Below you will find a newspaper article published in 2003 when the Olde Park community was about three years old. At the time, homes in Olde Park were priced from $600,000 up. What a difference seven years make. Currently homes that come on the market in Olde Park are priced in the $1,300,000+ price range.
Olde Park has established look
By: JIM PARKER Of The Post and Courier Staff
Originally Published on: 03/29/03
When designers drew up plans for Olde Park, they had a lofty goal in mind:
To create a new Mount Pleasant community of impressive, custom-designed houses that remind people of a firmly rooted neighborhood.
"The original thought was when you come in here, it's something that looks like it's been here for 30 years," said Louis Griffith, developer and project manager.
As it turns out, Olde Park is attaining its objective, and in less than 36 months. The community has 114 lots; developers earlier this year released the last group for sale. Current home sales are $600,000 and up.
There have been 85 properties sold and 25 homes built since Olde Park broke ground in 2000. Homeowners include the chief partners in the development, real estate mogul Joe Griffith (Louis' father) and tobacco-busting lawyer Joe Rice.
"We had a unique opportunity to get the property," Louis Griffith said. "We wanted to do a special project."
From the beginning Olde Park strived for a "lived-in" look. Developers preserved much of the pine and oak forests that dominated
the strip of land between MathisFerry Road and Hobcaw Creek. They planted grown palmettos, dogwoods and shrubs, because immature plants would take years to mature.
An extensive landscaping effort included constructing walkways to link four ponds that dot the property. Builders this winter completed Olde Park's entranceway, lined with colorful flowers and brick-and-stone markers. Another touch will be a gazebo within a block of the creek.
Early on, developers decided not to build amenities, something Griffith believes was a smart move. Instead, Olde Park reached an agreement in which homeowners can join the neighboring I'On Club, which includes a pool, tennis courts and country club, at the lower resident rate.
While homes in Olde Park are custom built, dwellings must be at least 2,500 square feet, and floor plans face architectural review. The development has a list of six "premier" builders that it has worked with before and deems top-notch.
Larry Faulkenberry, a Mount Pleasant builder, designed the six-bedroom brick home where Dr. John and Susan Austin are raising their three children, Reese, 4; Storm, 2; and Gwen, 16 months.
The family worked with the contractor to modify the original design, adding a sunroom, breakfast room and a front portico. They also built the den and a playroom to connect to a roomy kitchen. "We spend most of our time in here," said Austin, a physician.
Kevin Lane, the Charleston area manager for a national home builder, and wife Cindy constructed a three-story brick edifice with large front porch and second-floor balcony. "I had thoughts of Charleston I wanted to incorporate in the house," he said.
On Hobcaw Creek, banker Harry Smith and his wife, Alison, constructed a sprawling home with a circular driveway, a dock on the creek and an elegant interior. There also are two unfinished attic rooms that could be converted into extra space.
"It's a continuous process," she said.
Griffith said homeowners have leeway with floor plans, but the home designs are in keeping with a predominant theme.
"What we are trying to achieve is the formal Lowcountry look," he said. "Certain features are the same, but it is not a stock plan. They are more creative, with individual styles," he said.
After a homebuilding burst in its early stages, Olde Park went through a slow phase for a year or so. But construction has picked up briskly in the past six months or so.
"The vision we had three to four years ago has really come to fruition," Griffith said. We feel it's a very desirable place to be."
To get to Olde Park from downtown Charleston, take the Silas Pearman (Cooper River) Bridge to Mount Pleasant, continuing in the left lane onto U.S. Highway 17 (Johnnie Dodds Boulevard). Turn left at the second traffic light onto Mathis Ferry Road. Olde Park is the second left past the Mathis Ferry roundabout.
Joe Griffith and Joe Rice; Louis E. Griffith, project manager.
TOTAL HOMES PLANNED
114 custom-built homes
BASE PRICE RANGE
$600,000 and up
2,500 to 10,000 square feet
-- Bayview Properties Inc.
-- Rockwood Construction Inc.
-- Sheppard Construction Inc.
-- Ravenel Custom Homes Inc.
-- Max G. Crosby Construction Inc.
-- Ed Boring Jr. Construction Co. Inc.
$4,285 a year on a $600,000 owner-occupied home (2008 Taxes on $1,500,000 primary home about $6,000.)
Patriot's Point; Boone Hall Plantation; Alhambra Hall and Mount Pleasant's Old Village; Remley's Point boat landing; short drive to Charleston's historic district; grocery stores and restaurants nearby. Homeowners can join I'On Club (pool, tennis courts, 3,600-square-foot banquet center, boat ramp).
DISTANCE TO DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON
About 5 miles
SCHOOLS (Links to 2008 State Report Cards) Remaining information from 2003.
JAMES B. EDWARDS ELEMENTARY
Grades K-5; 849-2805; enrollment, 707; certified staff, 43; PACT results, 53.4 percent of fifth-graders scored proficient or advanced on the English/language arts portion, 39.8 percent scored proficient or advanced on the math portion.
Grades 6-8; 849-2819; enrollment, 790; certified staff, 51; PACT results, 49.8 percent of eighth-graders scored proficient or advanced on the English/language arts portion, 48.9 percent scored proficient or advanced on the math portion.
Grades 9-12; 849-2830; enrollment, 2,346; certified staff, 143; SAT results, 514 verbal, 510 math. The 1,024 combined score is higher than the state average (981) and national average (1,020).
HOUSING TRENDS IN SOUTHERN MOUNT PLEASANT
(Area includes the town south of S.C. Highway 41 and Dunes West)
-- Number of sales in the fourth quarter of 2002: 286 (up from 266 in the fourth quarter of 2001).
-- Average sales price in the fourth quarter of 2002: $269,400 (up from $256,900 in the fourth quarter of 2001).
-- Median sales price in the fourth quarter of 2002: $238,900 (up from $202,000 in the fourth quarter of 2001).
Jim Parker covers real estate and automotive news. Contact him at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier. com.