MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A judge gave the stamp of approval on a settlement between the Town of Mount Pleasant and Middle Street Partners.
Middle Street is the developer planning to build a new apartment complex on the intercoastal highway.
The proposed apartment complex sits off the Ben Sawyer Boulevard just before the bridge to Sullivan's Island. The property is 15 acres of land.
The developer plans to use about 8.3 acres for the complex.
"A good chunk of that 15-acres is the critical area that we can't touch," Middle Street Partners founder Ryan Knapp said, referencing to the marshland on the property. "A lot of people have the misconception that any of these plans include filling in the marsh. That's absolutely not the case."
"This particular piece is the last remaining remnants of the old Mount Pleasant Maritime Forest," Carolina Wildlife Syndicate founder David Strickland said.
The latest renderings include 45,000 square feet of open space.
The developer will build and maintain public parks and parking on the property and add turning lanes to ease the traffic flow.
Strickland, however, says this open space is not in the wildlife's best interest.
"What we have to do is find that balance," he said."We can't find that balance in a rush to develop an area."
Mount Pleasant currently has a temporary ban on building apartments until 2019.
In this settlement, if that moratorium is extended, The Atlantic, the new development, will be exempt from the extension and able to be built.
Middle Street Partners decreased the number of units from 246 to 224 with a height limit of 45 feet and eliminated all commercial space.
"Originally we had 15,000 square feet slated for a restaurant," Knapp said. "We took all of that away."
"Any regulatory agency, we have to make sure that they are following strict guidelines and everything is done appropriately," Strickland said.
The Town of Mount Pleasant awarded a $370,000 credit to the middle street for impact fees.
Middle Street Partners has developments across the Southeast and says the reaction from locals is nothing new.
"There are just more people than people are used to and it's a natural reaction to point the finger at something," Knapp said.
This project was halted by the town council in 2015. Shortly after, the developer sued.
The two parties settled the lawsuit and have since been approved by a judge.