neighborhood gets inspection from 18th-century landowner Richard Beresford
Post and Courier Staff
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
Development Corp., with its Beresford Hall community, did just the opposite. In
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.
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
-- Marked and
saved 581 grand trees, nearly all of them oaks. Archaeologists catalogued
historic artifacts around the 1705 plantation site of the original owner,
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,
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
homebuyer age is 43. Among the attractions for youngsters is a playground with
"We are really
pleased," Morgan said. "Sales exceeded goals."
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.
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