Wednesday, January 15, 2014
The tri-county community has been awaiting the arrival of the highly anticipated Nexton development, and after announcements at the Greater Summerville/Dorchester Chamber of Commerce Power Hour this week, it looks like there isn’t much longer to wait.
Brent Gibadlo, MeadWestvaco director of real estate development, updated a room full of Chamber members last week on the status of Nexton, parts of which will be completed this year.
When completed, the 4,500-acre community will include residential, retail and commercial spaces, as well as parks, schools and civic organizations.
Gibadlo said specifically, Nexton will include 10,000 homes over a 30-year construction period, 6 million square feet of commercial space, 2,000 acres of green space, 50 miles of paths and trails, and at least three Berkeley County School District schools.
He said the construction will take place in seven phases; Phases 1 and 2 are under way now.
Phase 1 involves 150 acres and will be the first of many retail centers in the community. The construction progress can be seen from U.S. Route 17A and will feature 75,000 square feet of office space.
Three buildings are currently under construction there: a SCRA office space, a Marriott Courtyard Hotel and the new headquarters for MeadWestvaco’s community development group, which will be completed later this month and be the first to open.
In later construction, the area will also add a retail district that includes restaurants and a park.
Phase 2 will start residential construction on the first subdivision within the master planned community, “Brighton Park”, and is “scheduled to come online at the end of this year,” Gibadlo said.
The first of two Berkeley County School District elementary schools in the community will be constructed in this residential area – which is scheduled to open in August 2015 – and the homes will be geared toward that demographic.
He said Brighton Park will consist of 675 moderately-priced homes “geared toward younger families with children.”
Gibadlo also discussed the technological advancements the community will offer.
Last month, MeadWestvaco officials announced Nexton will become the most technologically advanced development in the state by offering a gigabit fiber optic broadband internet service throughout the entire community.
Coined as “GigaFi,” the company is partnering with Home Telecom to make the advancement possible.
“What’s most exciting about this is what we don’t know it’s going to do … this type of infrastructure and technology, we don’t know exactly what it’s going to lead to, but we do know it’s going to bring new innovations and applications,” he said.
“We really think this technology, this job growth, this location, all of these things are going to give us a wonderful opportunity to create a new job center in this region and is really something we’re all going to be proud of.
“It’s going to be a great place to work and a great place to live and we’re just excited everyday to go to work and be working on a project like this.”