DI developer discusses island's end-game strategy
“Daniel Island is in the home stretch. If it’s a baseball game, we are in the eighth inning, maybe moving to the bottom of the eighth.”Serving as the keynote speaker at the June 2 meeting of the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association, Daniel Island Company President Matt Sloan was welcomed to the podium to provide an update on island development and lead an interactive discussion with DINA members. Reporting on both current and future construction projects, Sloan made clear the status of each, and underscored the present achievement of Daniel Island’s near-complete build-out. The main points of progress addressed in both the presentation and Q&A wereResidential development The island has enjoyed significant price appreciation in the last two years, with values returning to 2006 levels, though not as quickly for higher-end properties. Daniel Island’s south side, where approximately 150 homesites remain, is expected to be fully built out in the next two to three years. Dunham Street in Cochran Park will finally see completion, likely in 2016, after being in a holding pattern due to port land issues. The southernmost portion of the island to be developed, named Edgefield Park, will become south Daniel Island’s final neighborhood. This will also be the home of the third community pool, though Sloan indicated he would be surprised if the facility was constructed by the end of 2016.In Daniel Island Park, approximately 250 homesites remain, and a full build-out is expected to be accomplished in three to five years. In both the Ralston Grove and Nobel’s Point neighborhoods, just under a third of available lots are currently under development. In the area commonly referred to as Rhoden Island, 90-plus lots are to be developed.Sloan pointed out proposed amendments, such as the creation of a new residential zoning category known as “Daniel Island – Residential Island,” intended to address strict build-to lines that might otherwise hinder the preservation of trees on residential property.Commercial development In the area often denoted as “Parcel Q,” the land north of Island Park Drive between River Landing Drive and the off-ramp from northbound I-526, the 75,000 square foot Central Island Plaza office complex is scheduled to open late June, and the 35,000 square foot retail and 315-unit high-end residential rental Central Island Square project is underway by Faison Properties. Gas station and convenience retail company Refuel is getting ready to close on its site across Island Park Drive from Publix.“Parcel J,” located just within Daniel Island Park north of Island Park Drive, has several projects in progress (listed southernmost to northernmost) the 312-unit Woodfield Apartments, Palmetto Creek Independent Living, and Wellmore Assisted Living. Sloan stated that Daniel Island’s Catholic Parish, St. Clare of Assisi, is still seeking to purchase the piece of land just north of the Wellmore facility. In other commercial construction progress, Simmons Park Apartments at River Landing Drive and Seven Farms Drive is near completion, BenefitFocus is gearing up to begin construction on “The Community Table” foodbeverageconference center, Kangaroo Express is expected to move forward with a planned expansion, and a new 12,000 square foot office and retail building at 125 River Landing Drive will be the first new construction in that area of the island in many years. Cainhoy projectsSpeaking primarily to the two new schools planned for this area, Sloan stated that Berkeley County School District “has been fabulous to work with,” and that the leaders have shown tremendous commitment to seeking, and funding, thoughtful architecture. The Philip Simmons ElementaryMiddle School is projecting an August 2016 open date, while the Philip Simmons High School is slated to welcome students beginning August 2017. Both facilities will be located on Clements Ferry Road near Nelliefield Plantation. Community issuesThough the status of land owned by the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA), including the parcel that opens at the end of Dunham Street, is still in flux, the SPA is expected to follow through on its commitment to transfer 50 acres of its Daniel Island land to the State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. Erosion and structural damage at the Beresford Creek Boat Landing and Bellinger Island is to be addressed soon. Though there is money set aside to help fund the repairs, Sloan reported that it is not enough to pay for the estimated $450,000 project. Jane Baker, Vice President of Community Services for the Daniel Island Property Owners Association, indicated that a special dues assessment, not exceeding $200 per homeowner, will likely take place over a two-year period to cover the remaining cost.Wrapping up final questions from members, Sloan stated that there is no update on a potential island marina, though the permit is still active, and there is no timetable available for the installation of a traffic light at Fairchild Street and River Landing Drive, though the project has been funded.