District 4 Updates- November 15, 2014.

Roper St. Francis Healthcare broke ground last week for its five-floor 130,000 square foot administrative office center on Palmetto Commerce Parkway at Patriot Boulevard. It’s a $28 million facility and when it opens in spring 2016, 600 management and administrative personnel will work under one roof. They’ll enjoy a workplace environment that will include walking trails, a fitness center, and a café.

Roper St. Francis opened its consolidated data center complex on an adjacent PCP property earlier this year. These properties are owned by the venerable Medical Society of South Carolina, an organization of some 400 physicians. The Society traces its Charleston roots to 1789. It is a non-profit organization – and thus, is generally exempt from property taxes.

Roper St. Francis’ growth and expansion to PCP is good news economically for sure, and more evidence that PCP is a hotbed commercial development corridor and a center of “good jobs” employment. Boeing is expanding its PCP presence steadily; so are Cummins and Daimler Vans. Charleston County is moving along with its plans for a state-of-the-art recycling center on PCP.

But with that good news, there is the one issue I hear most about in my Council work – TRAFFIC. At either end of Palmetto Commerce Parkway at rush hour, it’s simply awful – and likely to get worse before final solutions can be planned and built.

The City has a limited role in roadway capacities — but we do beg, plead and importune Charleston County and the S.C. Department of Transportation to address traffic congestion as a “quality-of-life” neighborhood issue.

A turning lane capacity expansion project is about to begin at PCP intersection with Ladson Road. This should help with the afternoon rush hour congestion nightmares.

The Corridor’s Ashley Phosphate intersection is more problematic. The big plan is a PCP “flyover” of Ashley Phosphate, but this is years away. We have now asked Charleston County to consider all possible interim improvements, such as better signaling.

Charleston County has taken the initiative in a somewhat related project – adding a second turning lane from Ashley Phosphate onto eastbound Interstate 26. This work should begin in late January, depending on weather.

And many of you have inquired as to what’s going on at the property generally behind Daimler and across from Boeing’s Interior Responsibility plant on Patriot Boulevard. A large land parcel is being cleared. The activity relates to a developer’s plans for a “spec” building to be built in the “near future.” One interesting planning factoid, however, is that the access road for this project will be a link in the Future Drive roadway which ultimately will link Patriot Boulevard to the new Interstate 26 interchange. The first phase of Future Drive, from Northside to PCP should be completed next summer.

Looks like we’ll have two Walmart Neighborhood grocery centers soon underway — one at Ladson Road and PCP, and another at Patriot Boulevard at Dorchester Road.

Look for a “Raising Cane” chicken restaurant project to begin at the Corner at Wescott early next year.

A Sears-K Mart “outlet” is the latest working rumor for a chunk of the Festival Center.

NOTE TO HOA AND POA officers – A new state law promotes maximum coordination between local governments and owners’ associations. This encourages the filing and timely updates of covenants, guidelines and standards. The net objective is to assure that neighborhood rules and regulations are fully respected in local governments’ planning, zoning and permitting. Most District 4 owners’ associations already provide such filings and updates routinely. Our city is working now to make filings and updates as simple as possible and I will keep the officers of owners’ associations informed.

North Charleston’s Annual Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, December 6 at Park Circle. This is always a lively and colorful Holiday Season parade in a family environment. Hope to see you there.

Contact me with your questions and your counsel. And please pass this little newsletter on to your neighbors. I would be pleased to add anyone to the direct mailing list. They need only to contact me at rbrin@aol.com

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