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lsgchas

Best and Worst Development Projects

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This is a thread where we can list what we think are the best and worst recent projects to enhance (or be foisted upon) our fair city. In general, I think we can say a development project is anything man-made, be it a building, subdivision, or road. And by recent, I'd say anything ibuilt n the last 15-20 years.

I'll get the ball rolling with a couple in each category:

BEST DEVELOPMENTS

1) Charleston Visitor's Center:

I can still remember when this area between King and Meeting Streets was a place you didn't want to be at night. I'd rate it above even Charleston Place as an example of how to renew an urban area in Charleston, mainly because the area around the visitor's center incorporates historical buildings, while Charleston Places does not. This project is a great blend of the old and the new. Even the parking garage, with its indoor terrarium, projects character and a sense of place.

2) Waterfront Park:

This one's easy. A beautiful park on the water, with both ordinary and quirky things to do. Watch the boats and the dolphins, or sit on the swings and splash in the fountain. This park definitely adds to the charm of downtown Charleston.

WORST DEVELOPMENTS:

1) Area around Glen McConnell Parkway:

This one is depressing, because it demonstrates that we still don't know how to design and develop a suburban area. The new subdivisions and businesses are dull and lifeless. The traffic patterns make no sense. (Try making a left turn onto Magwood from the Wal-Mart parking lot). And the megaschool, West Ashley High School, flies in the face of progressive school building, which calls for smaller, community-based schools. I know this area still has room to grow, but the foundation has already been established, and it isn't a good one.

2) Marsh Harbor Lane (the condo complex between Mt. Pleasant and Sullivan's Island)

Okay, I'll throw a pet peeve in here. These are the huge blocks of condos sandwiched onto a small island near Sullivan's Island. Sometimes I don't find them that offensive, but other times they seem like a huge eyesore. What I think bothers me is how obstentatious and jarring they look when you're driving from Sullivan's Island. This town has been the best of the beach towns as far as conserving its scale and charm. Then you cross the Ben Sawyer bridge, and Mt. Pleasant makes sure you'll leave the relaxed, natural atmosphere of Sullivan's way behind by hitting you in the face with this over-sized, over-built condo complex.

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I am concerned with the development along north and northwest past the US 17/SC 41 signal. Good thing Francis Marion Forest is right by to stop them when they get there. I wonder if Mt Pleasant/SCDOT are doing anything about it to prepare for future traffic growth/build new roads? Probably not right away but going southbound on US 17 past the IOP connector, improvements has been made on some roads/intersections that are improving in Mt Pleasant such as one lane roundabouts on Rifle Range & Mathis Ferry, constructing Hungry Neck Road for better access to the IOP connector from I-526 and probable intersection improvements on US 17 (signal to interchange) but you cant fight your way out of congestion completely, the job never ends!

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