Daniel Island’s newly renovated Wando River waterfront has already become an island favorite destination for residents and visitors to the island.
In addition to the Waterfront Park, The Waterfront development, still in its infancy, will continue to grow. The question remains of what the upscale mixed-use development will evolve into, but it’s no mystery what awaits at the water’s edge of River Landing Drive.
When plans were first unveiled in 2019 by Colorado-based real estate developer East West Partners, the site was slated to be named the River Landing Village. They changed it to The Waterfront because it was more than just the residential component, it was about the destination, according to East West Partners project manager Harriette Calder.
This March, after two years of construction, the first 6 acres of the 22-acre parcel were unveiled to the public. So far, the site boasts two public piers with a paddle board launch and dog ramp, an interactive fountain, waterfront swings, a hammock garden, children’s play area, condominium and townhouse units, a restaurant and a café
The first phase of development has amenities at all angles for residents and visitors of the island to enjoy. Here is what to expect when it comes to playing, eating, living and parking at Daniel Island’s newest waterfront community.
PLAYING ALONG ‘THE WATERFRONT’
The namesake is what grew East West Partners’ attraction to the site — the waterfront. But its attractions weren’t built overnight and not without the help of local partnerships.
The Daniel Island Town Association owns both docks and the linear green space that make up the Waterfront Park and Daniel Island Yacht Club.
The Rotary Club of Daniel Island donated $45,000 toward the playground equipment at Waterfront Park, which officially opened at the end of April.
The park’s fountain, which had been going through final permitting and inspection from S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, has since been approved.
As for the two piers, the North Dock and South Dock, an agreement with the Daniel Island Town Association and Daniel Island Yacht Club was reached to meet the needs of all the access for water traffic.
The existing dock will host the Daniel Island Ferry as well as additional water activities. Through the addition of the new Daniel Island Yacht Club, residents can expect boat slips for day use and boat valet service.
The North Dock consists of the dock and charter office, fishing and crabbing dock, Daniel Island Ferry, Daniel Island Yacht Club Sailing Program and a drop off and pick up area (no unattended vessels allowed).
The South Dock features a Carefree Boat Club and Day Dock where dockage is charged by the hour.
The Daniel Island Ferry operates on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday schedule from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Co-owner Colby Hollifield said that schedule will be expanding this summer to include Wednesday, daytime Saturday and possibly even Sunday.
“(The Waterfront) is a game changer for us because we’ve always brought small groups to Sermet’s, but now there’s a restaurant (The Kingstide) that seats 250 people,” he said.
Hollifield has noticed an increase in the amount of people traveling from downtown to Daniel Island to dine at The Kingstide. Such a demand that a second ferry has been purchased and will be available by next summer or 2023.
As for rates on the day dock, 25-foot boats will pay $10 for the first hour and $5 for each additional hour. Boats 35 feet in length can expect to pay $15 for the first hour and $7.50 for additional. A 45-foot boat will be charged $20 for the first hour and $10 additional and any war craft greater in size can expect $25 for the first hour, $12.50 after that.
Crabbing and fishing will be permitted only on the North Dock’s pier and pier head. It will not be allowed on the floating dock.
Crab traps left unattended will be removed. All waste must be removed from the facility. Bait materials may not be placed on hand rails and no cleaning of fish or crabs is permitted on the premises.
EATING ON ‘THE WATERFRONT’
When East West Partners was designing the restaurant portion of The Waterfront’s plans, they didn’t have COVID-19 in mind because the global health pandemic ceased to exist. However, the real estate developer sure is glad they accounted for an ample amount of outdoor seating.
The first and only waterfront restaurant on Daniel Island is finally here and it’s two stories tall with a rooftop bar. It’s called The Kingstide and it offers a rustic yet refined nautical vibe with a seafood menu that pays an ode to Lowcountry cuisine and its intracoastal views of the Wando River.
“Charleston has a lot of water and a lot of restaurants, but if you really try to nail down how many waterfront restaurants there are there’s not a whole lot. Especially ones that you can easily get to by boat,” Calder said.
Under management and operation of locally acclaimed restaurateur Steve Palmer and The Indigo Road Hospitality Group, the menu is a creation from chef Kevin Getzewich. When The Macintosh shuttered for good in March, also owned by The Indigo Road, many on staff stayed on ship and came aboard The Kingstide. Getzewich was one of them.
Getzewich offers a variety of seafood dishes thoughtfully presented in both raw and wood-fired preparations. Inspired by the beautifully simple flavors of the sea, Getzewich partners with local and regional fisheries, farmers, and purveyors to showcase the Lowcountry’s bounty through fresh, seasonally driven cuisine.
The food is delectable, however; hiring has been “difficult” and “challenging” in the words of general manager Jason Bearden. It’s not a Daniel Island food and beverage problem, it’s a state-wide and country-wide problem that seems to have exacerbated during COVID-19 with unemployment pay competing with working wages in the industry.
“You can have great food, but if your staff is not invested then the food is going to fall flat,” Bearden said.
From a sales perspective, there were no performance expectations because it’s a first of its kind on the island. Bearden noted that his speculations of success were exceeded.
Bearden’s vision for The Kingstide is being more of a neighborhood gathering place that attracts a classy yet casual crowd. A place that is elegant yet understated. One that has regulars and familiar faces, not strangers dining for a special occasion.
The Kingstide is open Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays) for dinner and happy hour during the week and lunch and dinner on the weekends. For more information, visit thekingstide.com.
Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast, have a sweet tooth or like grab-and-go deli items, The Daniel Island Market & Eatery (DIME) is a one-stop shop that will satisfy one’s morning needs.
Both The Kingstide and The DIME are owned and operated by Indigo Road. Bearden is the general manager of both establishments that are located side by side on River Landing Drive.
The DIME’s bread and butter is freshly brewed artisanal coffees, specialty smoothies, made-from-scratch pastries and takeaway sandwiches in a refined café setting.
There is a thoughtful selection of classic espresso drinks, craft coffee, matcha and other teas, as well as milk alternatives and homemade syrups. Guests can also enjoy a rotating dessert menu ranging from house-made gelato to affogato and cookie sandwiches.
Like The Kingstide, The DIME is also actively in the process of hiring. Bearden noted that it would be a good job for high school or college students coming home for the summer or young professionals looking to break into the hospitality industry.
Sales have been strong as The DIME has received a steady traffic of customers in quest of caffeine or something sweet. However, the café will be serving more than coffees and pastries in the future.
It’s no secret that there’s a dome wood-fired, brick pizza oven inside the establishment. Later this summer or possibly by early fall, there will be an interior redesign for a counter service with pizza slices to-go.
Eventually, East West Partners is planning to relocate its sales office to a different building across the street and Bearden believes this may potentially free up more space for the café.
The DIME is open daily, Monday through Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit thedimedi.com.
LIVING AT 'THE WATERFRONT'
The development has 58 high-end condominiums and townhouses available now, with a total of 300 units when completed.
The living spaces range from one to three bedrooms. On paper, the price range is from the mid $500,000s to $1.9 million.
Residence offerings are available for purchase from $999,000 to $1.9 million. The five residences are Egret, Osprey, Heron, Sandpiper and the Kingfisher.
For condominiums, Egret, Osprey and Heron offer views of the riverfront, park or Charleston-inspired garden. The Egret features a community rooftop terrace and eight distinctive residential floor plans ranging from 1,025-2,400 square feet, 1-3 bedrooms, 1.5-3 bathrooms, and some with separate dens. Prices range from the high $400,000s to $1.65 million. The Osprey residences range from 1,900 to 2,700 square feet with 2-3 bedrooms, 2.5-3.5 bathrooms — the larger of which includes an office. The Heron features
approximately 2,000-2,350 square feet, two bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and the closest proximity to the water. Overall, prices range from $1.2 million to $1.8 million.
For townhouses, the Sandpiper and the Kingfisher provide a collection of 13 townhome residences featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, luxury kitchens and fireplaces that overlook a park, pool and horizon beyond. Spread across four levels, the townhomes average 3,500 square feet and offer three bedrooms, 2.5-3.5 bathrooms, two private terraces including a rooftop deck, a separate den and a flex room. Prices range from $1.4 million to $1.8 million.
As for sales, 65% of the condominiums and townhouses have been sold, with approximately 20 homes still available.
All residences are for sale, not rental. Calder noted that no units have been closed on yet as some approvals have been held up with the City of Charleston and are expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.
WHAT'S IN THE WORKS
There are still 18 acres that remain on the site that have yet to be developed. In terms of completion, The Waterfront is only one-sixth of the way through its planned phases.
Up next is the second phase which is in the early design stages and will be focusing on more residential expansion of its condominiums and townhouses. The other five phases remaining have undefined specifications and timelines at this time.
“We’re in such early stages that I don’t even know if we want to put a date out there,” Calder added. “We’re just starting to put pen to paper.”
Calder noted that the gravel lot across from the Waterfront Park that is being used as temporary parking for The Kingstide is owned by a subsidiary of the Daniel Island Company, as is the property across from the Simmons Cemetery. Depending on the market’s demand, East West Partners plans to make the former location home to more housing along the waterfront. Both areas are zoned Daniel Island Town Center.
Just past the access to the second pier where the Waterfront Park trail is being rerouted, there is excavation of historical remains. The property owner is in the final phases of data recovery. Upon discovery, there will be a sign that explains what was on the site once the process is completed.
The second phase of the Waterfront Park trail project along the water’s edge to the Barfield Bridge will include more seating opportunities, an improved trail, and lighting, according to Baker.
Residents can expect intermittent closures of the trail for the future phases of development.
“Traversing the water’s edge on the trail is a special experience and our goal is not to ‘overdo’ the improvements, but rather complement the existing natural environment,” Baker added.
As for entertainment at Waterfront Park, Baker noted that the POA is discussing a weekly happy hour music series once the docks are fully completed and the public restrooms on the North Dock are open. There has been discussion of a boat show, but there are no more details at this time to share. Other events will be hosted at Waterfront Park in future months by third party organizers.
Plans are still under wraps for the retail element of The Waterfront and are not expected to come during the second phase of construction. Development is dormant for now but not for long.
HOW IS THE PARKING?
As The Waterfront continues to expand its footprint, so will the need to increase the amount of parking space.
The Daniel Island Town Association has a shared parking covenant which means that commercial properties can only reserve up to 15% of the parking spaces in their parking lots. The remainder are open for public use.
For example, the parking spaces behind the businesses on River Landing Drive, where Sermet’s and Sauer Grapes are located, are public parking spaces, with the exception of the 15% of reserved spaces. Fortunately there are hundreds of homes, condominiums and apartments within walking or biking distance of Waterfront Park.
“People will have to get used to walking a block or two to their destination versus parking at the front door of a specific building,” said Daniel Island Property Owners’ Association president Jane Baker.
Baker noted that during peak restaurant hours on the weekends, there is a substantial amount of on-street public parking along River Landing Drive and Pier View Street.
As for East West Partners’ parking design, all townhouses have attached garages for parking. All condominiums have assigned parking spaces, most of which are covered underneath the building. Additional street parking is included in future plans that are still conceptual at this time.