Gas up the DeLorean, accelerate to 88 mph and get ready to see thousands of largely undeveloped acres in upper North Charleston and Ladson.

Go back in time, and you’ll view major forests and former plantations. Calibrate to the future and witness commercial expansion and development.

Good idea, right? Sorry, that’s the movies. But there’s a practical real-life way to envision the past and imagine the years ahead while viewing the here and now. Take a ride on newly completed four-lane causeway Palmetto Commerce Parkway and less-than-decade-old Patriot Boulevard.

It’s relatively easy now. There’s not much traffic on Patriot Boulevard, which runs from Ashley Phosphate Road behind Wescott Plantation; and almost none on Palmetto Commerce Parkway – running from Ashley Phosphate a mile west of Interstate 26 to Ladson Road – except when manufacturers let out. The parkway even has historic markers to indicate centuries-old rice growing belts.

“They are pretty empty generally speaking,” says Amy Nienstedt, agent for Carolina One Real Estate. The parkway, in particular, is quiet most of the time. “It’s a four-lane highway; you get a couple of cars,” she says. Yet signs are emerging of the roadways developing into North Charleston growth corridors.

Major employers along the parkway already include Cummins, Daimler, Shimano and support facilities for Boeing. Those four plants and a dozen or so more located there in the past decade or less, and there’s thousands of acres yet to be developed.

That’s been a windfall for neighborhoods established on Ladson, Jamison, Ashley Phosphate and Dorchester roads that are benefiting from the large job producers nearby.

“The area has a lot going for it,” Nienstedt says. “I think Charleston is moving out this way. It’s one more step in this direction,” she says.

The manufacturing centers are lodged in a semi-circular land expanse roughly bounded by Charleston International Airport and Air Force Base to the south, Ladson Road to the north, Dorchester Road on the west and Interstate 26 to the east.

“I’ve worked with several (home) buyers who work with those companies,” says Nienstedt, who lives in Indigo Fields off Dorchester Road. “They want to be within a 15 to 20 minute radius for work.”

Adjacent neighborhoods are a who’s who of North Charleston, Ladson and lower Summerville communities: Wescott Plantation, Coosaw Creek, McKewn, Wellborn Village, Buckshire, Spencer Creek Woods, Eagle Run, Colony North, Paddock Pointe.

Apartment complexes include Colonial Grand at Commerce Park on Ladson Road and Abberly Crossing underway on Patriot Boulevard near the parkway and across the street from Pye Elementary School.

“Throughout that entire corridor we have worked with many families of Boeing, Cummins, lots of Air Force, Naval Weapons Station,” says Jeremy Wilson, agent with Chucktown Homes who is listing two houses in Cedar Grove off Dorchester Road.

He cites another “huge draw:” Many adjacent properties are zoned for the sought-after Dorchester II school district, Wilson says.

Cedar Grove, he says, is highly desired due to the brick construction and executive style homes. One of his clients said, “The reason I love this subdivision so much is because of the culture and the variety of ‘family’ types here ... retired, working, stay at home moms.”

Randal Longo is quite familiar with the Palmetto-Patriot area: His father lived in McKewn off Patriot Boulevard. Meanwhile, he is listing a house in Wescott Plantation for less than $250,000. The Wescott home “is right on the golf course. It’s a great price point.”

Longo runs ISave Realty, a flat fee listing company that does business all over South Carolina. He charges as little as $300 to list a home, and sellers don’t pay him a commission.

“I have 300 houses for sale throughout the state: Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Greenville, Spartanburg,” he says.

Longo noted that Palmetto Commerce Parkway “definitely has brought a lot more business.” At Wescott Plantation, “I see a little bit of it now.” The neighborhood benefits from more affordable prices than some villages outside North Charleston, noting that he has buyers who live in Wescott and work at MUSC.

Between the Palmetto Parkway manufacturers and Patriot Boulevard ease of access, “You’ll see more (adjacent homebuyers) in the future. It’s a great value.”

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or