Daniel Island Development Update
By Matt Sloan
President, The Daniel Island Company
It’s a great time to be living and working on Daniel Island. As we approach our community’s twentieth anniversary next year, the level of construction activity in our downtown and neighborhoods is at an all-time high – an indicator that our real estate market and island economy is as healthy as it’s ever been. Property values are mostly back to where they were before the recession, and we’re very pleased to see our island town continue to improve with the addition of each new home and business, even after two decades of development.
On the south end of the island, approximately 200 homesites remain, most of which are in Edgefield Park, the newest and last neighborhood in this area. As with all of our south end neighborhoods, it will be situated around a beautiful park and recreational amenity. The Edgefield Park pool will enjoy a scenic setting and include a unique venue for gatherings and special events. Construction is expected to be complete next spring.
Also on the south end, we are currently revisiting the final phase of Cochran Park along Dunham Street. As recently reported by the Daniel Island News, the State Port Authority has a small parcel on the northern edge of their property available. We are studying feasibility of this property for acquisition and considering how incorporating it into the Cochran Park neighborhood could help complete and enhance this attractive neighborhood.
Over the next several years, the remaining property in Daniel Island Park – among the most scenic on the island – will be developed as three neighborhoods within our golf and country club neighborhood. The first offerings in Ralston Grove and Nobel’s Point sold quickly, and you’ll soon be hearing about additional homesites in these neighborhoods, as well as the introduction of Fish Tale Island, seven homesites that are part of Ralston Grove. The third and final neighborhood will be on Rhoden Island, which will likely debut in 2017.
The new Daniel Island Park properties will bring more members to the active and growing Daniel Island Club. To accommodate this growth, the Park Club is currently undergoing an expansion. The fitness center will grow by 4,000 square feet to include increased fitness amenities and new locker rooms, the Cabana Bar and dining area will be expanded, and new Har-Tru tennis courts will be added.
The school story for Daniel Island will also undergo change when Philip Simmons Elementary and Middle School opens next August. This will ease overcrowding at the Daniel Island School and reinforce its viability as our community’s neighborhood school. In 2017 the new Cainhoy High School will open, providing a convenient and quality public high school option for Daniel Island students.
Commercial development on the island is also very active and you’ll soon begin to notice the character of our downtown evolve when the Simmons Park Apartments open later this fall, bringing new residents and retail and connecting our waterfront and downtown business areas. Construction has begun on the Wharf 7 apartments on Island Park Drive, and before the end of the year construction will begin on Central Island Square, a new mixed-use development in the heart of our downtown that will feature apartments and retail. Next year you’ll see construction start on Palmetto Independent Living, just north of I-526. Combined, these new downtown residential options will attract approximately 1,500 new residents, bringing our island population to a level that will attract additional businesses of all kinds to our downtown.
The growth of our community has led to several infrastructure improvements. Residents will be pleased to know that construction has begun on the extension of Fairchild Street to Island Park Drive. This will greatly improve access and overall traffic patterns in our downtown when it is complete next spring. The extension of Farr Street to Grand Council Street is also in planning, a project that will improve ingress and egress to the Daniel Island School. And finally, we are now seeking permitting for the extension of Pierview Street to the waterfront area near the Daniel Island Sales & Information Center. If approved, and when complete, this will open up the downtown waterfront area to mixed-use development.
Another project that we’re excited to roll out next year involves one of our most popular recreational amenities: our island trails. The Daniel Island Company is working with the Property Owners’ Association to upgrade and formalize the island’s trail system. Look for mapped trail routes and an exciting new way to explore the island on foot or by bike next year.
As Daniel Island continues to mature and improve with age, it’s exciting to see our our sister community at Carnes Crossroads in Summerville emerge. There are more than a hundred residents now living in the first neighborhood and using the community trails, first park, pool and the historic Green Barn for recreation and events. Northwood Church has been holding services at its Carnes Crossroads campus for three years and construction on Northwood Academy is now underway, with the Upper School scheduled to relocate to the new facility next August and the Lower School in August of 2017. Meanwhile, the first of several medical office buildings at Carnes Crossroads recently opened. This new community is starting to turn into a town much in the same way that Daniel Island emerged back in the 1990s.
As part of the City of Charleston, Daniel Island is directly impacted by the upcoming changes in the city’s political landscape. Several city council seats are open, along with the position of mayor for first time in 40 years. We have been working towards developing an open dialog with the candidates so that when the changes occur, we will be in a good position to make sure the interests of the Daniel Island community are top of mind for the new administration.
In closing, I’d like to acknowledge our incredible team of engineers, planners and contractors, along with the Daniel Island Property Owners Association staff, for the great job they’ve done creating and maintaining what is one of the highest quality communities in the area. Their work was put to the test in a big way with the historic rainfall our state experienced earlier this month, and it is truly because of them that Daniel Island came through the storm with very minimal damage and flooding. A big thank you to the team, and to everyone who makes Daniel Island such a great place to live and work.