Summerville looking to purchase ‘gateway property’ to future 34-acre park

Summerville looking to purchase ‘gateway property’ to future 34-acre park
Plans for a 34-acre park along the Ashley River in Summerville are in the works. (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Plans for a 34-acre park along the Ashley River in Summerville are in the works.

It's located in the area near Dorchester and Ladson Roads behind the ALDI grocery store.

Now the Town of Summerville is looking into purchasing another property that would serve as the gateway to the Jessen Boat Landing at the future park known as the Bend on the Ashley.

This gateway area is just over an acre and it's right behind the senior housing complex that's directly behind the ALDI.

Summerville Council member Bob Jackson says the gateway property is out of the flood plain and when it's purchased, the town will consider putting and education center there for people to learn about natural and cultural history. There's also ideas to bring a place in where you rent or purchase items for recreation like kayaks, opportunities for river tours and more.

As for the Bend on the Ashley which is around the corner from from the gateway area, Jackson says the town is working with a development company.

He says people can expect to give public input in about month on what they'd like to see there. Ideas include camp grounds, a place for picnics, small cabins and more.

"The Ashley River in the past was the highway, it was the lifeblood to the country from back when it was the native Indians here and we need to protect that and also clean water and runoff and to prevent flooding," Jackson said. "I think cutting back on the building that was planned to be here and on the river and creating a park has given the public access to a great amenity and at the same time cutting back on that growth."

Jackson says years ago, condominiums were in the process of being built where the future park is planned.

"When the economy fell that stopped, I've been talking with them for over 10 years, this property also and things have just changed to where plans changed making it affordable for the town to buy it," Jackson said.

Jackson says a survey revealed that 85 percent of the people who live in Summerville don't know bout the boat landing. The town is working to change that, they want the area to be a place where people can relax in nature.

The park property was purchased about about a year and a half ago and the town is looking to have a plan finalized by the end of the year, Jackson says.

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