By Sonya Stevens
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Good things are happening in the city of North Charleston. Mayor Keith Summey held a press conference Friday to discuss all the things on his to-do list.
The Oak Terrace Preserve in Park Circle continues to grow. There are 240 new homes so far and the number will rise with the construction of phase two.
"We have the Academic Magnet School and School of the Arts here right next door to us, so this is an ideal place for development in North Charleston, so it's a good place for young people in our community," said Councilman Bob King. "They are moving to this area to raise their families and all."
Neil Bansil has lived in the neighborhood for two years and loves the area.
"I think people are really starting to realize the central location of Park Circle. It's 15 to 20 minutes away from anything you could possibly want to go to recreation, shopping, restaurants, it's a great place to live," said Bansil.
But this is just one of the projects going on in North Charleston these days.
"Mixson down the street. They are fixing to build their new apartment complexes and some new single family homes there," said Summey. "They are in the process of putting in their swimming pool and community building just within a mile from here."
Summey also wants to have an artist's colony in the Old Village. His hope is that the city can purchase a former Garco Plant building from the Beach Company.
"It is in drastic need of upgrades and repairs, but it's got large windows in it," said Summey. "We will probably be looking at putting lofts in the upper portion with those lofts, we'll also have studio space, so that we can encourage artisans to come in and do their project."
Another major project on the agenda is the old Naval Hospital on Rivers Avenue, which is now owned by the city but will hopefully be purchased by Chicora Gardens Holdings LLC.
"That company is still in their due diligence phase working to find out what we can do. We have got some exciting opportunities I think in that area," said Summey.
And there are yet more possibilities on the former Navy base as well.
"The Navy base officer housing as you know we received that property when we settled the lawsuit on the naval base with the state," said Summey. "We are actually looking at now how we can go out and build new houses in that officer housing area right behind our Riverfront Park that will offer people an opportunity for people to live right on the river, the Cooper River, which we never had access to until the Naval base closed."
And most recently the city purchased Runaway Bay Restaurant.
"The reason we were interested in it because of the settlement we did, we get the other two Panamas that are on the water attached to our park and this is attached to the park as well, so it gives us opportunity to grow some of the ideas that we have at the park and have community access," said Summey.
There are no set deadlines on any of these projects, but Summey's goal is to enhance the quality of life of all the areas of North Charleston so that it is always a great place to live, work, and play.