August 10, 2012
The economic downturn lingers but turnaround indicators abound, especially in our neighborhoods. The Palmetto Commerce Parkway has become South Carolina’s most dynamic industrial and commercial development corridor. Most Realtors report that residential home sales are picking up, values are firming.
And there are signs aplenty of growth and development activity.
Renting is rapidly becoming an attractive intermediate step toward home ownership, and this is igniting fresh market demands for apartments.
As the first phase of The McKewn planned development now underway across from the Joe Pye Elementary School, we will see 320 residential apartments built on a sprawling campus. Near the northwest quadrant of Wescott Boulevard and Patriot Boulevard, a long-ago approved plan for 230 apartment units will soon be underway.
That’s 550 residential apartments within roughly a mile of each other!
So, clearly growth and development are returning to our community – sharpening anew our common concerns about impacts on schools, roadways and general public amenities.
We can anticipate freshening plans for widening Patriot Boulevard, from Wescott Boulevard to Palmetto Commerce Parkway and a clearer timeline for the construction of roadway assets like the new Palmetto Commerce Parkway connection to a new access ramp on Interstate 26 between Highway 78 and Ashley Phosphate. I will do my best to keep you informed about public meetings to discuss these and all other such projects.
Public school capacities seem especially vulnerable. The Dorchester District 2 system is several schools short of “adequate” capacity. The District 2 Board is likely to propose new funding sources by referendum in the November general election. In the meanwhile, builders/developers of each residential unit, including apartments, pays $2,500 per unit in school ”impact fees.” This revenue, however, is currently held up in escrow as the state law which mandates the impact fee is litigated.
I’d appreciate hearing your views on growth and growth management.
CONSTRUCTION ZONE ALERT
Look for a quickening pace of construction on Dorchester Road, between Trump and Wescott Boulevard. The City’s new youth baseball and public park complex is approaching its final phases. If all goes well, the fields will host a national baseball tournament next summer.
A creative tree-loss mitigation plan has cleared the way and -at last- the Corner at Wescott development should begin early site clearance and construction within the next two weeks. Harris Teeter and Marshall’s are anchor stores for what should be an attractive shopping facility. Other probable commitments include Starbucks, Moe’s, Rack Room Shoes, a national pet store chain and a national women’s clothing store. I’ll keep you informed as we learn more about the final line-up of stores and restaurants.
The Hendon Company of Atlanta is the general developer of the Corner at Wescott. Hendon also is the developer of the remaining property across Wescott Boulevard and west of Lowe’s. With economic conditions improving, we should anticipate the Hendon company will move very quickly to plan for the “completion” of the “Lowe’s footprint plan.
THE LIGHT, FINALLY!
Our neighbors throughout the Charleston Park developments will be glad to know that there is finally a working plan to install a traffic signal at Trump and Dorchester Road. The city will advance funding needed to get the project started and will be reimbursed by developers who had agreed to finance the signal once traffic counts warranted it. Dorchester Road is a state highway so state permits and planning must be achieved. If all goes well the light could be controlling traffic at this very busy intersection within 6 to 9 months.
The lane restriping of Patriot between Appian Way and Ashley Phosphate has been completed. Now the City is working with the S.C. Electric and Gas Company to install street lights in this busy corridor. The ultimate planning goal: a divided median with controlled pedestrian crossings.
Coosaw’s Crocodiles – American crocs are very rare outside southern Florida, but Coosaw’s swimming crocodiles have done it again, winning the Coastal Carolina Aquatic Association Championship “City” Meet for the second consecutive year. The team, which includes swimmers from many nearby neighborhoods, also finished the 2012 season undefeated.
Congratulations to the nearly 100 swim team members and Coach Jayson May and his staff. The team was honored by Mayor Summey and City Council July 26.
Watch the ceremony at http://cityofnorthcharleston.blogspot.com/2012/07/july-26-2012-city-council-meeting.html
Web Sites ….. Regular City Council meetings are held at 7 p.m. he second and fourth Thursdays of each month. Did you know that you can watch these meetings live via the city’s web site? Please continue to access the website www.ronbrinson.com for the police activity report. Also, visit www.NorthCharleston.org frequently for news about community activities and for any information you might need about to city services.
And, please always contact me if I can help in any way firstname.lastname@example.org