A sign of Point Hope: Cainhoy peninsula planned community takes shape

With retail units starting to fill, and apartment units now home to many residents, Point Hope is embarking on the next phase of its evolution as the sales and construction of single family homes begin.
 
The Point Hope community is beginning to come into its own. With the Philip Simmons elementary and middle schools, opened in 2016, and the high school in 2017 setting the scene, commercial and retail development soon followed, along with multifamily housing that is currently leasing and expanding.
 
The community is a 1,900 acre parcel of land located off of Clements Ferry Road. The project includes commercial and retail developments, schools, green spaces, and a nature sanctuary.
 
Point Hope is located within a larger property that was once owned by Harry Frank Guggenheim. The property, which was passed down to his cousin, Peter Lawson-Johnston, in 1971, is now broken up into several parcels owned by various Lawson-Johnston family and Guggenheim entities.
 
The full 9,000 acre property is a part of the largest Planned Unit Development (PUD) in Charleston history and is at the centerpiece of a much larger vision for the Cainhoy peninsula.
 
“Overall, it’s the beginning of a much larger project. Over the course of many years, it will add many new services, workplaces, and residences to the Cainhoy [peninsula] community,” said Jacob Lindsey, who is the department director for Charleston’s department of planning, preservation, and sustainability.
 
Carolyn Lancaster, vice president of marketing for DI Development Company, estimated that the development of Point Hope will take place over time with a completition date well into the future.
 
“We anticipate that the development of Point Hope will occur over the course of decades — perhaps 30 years depending on market conditions,” Lancaster said.
 
Currently, there are no immediate plans for the development timeline for the remainder of the property.
 
“The family who owns the land continues to use much of it for their enjoyment,” she said.
 
Point Hope Commons, which includes approximately 140,000 square feet of commercial space, is the retail center for the Point Hope development.
 
COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT
 
The shopping and retail center is anchored by Florida-based grocery store chain Publix, which opened its doors at its 730 Hopewell Drive location in August 2019. The 46,700 square-foot facility offers full-service meat, seafood, and bakery departments, a salad bar, and other amenities.
 
Other stores that have set up shop include Egan’s Spirits, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Famulari’s Pizzeria, Great Clips Hair Salon, Pink Polish Nail Salon, and Point Hope Dental Care.
 
For residents of the transforming area, the retail center is well-timed.
 
“Once Publix came here, it made family meal time shopping and a whole lot of other things easier for us,” said Misty Green, who has lived on the Cainhoy peninsula for five years.
 
Georgia Richardson has called this area home for 40 years, and during her time in the area, she’s witnessed the slow and steady growth of the community.
 
“It’s definitely a big change. It’s different, but it’s different in a good way,” she said.
 
For Richardson, and other Cainhoy peninsula residents, a trip to the grocery store would often require a trip to Daniel Island, Mount Pleasant, or downtown.
 
“We don’t have to deal with the traffic, and it’s a convenient and shorter route to my house. We’re saving gas, and we just get to see other neighbors. It’s a nice little close-knitted shopping area,” Richardson said.
 
“It’s nice to have some things close and more in your community,” Green said.
 
Both residents foresee Point Hope Commons as a sign of the times for a community that is beginning to see an influx of new residents and businesses. “It’s a good revenue stream for the community. We’re moving up,” said Richardson.
 
“Everyone thinks we’re way out, but everything’s coming here. I’ve actually encouraged a lot of people to move into the area. They say it will become the next Daniel Island,” Green said.
 
“From an anecdotal standpoint, there appears to be strong demand for retail and professional space at the commercial area at the entrance of the community and we expect more businesses there in the near future,” Lancaster said.
 
MULTIFAMILY HOUSING – PAXTON POINT HOPE
 
Behind the retail center sits Paxton Point Hope, a luxury apartment complex located at 201 Sawyer Circle. The apartments opened in January 2019, and since then, sales have been successful.
 
With 274 total units, pre-lease occupancy is at71.2%, while total occupancy is 69.7%.
 
Occupancy rate is the proportion of units that are not vacant, while leased rates includes apartments that are occupied, but for which a lease has been signed and a move-in date is imminent.
 
Studio, one, two, and three bedroom apartments are available, with starting rates ranging from $1,320- $2,160.
 
Art-inspired homes include kitchens with stainlesssteel appliances, luxury flooring, and quartz countertops, as well as interior features such as expansive outdoor spaces and designer lighting packages.
 
The community features of the complex are wide ranging, with some highlights including a saltwater resort-style pool, clubhouse, recreation room, television lounge, fitness center, high speed internet, fenced-in dog park, and business center.
 
“We’re not specific to any age or demographic. Our demographic is going to be anyone that applies,” said Ryan Osborne, leasing specialist.
 
Paxton Point Hope offers preferred employer discounts for certain applicants.
 
“We do preferred employer discounts on the education field, the military field, firefighters, first responders, things like that,” Osborne said.
 
Paxton Point Hope is the only currently livable space in the community. But the 264-unit Newbrook Apartments also is under construction with an estimated completion date of fourth quarter 2020.
 
The project is a joint venture between Weber USA and Woodfield Development.
 
SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES – FIRST LIGHT
 
Also found in Point Hope is “The Hub,” a newly opened facility that now serves as the developing community’s information center.
 
“Visitors and prospective buyers can learn about the community, its lifestyle and history, and the residential offerings in Point Hope,” Lancaster said.
 
Single-family houses are undergoing construction in the community’s first neighborhood, First Light. No homes in the neighborhood have been completed so far, but residences should soon be available for prospective buyers. The First Light neighborhood will have approximately 250 homes. The first phase of 60 is currently being built.
 
Homes are being offered by three builders, including David Weekley Homes, Pulte Homes, and Toll Brothers.
 
“As the new supply of new home options is very limited in Mount Pleasant and Daniel Island, we believe Point Hope offers a wonderful opportunity for families who will enjoy a location within the City of Charleston that is convenient to downtown, airport, beaches, and other conveniences,” Lancaster said.
 
Also included in the development are three schools, including Philip Simmons Elementary, Philip Simmons Middle School, and Philip Simmons High School. “With the schools in Cainhoy, what we’ve seen is an effort to get out in front of the growth,” Lindsey said.
Going forward, top concerns include infrastructure and fire services.
 
Over the coming years, Point Hope is expected to attract new businesses and residents into the Cainhoy peninsula community.
 
“We believe Point Hope will fill a real void. It is bringing diverse housing, retail, and employment to the area,” said Matt Sloan, president of the DI Development Company.
 
In the future, Point Hope could have up to 2,000 homes, Lancaster said.
 
 LOOKING FORWARD
 
The entire PUD is planned to include 9,000 homes.
An area that has been mostly covered by overgrown grasses and tall rows of pine trees throughout its history has begun its transformation into a full-fledged community – and preparing for that growth remains a priority, including adding public services.
 
“We are currently looking to provide more permitting for a fire station for the city to serve Cainhoy,” Lindsey said.

Daniel Island Publishing

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Daniel Island, SC 29492 

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