By Valencia Wicker
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) – Developers and city leaders announced Wednesday a multi-million dollar business expansion project.
The development is a joint venture with MeadWestvaco Corporation and The Rockefeller Group called Nexton. It would include apartments, office space, hotels, parks and retail.
"I think it's going to be an opportunity for the people who live here to see even more things happening that they can attend, events, cultural affairs, restaurants, maybe even another movie theater," said Mayor Bill Collins of Summerville.
The first building on the 4,500-acre stretch of land has already begun construction. Developers say the project has the potential to lure in new jobs.
"We've seen in the past, business from outside the Lowcountry looking for proper places to relocate. And usually their criteria (is) strong community, good schools, class A office space and modern technology," said Kenneth Seeger, the president of MWV Community Development and Land Management.
The project sits at the 199A exit of Interstate 26 and will eventually call for its own interstate exit.
"Most of the people who work in the Charleston region tend to live up in the upper Berkeley County, Summerville, Dorchester County region," said Seeger. "So, the employees are already here because they don't have to commute on I-26 to a job. And, of those who don't live here who have to use I-26, it's a reverse commute."
The plan is to incorporate a modern architecture with LEED certification. The design is a new one for small town Summerville.
"I think it will bring a new energy to Summerville," said Collins. "Areas like North Summerville, where we are here, need their own economic engines to bring jobs and opportunities for people here. So, we can accommodate the different architectural plans."
The first building is set to be complete by the end of 2013.