Carolina Park principals share vision with new Economic Development Committee

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (January 18, 2005) – At a recent Special Economic Development Committee meeting, principals in the 1,600-acre venture known as Carolina Park shared their vision with committee chair Joe McKeown and committee members Joe Bustos and Bobby Utsey.

Ben Marino and Stacey Hornstein who have partnered their respective companies, CDM Charleston Co. and Republic Properties, in the Carolina Park venture focused discussion on the 340-acres of economic development inventory located in the south portion of the tract, near the East Cooper Airport.

“We are very excited to be moving forward with this project,” said Marino explaining the general lay out of the tract. “Our goal is to provide premier campus type locations to attract the very best corporate tenants to Carolina Park. High-end relocating and expanding operations seek out communities and locations that offer a desirable quality of life and low impact commutes to attract and retain key employees.”

The 340-acre economic development site will be bordered by 240 multifamily homes, 100 townhouses, and by 6,000-8,000 sq. ft. single family properties. “Working where you live and living where you work is of great benefit to both employees and employers and we have made a conscious decision to include affordable housing opportunities in close proximity to this development,” said Marino.

Town Economic Development Coordinator Myles Stempin stated that, “the development plan for Carolina Park will provide prime site location opportunities and clustering for our target sectors: office-based/information service operations; technology, science and research and development; and advanced technology-based manufacturing, production and assembly.” The class A development plan includes high visibility property along US 17 to attract corporate and regional headquarters. Wetland areas will be incorporated in the corporate campus scheme.

A major improvement to the existing airport road will become a dynamic feature of the new business park. “We plan to create the same type of entrance as the Wando High School, a four-lane roadway with buried utilities and conduits,” said Hornstein. Stempin added, “While the principals plan to develop their Carolina Park brand and advertise nationally, the economic development business recruiting efforts are have already begun and involve the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Metro Chamber of Commerce and Charleston County, in addition to the Town’s marketing efforts.”

Both Marino and Hornstein discussed clustering as a marketing tool. “By strict standards a cluster is a major group of like-minded businesses at a particular geographic location. Under this strict definition, only half a dozen of such clusters exist in the US – Raleigh-Durham Research Triangle, Boston, Washington D.C and San Diego to name a few. We well know that we must diversify and offer a range of locations to all types of high-end economic development prospects.

To keep this project attractive to the very best companies more than 40 percent of the 1,600 acres will be dedicated green space, with a 15-mile trail coursing through the project. A 100 ft buffer will help maintain the character of Mount Pleasant. “We plan to give 20 acres for a new elementary school, two and a half acres for a new fire station and police substation and four acres for a library. Additionally, we will give 110 acres to the town for a passive or active central park,” said Marino.