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Daniel Island Beresford Creek

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Daniel Island Beresford Hall Community


Creekside neighborhood gets inspection from 18th-century landowner Richard Beresford
Of The Post and Courier Staff

Typically when developers design neighborhoods, they construct at least a few homes early to attract buyers and get sales moving. Then they add pools, docks and other amenities.

But Greenwood Development Corp., with its Beresford Hall community, did just the opposite. In 1999, Greenwood bought a 744-acre spread off Clements Ferry Road dotted with oaks, pines and palmettos from the Guggenheim Foundation, which owned the plantation since the 1930s.

In that time, the company has been busy, but not with homes. The developer has:

-- Erected a brick- and glass-sided pavilion with room for 400 people, a swimming pool, terraced stage, campfire pit and community dock on the site of a former brick-making kiln along Beresford Creek. Property owners already use the clubhouse for fishing, parties and other activities. "We purposely chose the most beautiful part of the property and gave it to the community," said John W. Morgan III, head of Charleston area properties and corporate acquisitions for Greenwood Development.

-- Constructed a fancy postal building in a section called The Village, carved out eight miles of walking trails and sidewalks, and set aside land for a passive park, fields and marsh views. Another open space will include a basket-ball court and "doggy park."

-- Marked and saved 581 grand trees, nearly all of them oaks. Archaeologists catalogued historic artifacts around the 1705 plantation site of the original owner, Richard Beresford.

Meanwhile, sales agents Prudential Carolina Real Estate locked up closings since July 2002 on 60 percent of 200 home sites of 1/2 an acre to 3 acres and costing from $134,900 to $315,000.

"That's one of the nice things about the property," said Cathy Anthony, director of marketing. "It's not humongous."

At this point, just a few houses are under construction, and none will be completed before spring. Construction should pick up in the next few months. Prices of the Beresford Hall homes, all custom built, will run from $700,000 to $2 million, Morgan said.

Every wood frame, brick and stucco home must have an architect, and the yard must be sculpted by a landscape architect, he said. The builder does not require a minimum home size, but the neighborhood is definitely geared toward high-end estates and "compounds." The maximum size for the main home is 7,500 square feet, but owners can build up to two more efficiencies, which can take up to 30 percent and 15 percent of the main home size respectively.

The neighborhood is divided into three zones, the neo-traditional Village, the "park and square settlement" with larger lots and the rural "parish" sites with no curb cuts. "It gives people a choice if they want to be real sociable or live in the woods," Morgan said.

Amenities meet two criteria: They are community icons (for instance, the stark look of the pavilion, called The Ruins), and they are functional (for instance, the uneven brick exterior of the pavilion hides the kitchen, storage and equipment).

Greenwood Development has built high-end properties across South Carolina, from Coosaw Creek off Dorchester Road, to sites on Hilton Head Island and Lake Keowee in the Upstate.

Yet, Beresford Hall is a rare find, he said. Greenwood could afford to tailor a master plan for the undulating land, which rises from 6 to 35 feet at spots. The company can make sure the infrastructure and attractions are in the most opportune locations, before clearing home sites. Then as owners build their homes, they can enjoy the amenities right away.

The developer modeled Beresford Hall after coastal fishing villages such as Rockville and Isle of Hope near Savannah, Morgan said. The chief architect, Jim Thomas, designed structures to resemble Beresford plantation ruins, using the same light shade of brick as in the early 18th-century estate.

The property will include more perks for children, after the company realized that a larger proportion of sales than expected were to younger families as opposed to retirees.

The average homebuyer age is 43. Among the attractions for youngsters is a playground with climbing equipment.

"We are really pleased," Morgan said. "Sales exceeded goals."

To reach Beresford Hall, follow Interstate 26 (or U.S. Highway 17 North) to I-526. Take the north Clements Ferry Road exit. Continue on Clements Ferry for about three miles to the entrance of Charleston Regional Business Park on the left. The Beresford Hall entrance, Grand Park Boulevard, is straight across on the right.

Jim Parker covers real estate and automotive news. Contact him at 937-5542 or



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