HARDEEVILLE, SC (WTOC) - The City of Hardeeville is about to experience growth like no other time in its history.
There are plans for an 8,000-acre community of homes and businesses in the works. Officials overseeing the development say the new Jasper Ocean Terminal will bring more than one million jobs to the Lowcountry by 2040.
"What this does, is plans for the coming of that growing population and that workforce that will need housing," said Hardeeville Mayor, Harry Williams.
The community will consist of 9,500 residential units and 1,500,000 square feet of commercial retail and office space. This project will increase the population of Hardeeville, which is presently 5,800, to well over 25,000 residents upon build-out. It expects to offer a residential product price range from $250,000 to $750,000, with a variety of residential as well as multi-family product offerings and price-points. These residential offerings will include but are not limited to workforce housing, age-preferenced and custom home products provided through exclusive builder neighborhoods and multi-builder program communities.
"This is not something we're doing overnight. This is something we're going to do over the course of 20 years," Williams said.
Argent Land Holdings, LLC, an Atlanta based development company, will be completing the development. The developer will donate significant acreage to the City of Hardeeville for active park site, police and fire stations, and schools. Active and passive City Parks will include a combined area of over 250 acres with utilization of Conservation Easement property for passive park and trails. The community will offer residents a large water recreation amenity to include boating and fishing, in addition to other attractive water sports. This development project will include the completion of Central Loop Road, connecting Hwy 141 through East Argent to Hwy 170, as well as other regional road improvements.
Williams says the main concern for the community is traffic and the environmental effects.
"We've had updated traffic studies for the entire region, so we know what needs to be done in and around our project," said the developer, Jeff Coggin. He also reiterates the more than 1,300 acres are set aside just for parks and conservation. "That is an incredible amount of land to set aside, not counting the wetlands. More than 1,000 acres of wetlands that are associated with that."
It's also no secret that Jasper county taxes are a bit higher than Beaufort County. The Ocean Terminal and the growth it brings should change that.
"As the tax base increases, we'll put money into infrastructure and at the same time, lower our taxes," Williams said. In addition to $100 million in development fees, it is anticipated that long-term growth will include an increased tax base of more than $ 3 billion.
The mayor says they expect the first groundbreaking around the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019.
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