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The Magnolia Project


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#1 Charleston native

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 11:47 AM

Here is the main story printed in this week's Charleston City Paper that talks a little about the Magnolia project, singing praises about it, of course. While I do appreciate what they want to do there, I don't know if I would want to live there. I will always want a house with a yard. Anyway, things are looking very positive for this future project.


Good Growth
By Bill Davis
Date: 3/30/2005


You know there’s been a sea of change when Dana Beach is literally cheering a new housing development.

Usually Beach, the executive director of the Coastal Conservation League and the area’s leading environmentalist, rails against urban sprawl in front of cameras and microphones — and decidedly does not sing the praises of a planned neighborhood that could bring as many as 11,000 housing units to the banks of the Ashley River...

...But ask Beach about Magnolia, the 500-acre New Urbanist neighborhood planned for The Neck — an industrial region of the upper peninsula so polluted by industry that much of the soil is contaminated — and his tones turn more than a little warm.

“This is a fantastic project,” he says, just getting started. “Basically, this is what we ought to be doing: reusing, redeveloping, and revitalizing areas ... the prospect of rebuilding and reinvigorating the whole (Neck) neighborhood is a fabulous prospect.”...

...Magnolia’s partners are even petitioning the state and federal government to drop I-26 from its 40-foot heights and bring it down to ground level, possibly creating a new and (dare we say it) attractive gateway into the city...

...“I believe that’s the way of the future: more people want to live in urban areas and those people are from what you’d call the ‘creative domain’,” says Robert Clement, the local lead dog pulling the Magnolia project along.

“I happen to sit on the board of the Charleston Regional Alliance, and all I hear is people talking about the different groups of people it wants to attract to Charleston,” says Clement, who got his start as a developer by salvaging polluted gas stations. “And you start hearing about creative groups like architects and engineers and entrepreneurs, biotech and so forth and so on...

...Rethinking the future of The Neck, brought on in part by the arrival of the new Cooper River bridge, “represents a change in thinking, in planning,” says Shook, who argues that the urban design profession has been in a slump for 15 years, and designers looked upon planning as an “out of body experience” where they’d never live in the spaces they planned.

One of the elements he’s especially proud of with Magnolia is that it brings the riverfront back to the people. “It kills me that until Mayor Joe Riley worked to make the whole waterfront a city park, very few places (along the water) were available to the?public.”

Additionally, he applauds Robert Clement’s efforts to minimize the effects Magnolia could have on the historically black and poor Rosemont neighborhood located in the middle of the development.

“The goal for Magnolia is to clearly have price points up and down the spectrum,” says Shook, who warns that good design invariably leads to higher prices because “people are starved for good design.”...

...In that way, it appears that Charleston’s real estate market is maturing only to return to what made the city great: good neighborhoods with a density that leads to connectivity and a sense of place. Developers know it’s easier to sell a neighborhood people want to live in...

 

#2 Charles Pearson

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 03:25 PM

Here is the main story printed in this week's Charleston City Paper that talks a little about the Magnolia project, singing praises about it, of course. While I do appreciate what they want to do there, I don't know if I would want to live there. I will always want a house with a yard. Anyway, things are looking very positive for this future project.
Good Growth
By Bill Davis
Date: 3/30/2005


You know there’s been a sea of change when Dana Beach is literally cheering a new housing development.

Usually Beach, the executive director of the Coastal Conservation League and the area’s leading environmentalist, rails against urban sprawl in front of cameras and microphones — and decidedly does not sing the praises of a planned neighborhood that could bring as many as 11,000 housing units to the banks of the Ashley River...

...But ask Beach about Magnolia, the 500-acre New Urbanist neighborhood planned for The Neck — an industrial region of the upper peninsula so polluted by industry that much of the soil is contaminated — and his tones turn more than a little warm.

“This is a fantastic project,” he says, just getting started. “Basically, this is what we ought to be doing: reusing, redeveloping, and revitalizing areas ... the prospect of rebuilding and reinvigorating the whole (Neck) neighborhood is a fabulous prospect.”...

...Magnolia’s partners are even petitioning the state and federal government to drop I-26 from its 40-foot heights and bring it down to ground level, possibly creating a new and (dare we say it) attractive gateway into the city...

...“I believe that’s the way of the future: more people want to live in urban areas and those people are from what you’d call the ‘creative domain’,” says Robert Clement, the local lead dog pulling the Magnolia project along.

“I happen to sit on the board of the Charleston Regional Alliance, and all I hear is people talking about the different groups of people it wants to attract to Charleston,” says Clement, who got his start as a developer by salvaging polluted gas stations. “And you start hearing about creative groups like architects and engineers and entrepreneurs, biotech and so forth and so on...

...Rethinking the future of The Neck, brought on in part by the arrival of the new Cooper River bridge, “represents a change in thinking, in planning,” says Shook, who argues that the urban design profession has been in a slump for 15 years, and designers looked upon planning as an “out of body experience” where they’d never live in the spaces they planned.

One of the elements he’s especially proud of with Magnolia is that it brings the riverfront back to the people. “It kills me that until Mayor Joe Riley worked to make the whole waterfront a city park, very few places (along the water) were available to the?public.”

Additionally, he applauds Robert Clement’s efforts to minimize the effects Magnolia could have on the historically black and poor Rosemont neighborhood located in the middle of the development.

“The goal for Magnolia is to clearly have price points up and down the spectrum,” says Shook, who warns that good design invariably leads to higher prices because “people are starved for good design.”...


...In that way, it appears that Charleston’s real estate market is maturing only to return to what made the city great: good neighborhoods with a density that leads to connectivity and a sense of place. Developers know it’s easier to sell a neighborhood people want to live in...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Sounds promising as long as one doesn't have to commute or grow dependent upon a car as I have I become accustomed! Yes, I could live there and don't care about the yard...

#3 Charleston native

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 05:35 PM

If this project is built in conjunction with a planned LRT system to start from DT, go through the Neck, and end at the airport, commuting by car might not have to be done. However, nearby I-26 would have to be widened to accomodate the traffic from the new Cooper River bridge and the proposed massive shopping center and hotels.

#4 MikesLogic

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 07:03 AM

"I think we all envision a dense, urban development"
Single-family homes are not part of the plan. "This is not suburbia"
"I see this as a sprawl buster"

I love the quotes about this project. Can't wait to get some more information on this.. Phase I planning is suppose to be complete by December.

#5 UrbanSoutherner

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 09:25 AM

This is very exciting. I think Charleston really has the best urban environment in SC. Columbia and Greenville has small areas that are nice urban environments, but nothing on the scale of Charleston's peninsula core in terms of street life, walkability, density, etc. And the historic architecture gives the city a real authenticity and sense of place. And it does it all without tall buildings.

#6 randy1

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 02:16 PM

Earlier in one of the posts, Charleston Native told of the plan for a 20 story tower to be placed at the Medical University of South Carolina. Recently I have found that to be true. Plans are in the works to construct 2 more towers at the MUSC campus. One of which is to be 20 stories and the other about 15 - 18 stories tall. The height restrictions in Downtown Charleston are more relaxed in the Medical area, due to the fact that it was the catalyst that convinced MUSC to stay on the peninsula. Also, the Magnolia project is slated to have some office towers as well. I contacted someone with the company that controls the neck area redevelopment and was told that high rise towers are in the plan. The height restriction are only enforced in the historic downtown area from Mount Pleasant street down to the Battery.

#7 Spartan

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 05:01 PM

Wow, thanks for finding out all of that info! So maybe a skyline for Charleston is now a matter of when and not if :D

#8 Mr.Marc

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 04:16 PM

Earlier in one of the posts, Charleston Native told of the plan for a 20 story tower to be placed at the Medical University of South Carolina.  Recently I have found that to be true.  Plans are in the works to construct 2 more towers at the MUSC campus.  One of which is to be 20 stories and the other about 15 - 18 stories tall.  The height restrictions in Downtown Charleston are more relaxed in the Medical area, due to the fact that it was the catalyst that convinced MUSC to stay on the peninsula.  Also, the Magnolia project is slated to have some office towers as well.  I contacted someone with the company that controls the neck area redevelopment and was told that high rise towers are in the plan.  The height restriction are only enforced in the historic downtown area from Mount Pleasant street down to the Battery.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Any idea on when these plans become reality and construction begins?

#9 MikesLogic

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 11:40 PM

Timetable for the Magnolia development; development plan by 3Q 2006, infrastructure improvements and realignments during 2007 and construction in early 2008. Hopefully everything goes smoothly, I am anxious to see what's in store for this area.

#10 Charleston native

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 03:32 PM

The Magnolia Project is in the beginning phases now, with the relocation of the offices of Clement, Crawford, and Thornhill, the firm in charge of the planning and development of the Neck, to what is being dubbed as the Ashley River Center. This building used to be known as the Roper Hospital-North...you can see it on the right of I-26 when you're heading into DT. Since this is going to be great urban renewal project, I decided to post the link to the real estate offices, and the link showing their relocation.

The Magnolia Project

CC&T's home page with depiction of new address in the Ashley River Center

News links for all of Magnolia Project articles

#11 Charleston native

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 12:00 PM

New developments are slowly coming into fruition for the Magnolia project. In the P & C article link below, the first real estate short-story talks about organizers of the Magnolia urban revitalization project who are working on a deal to relocate a business located in the area, possibly so they can buy and redevelop the company's existing site. The company wants to build a new processing and storage facility on upper Meeting Street. The old site is located on Oceanic Street.

As new developments occur in the area, we will need to keep up with them in this thread. I would normally post this in the Charleston Projects thread, but since it is about Magnolia, I put it here. Just a reminder, if you have specific news about Magnolia developments, please put them here.

Magnolia works on business relocation

#12 krazeeboi

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 01:08 AM

What's the word on the 20-story tower in the medical district?

#13 Charleston native

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 10:01 AM

What's the word on the 20-story tower in the medical district?

Randy1 talked about it earlier, but I haven't heard any new developments on that project. MUSC's first phase for its medical complex is being built right now. The other 2 phases which include a 15-story and 20-story tower are still in the planning stages. Also, a new apartment or condo complex is being built in front of the Comfort Inn at the intersection of Lockwood Blvd and Bee Street.

The area is practically "densifying" as we speak, and more is being planned with the parking garage at Spring St and Courtenay Drive. There have been talks with MUSC and VA officials in creating a joint hospital, so maybe that's why plans for the other 2 phases have been put aside.

Edited by Charleston native, 19 December 2005 - 10:02 AM.


#14 Charleston native

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 01:33 PM

Great stuff about new urban development in Charleston found here!

:w00t: I found a terrific article about the Magnolia project called "Reconnecting the Neck" which was in Charleston Magazine. The link is transposed from Clement's real estate office website. It is a truly fascinating piece about the history of the Neck and the potential economic future that Charleston has with its renewal.

Here is a fantastic quote from Reverend Sidney Davis, chairman of the Greater Charleston Empowerment Corporation:

"I can see the cities of Charleston and North Charleston growing into one single metropolitan area through the Neck's redevelopment...Ultimately, I believe that it will grow into North Charleston's Noisette project on the former Naval base, creating a new identity for the Charleston area in this century."

WOW!! How about that? This is what I've been dreaming about, ladies and gentlemen. If other leaders see the potential that I am seeing, we could very well see these cities merge, if everything is done right. I am so pumped! The master plan, according to the magazine article, is to be released to the media by mid-2006, so this is going to be BIG when announced. I urge every Charlestonian and urban enthusiast to support this project and find more information on it. When this project is completed, Chas may very well be a much larger and different city in the next 20 years!

Reconnecting the Neck

#15 vicupstate

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 05:35 PM

I haven't had a chance to read all of it --yet, but the quote sticks out:

"One early concept sees the new interstate (a relocated I-26) as a grand pedestrian-friendly boulevard"
-- Christopher Morgan

What a concept.

#16 Spartan

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 01:58 AM

I have also heard a potential use as a linear park, and a dedicated place for a future light rail line of some sort...

#17 krazeeboi

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 06:54 AM

Great stuff about new urban development in Charleston found here!

:w00t: I found a terrific article about the Magnolia project called "Reconnecting the Neck" which was in Charleston Magazine. The link is transposed from Clement's real estate office website. It is a truly fascinating piece about the history of the Neck and the potential economic future that Charleston has with its renewal.

Here is a fantastic quote from Reverend Sidney Davis, chairman of the Greater Charleston Empowerment Corporation:

WOW!! How about that? This is what I've been dreaming about, ladies and gentlemen. If other leaders see the potential that I am seeing, we could very well see these cities merge, if everything is done right. I am so pumped! The master plan, according to the magazine article, is to be released to the media by mid-2006, so this is going to be BIG when announced. I urge every Charlestonian and urban enthusiast to support this project and find more information on it. When this project is completed, Chas may very well be a much larger and different city in the next 20 years!

Reconnecting the Neck


Well, if it takes Magnolia to bring about the reunification, then so be it. I still prefer Spartan's idea of buroughs though; I think it makes the most sense and would bring a whole new meaning to regional cooperation. But this may have to be proposed after Riley has vacated the mayor's office, since so many see him as the "grand dictator of the Lowcountry."

#18 Charleston native

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 11:09 AM

I haven't had a chance to read all of it --yet, but the quote sticks out:

"One early concept sees the new interstate (a relocated I-26) as a grand pedestrian-friendly boulevard"
-- Christopher Morgan

What a concept.

How would you make an interstate a "grand pedestrian-friendly boulevard"? That confuses me because the traffic would have to flow in and out of Magnolia to get to the Cooper River Bridge and US 17 off-ramps.

Well, if it takes Magnolia to bring about the reunification, then so be it. I still prefer Spartan's idea of buroughs though; I think it makes the most sense and would bring a whole new meaning to regional cooperation. But this may have to be proposed after Riley has vacated the mayor's office, since so many see him as the "grand dictator of the Lowcountry."

It won't be just Magnolia that might initiate a unification. It will have to be combined with Noisette to accomplish this dream. I do like Spartan's idea, but for other areas, it may not be possible...yet. Maybe a Chas-N. Chas merger into a complete city of Chas will initiate a proposal such as that when areas such as Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, Hanahan, and Goose Creek want more regional input. Those cities will see how much more of a driving force a unified city government can become.

#19 Charleston native

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 01:18 PM

I wish more responses would be in this section, especially from Charlestonians. That last article I posted is huge. This is no longer a matter of "if", but "when". This will be an urban environment which will even include highrises, meaning skyscrapers. Hopefully, this will get people's attention. Check out the article "Reconnecting the Neck" 5 posts from this one...please?! :D

#20 Infinite1

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:02 PM

the redevelopment of that area is very exciting...I just think it is a very long term venture. There are alot of people who still need to sign on to this deal and alot of work done after that. Alot of properties still need acquireing. Rhodia as well as the concrete plants, etc along Azalea Drive would all have to relocate. Then that land would have to be cleaned up environmentally. Then of course the wrangling with DOT over the relocation of busy interstate. That is at least a 15-20 year process in itself.

I deal with Robert Clement occassionally and I know he is going to do it. He has the money and the politcal power to pull it off. I just think it is a long ways from being realized fully.




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