By JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

Not so long ago, just forests; a few homes, stores and factories; and a plant grower lined the highway between Goose Creek and Moncks Corner.

That’s changed in the past decade or so. Moncks Corner has annexed acreage and with it hundreds of families to its south. The wholesale grower went out of business. At the same time, scores of residential developments are springing up along U.S Highway 52 and nearby Cypress Gardens Road.

While a few of the new neighborhoods are quite noticeable, arguably the most striking influence on the once isolated 15-mile stretch between the two Berkeley County municipalities is Foxbank Plantation.

Developers broke ground in 2005 on the 800-acre property, bordering the west side of Highway 52 and the northern reaches of Cypress Gardens Road.

Builders started with one-story, less than 2,000 square foot homes and today are constructing residences up to 3,500 square feet.

Similarly, homes originally sold in the lower $100,000s. That’s gone up to anywhere from the $150,000s to $325,000 or more.

About 600 houses have been framed in Foxbank in the past eight years. Plans call for another 1,700 residences. The master planned-community looked ahead early on, opening a swimming pool with gazebo and a lake for fishing and kayaking in the later 2000s.

A sales pitch from TRG Communities described Foxbank Plantation this way:

“Lakes and ponds lit by the changing colors of sunrise and sunset. Trees that keep the sounds of the outside world outside. Green spaces where children can play and you can sit in the shade. This is Foxbank Plantation.”

The marketing image went on to cite the community’s mix of homes and townhomes “in various styles, sizes and prices.”

Developers “provided room for a long list of amenities — picturesque lake, resort-style swimming pool, parks, sidewalks and a village area for shops.” They also donated 20 acres to Berkeley County School District for a new elementary school, “making Foxbank Plantation even more convenient for young families.”

And, it notes how Foxbank Plantation’s “beautiful” land is attainable. For instance, Mount Pleasant “with its shopping, restaurants and entertainment” is accessible via Interstate 26 and Highway 52.

The community gets its name from Fox Bank, a rice plantation that dates at least to 1819. Early owners were George Lynes, a minister, and his wife Elizabeth Whitfield Lynes. He died in 1870 and his wife a decade later. Plans were made then to divide the property among heirs.

It wasn’t until the mid 2000s that Greenville-based The Randolph Group developers mapped out the level property, made up of piney woods.

Foxbank is noted for the number of builders that are constructing homes there now, did so in the past or considered it.

According to an early design plan, at least eight builders carved out spots to construct homes at Foxbank Plantation on neighborhoods such as Cotton Hope, Fairlawn, Topsaw and Breakwater.

Present contractors are Dan Ryan Builders, David Weekley Homes, Sabal Homes, HHunt Homes and Lennar.

What’s been slower in appearing is the retail town center and commercial space near the Highway 52-Cypress Gardens Road intersection. CVS has been the one national store to choose the Foxbank locale.

The residential growth has compensated for the slow pace of commercial gdevelopment, however. At the same time, stores and shops are less than 10 minutes away in Goose Creek and in Moncks Corner.

As TRG Communities puts it, “If you’ve always wanted a Lowcountry home where you could sit on your porch, watching the sunset with your kids or just enjoying the absence of noise and traffic, you’ll find this is a very pleasant neighborhood.”

To locate Foxbank Plantation from downtown Charleston, head west on Interstate 26 to exit 209A, which is Highway 52. Follow Highway 52 into Goose Creek and continue past the traffic light at U.S. Highway 176. Proceed close to 10 miles to Cypress Gardens Road. Go another mile and make a left on Red Leaf Boulevard into Foxbank Plantation.

For more information or photos, visit www.postandcourier.com/realestate.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.

FOXBANK PLANTATION AT A GLANCE:

Location: Moncks Corner

Number of homes: 600 (2,300 when completed)

Square footage: 1,152-3,744

Look & feel: Judging from the width and breadth of Foxbank Plantation today, it’s hard to remember the property as woodlands less than a decade ago. The community design from the beginning has been distinctive, what with a prominent entrance marker; two-lane main turnpike bordered by ponds; interior roundabouts; and swimming pool, gazebo and lake at the well-placed amenities center. Traditional, single-style and craftsman-style homes are built for families, seniors and empty nesters. Landscaped yards, backyard fences, decorated mailboxes and flags flying in the breeze give the village its neighborhood feel.

Homes on market: 58

List prices: $119,900-$325,173

Schools: Whitesville Elementary, Berkeley Middle, Berkeley High

Fun facts: The Lynes family owned “Fox Bank” from 1819 until at least 1880 when it was set to be split up among heirs, according to South Carolina plantations.com; Lowcountry Dragway once was located next to the Foxbank neighborhood site.