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Boulevard project opens in Mt. Pleasant

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MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) -

It's a project ten years in the making and now, a new residential and retail complex is officially open for business in Mt. Pleasant.

Boulevard is located on Coleman Blvd., across from a busy shopping center, and developers say their complex will take the community to the next level.

But how do Mt. Pleasant residents feel about the project?

"We've heard everything from it's the best thing that's happened to Mt. Pleasant to it's the worst thing, said Stephanie Boals, neighbor.

Mt. Pleasant's first mixed-used project, Boulevard, is a complex with 325 apartments, for rent. The apartments range in sizes from studios to three bedroom spaces.

"Pricing ranges from anywhere from the low $900s to over $2,400 a month," said Dan Doyle, Vice President of The Beach Company.

Some of the units have been set aside for the workforce. Doyle says they wanted to create an affordable place where people, working in the town, can live.

Besides the residential space, the lower level facing Coleman Blvd. includes 12,000 sq. feet of retail space to be filled with a restaurant, salon and spa.

"It's a place where you can live,shop, work," said John Darby, CEO of The Beach Company.

A new, urban living option for that Darby says isn't available anywhere else in Mt. Pleasant.

At it's highest, Boulevard is four stories. It's considered a high density development. However, it doesn't look like it from all angles.

"It's not high density from one end of Coleman to the next," said Darby.

As the complex gets further from Coleman Blvd., their buildings get smaller and looks more residential next to the neighboring homes.

Developers also strategically positioned the parking garage so that it is not visible to the public from the street. It's the first parking garage in Mt. Pleasant.

All of these extra measures done, they say, to help integrate the development with the existing community.

However, some neighbors still need to be convinced that Boulevard won't overshadow the charm of Mt. Pleasant.

"It's put a big shadow on Coleman Blvd.," said Wilbert Garner, neighbor.

Garner, who has lived in Mt. Pleasant for decades, says the building height isn't his only concern. Garner fears that with more people living in the confined space, more traffic and congestion will come to their neighborhood.

"I feel like a lot of people that have lived here a really long time don't want to see the neighborhood changing," said Boals.

Unlike her neighbor Garner, Boals, a three-generation Mt. Pleasantite, says her family welcomes the new development.

"We think it's great," said Boals. "We're able to walk, ride our bikes and it's kind of like a downtown feel."

The Beach Company developers say they're hoping Boulevard will become the downtown hub of Mt. Pleasant and believe that eventually the neighbors will get comfortable with it.

"I think, in time, you get accustomed to change," said Darby.

The Beach Company hosted a ribbon cutting celebration at Boulevard Thursday night. They say they will be at a stable capacity by spring.


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