Decade-long project gets final approval in North Charleston

Published: Feb. 27, 2015 at 3:54 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 27, 2015 at 1:53 PM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Thursday night a decade-long project got its final stamp of approval.

The North Charleston City Council approved a bid for the final phase of Oak Terrace Preserves in the Liberty Hill area.

This final phase of the city-developed neighborhood will cost $2,699,033.90, but the mayor and council say it has been a good use of money, turning land worth $4 million into land worth $80 million, which means more money for the city.

"It also creates a neighborhood that we've got young people moving back in," Mayor Summey said. "We've got seniors moving in there. It's just so rewarding because it started the comeback of mamas pushing babies around and seeing people walking their dogs."

Oak Terrace will have about 500 total homes when the third phase is finished. Some neighbors have complained the increase in property values has hurt them because they have to pay more in taxes.

"That is true," Susan Cloud, who lives next to Oak Terrace said. "Until they want to sell their home and then it's more advantageous to them. It's a con at the moment but it'll be a pro in the future."

Cloud in moved across from the development two years ago and said the project is a good thing.

Summey says approving the final phase of the project makes him feel like a proud parent.

"This baby has been born and we've gotten it up through puberty and into the teen years and when we complete it, it'll be a grown child and contributing back to the community and that's the important part," Summey said.

The council also approved big changes to the old Naval Base.

Right now a lot of the homes in the area are in need of repair. Some have been fixed up recently, but the city plans to design the area for weddings, with homes for receptions and a bed and breakfast with the Riverfront park next door. The city plans to keep many of the homes as residential properties.

The mayor said the area has needed work for a while.

"The longer you wait, the more you're going to have to do so we need to get in and start stabilizing those houses and let people as they buy them remodel them how they want them," Summey said. "It's got some historic value."

Right now the council has only approved spending $30,000 on the master plan. There will more meetings as the development gets underway.

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