Tri-County leaders looking how to increase property values

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Government leaders in the Tri-County say they're working to make the Lowcountry a better place.

And to create a better quality of life, CEO and President of the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce Rita Berry says it's all about the investment of development or placemaking.

"It's creating a space, a place where people want to live work and play that's affordable, that creates a quality of life without having to spend so much time commuting," said Berry.

"It's those places that you would put on a postcard and celebrate, the things you care about in your community that you say this is who we are. It's also producing mass amounts of wealth for your community," said Joe Minicozzi the principal of Urban 3.

Minicozzi said anything that grows wealth for the community has benefits for the people who live there.

"The investment that citizens make, or business make, with their tax dollars to build more revenue for the towns and counties can be put into more amenities to create more quality of life," Berry said.

That approach is placemaking, a people-centered approach to planning, designing, and managing a community.

The data presented by Minicozzi shows that downtown Charleston has the highest value of anywhere in the Lowcountry.

Minicozzi also showed how data could help generate more revenue for other areas.

He said taxable land value should be considered when new development is proposed and they should prioritize areas that already have municipal services.

Minicozzi also said by building up rather than wide, you can have more bang for your buck.

Minicozzi used downtown Charleston as a prime example, being it brings in the most tax dollars.

"$600,000 for 21 acres. Your Walmart is about 21 acres and in that same year paid about $47,000. Same amount of acres, but whole lot different in values," Minicozzi said.