The Beach Company’s plans for Cantey Bay Plantation are on the looming closer on Clarendon’s horizon.
Beach Company Vice President of Development Kevin O’Neill, along with other members of the company, shared some of their ideas in a meeting at the Summerton Cultural Arts Center Tuesday night.
Scott Parker, principal of DesignWorks LLC, explained the design elements of the almost 4,000 acre development.
“We want to take full advantage of the property,” he said. “What is good for Cantey Bay Plantation is good for Summerton and what is good for Summerton is good for Cantey Bay Plantation,” he said.
There are already plans in the works to buy Jack’s Creek Marina and to develop it into a full service marine facility.
Jack’s Creek Marina will be renovated in phases and will include new docks, a waterfront restaurant, general store and tackle shop, gas dock and possible dry stack boat storage.
As part of the project, Parker suggested that some roads needed to be redirected to provide access.
Among those changes are a new intersection at Liberty Hill Road and changing the direction of Nelson’s Ferry Road. There are plans to redirect Jack’s Creek Road in the interest of saving wetlands.
DesignWorks is already in conversation with the South Carolina Department of Transportation about the necessary road engineering.
JERRIOD GRIZZLE/Manning Times
Beach Company Vice President of Development Kevin O’Neill (right) talked with several Summerton residents after the presentation about their hopes and concerns regarding the project.
Parker said that the current plan for Cantey Bay Plantation calls for different areas including a residential park, village marina, residential lake area, residential golf area, an active adult community and an equestrian residential community.
Included in the development is a 1,200-acre business campus that could accommodate up to 5.2 million square feet of warehouse distribution, light manufacturing, research or other uses, depending on market demands.
Cantey Bay Plantation would be designed around the small town culture.
“We want to show off the tradition, people and places of the town and of the county,” Parker said.
A major concern has been lake accessibility.
Parker put the concern to rest and said that use of the waterfront property as a public open access to the lake is not in danger.
“Everyone will have access to the lake; it is a premier point and the focal point of the plantation,” he said. “The lake is too important to the community to just subdivide all of the waterfront. There will be very few homes fronting directly along the water,” he said.
In addition to the waterfront trails and parks, a public boat landing is planned, as well as canoe and kayak docks and landings.
The development is planned be built around the lake with inlets so that the lake could be seen from all angles.
Following the presentation, guests had the opportunity to meet the Beach Company and DesignWorks staff and ask questions, make comments and offer ideas.
The purpose of the presentation was to follow up on the community workshop that was held in January 2008 and to present the master plan for the community as it has developed to date.
The plan takes into account the site characteristics, market preferences and the input and feedback as expressed at the January workshop.
The next step in the process for building is to prepare and submit an application to annex the property into the Town of Summerton and begin the application process to rezone the property. A development agreement will also be prepared.
It is anticipated that a public meeting will be scheduled by the town to hear the application. Following the meeting and a satisfactory agreement has been prepared, the Town Council will consider the first reading of an ordinance to annex the property and rezone the property.
Approval of the annexation is anticipated by late fall.
Summerton Town Administrator Bruce Behrens said he looked forward to the new development.
“You are looking at massive growth that will affect a number of people. This will be a boost to Summerton and the County at large, creating a lot of jobs and bringing in commercial activity,” he said.
The growth will result in a number of jobs being created indirectly as well in the retail restaurant service, banking and financial services.
Mayor Jay Bruner said that he is welcoming the new growth but is cautious about the future.
“Our residents and our downtown businesses have to step up as well. Other businesses are sure to follow and this will be a great economic activity,” he said. “At the same time we have to remember that this isn’t going to happen all at once,” he said.
Businesses and restaurants are expected to follow the opening of Cantey Bay Plantation.
O’Neill said that the new community will spawn many new jobs, during its construction and development over the next 20 years.
Rep. Cathy Harvin said that she was excited to see the growth of Summerton. Before the building begins, Harvin suggested that there may need for a premier property tax.
“We want revenue and we want everyone to come and enjoy what we have to offer but we don’t want to make people that have been living here for a long time forced out of their homes,” she said.
The development is located on Interstate 95 and goes to Jack’s Creek and has more than two miles of property that is on the front side of I-95 with 1.5 miles of waterfront property.
O’Neill said that the company is working with architects, builders and financial markets to make its $10.3 million investment a reality.
The property was first acquired in 2005 from The Springs Company, based in Fort Mill, South Carolina, who has been involved with the property since 1969.
Only 70 miles from Charleston, 80 miles from Columbia and 50 miles from Florence, Cantey Bay Plantation is the largest tract available in the area with undeveloped lake frontage.
The development’s name is in honor of Teige Cantey, who came from the Barbados to Charleston in 1678. The Canteys then came to Clarendon County in 1739 when Joseph Cantey acquired a land grant of 560 acres.