolinaparksc.com.
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