By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
A few miles off U.S. Highway 52, new homes are springing up in a master planned community that includes sports fields, swimming lanes and tot parks.
Yet proceed a short ways up Cypress Gardens Road, and upscale, down-home neighborhoods emerge where fishing boats are common and an enclosed lake as a well as a branch of the Cooper River are chief attractions.
That’s the nature of Berkeley County real estate these days. Brand new enclaves touting sidewalks and soccer pitches coexist with older subdivisions accustomed to fish frys and pig pickin’s.
Two of these dissimilar yet equally popular neighborhoods are modern Spring Grove Plantation, in which a host of builders are framing residences and crafting amenities; and few decade old Pimlico, known for brick homes, water views and wildlife.
“We love boating. It’s a nice community,” says Arlene Hiott, a Pimlico resident and Realtor with AgentOwned Realty.
The Hiotts have owned property in Pimlico since the early 1990s and recently constructed an estate-style home on Teal Road with an iron gate, plantation shutters and its own boat landing on the Cooper River branch. From the river spur, they can reach either Charleston Harbor or Lake Moultrie in less than half-an-hour.
“There’s a huge bald eagle and herons” that frequent marsh grass and oak trees, Hiott says. “You can see the old gates (of former river ricefields). We are in the only ‘no wake’ zone,” she says.
The neighborhood, which includes Pimlico Plantation and West Pimlico, surrounds Lake Hastie as well as lines the river branch, giving many of the few hundred customized homes access to the water. Walking trails and a community basketball court mark the village, which was launched about 35 years ago. A fire station is outside the community on Cypress Gardens Road.
Streets connect the sections of Pimlico, including a dirt expanse on Churchill Road that links the lakeside properties with the river-rimmed lots. Helping to keep the community close-knit is the Pimlico Civic Club.
While seemingly out in the country, Pimlico is less than five miles from Highway 52 to the west and Bushy Park industrial center — a major employer — to the east.
About two miles closer to Highway 52 is the rather new Spring Grove Plantation, kicked off in the mid 2000s.
Spring Grove is intertwined with a host of amenities, including a swimming pool, cabana, sports park, playground and green spaces.
The neighborhood is less forested than established properties such as Pimlico but includes newly planted palmettos, manicured yards and sidewalks.
At least 1,000 homes are expected or underway in the planned village, which includes Ricefield Way, the Barony, Carriage Run, Planter’s Trace, The Abbey from Lennar and Cypress Manor — where Beazer Homes is building new residences.
“We’re committed on 55 partially-finished lots,” says Robby Mosier, the Charleston division president for Beazer. The builder closed on 30 lots in August 2012 and is hosting a grand opening noon-3 p.m. today with a cookout and other festivities.
“We are really fresh,” he says.
The company wanted to tap the Berkeley County region, and when lots became available that were almost ready for construction, it was “a great opportunity,” Mosier says.
“We have an entirely new product,” he says, a somewhat narrower style of home that permits plenty of yard and setback spaces on more modest-sized lots. The seven floor plans are still sizable enough, save one model, for two-car garages.
“We have started a prototype of each,” Mosier says.
The Beazer homes are sized from the 1,320-square-foot single-garage design starting in the $130,000s to a 2,300-square-foot model in the $170,000s, he says.
First-time homebuyers and young families are expected to be among the interested shoppers. “With a mix of plans, we put a lot of focus to make sure there’s a lot of livability,” Mosier says. There are models with the master suite on the first floor, with at least four bedrooms and in a ranch style to provide choices for buyers’ varied tastes, he says.
Plans call for all of the homes to be finished in the next 18 months to two years.
Beazer had built homes in Moss Grove further north, but Cypress Manor is seen as the culmination of its journey back to the “Highway 52 corridor” between Moncks Corner and Goose Creek.
“This is kind of our re-entry into the market,” Mosier says.
To get to Pimlico and Spring Grove from downtown Charleston, travel west on Interstate 26 to exit 209A, which is Highway 52. Follow Highway 52 through Goose Creek and proceed for six miles or so to Cypress Gardens Road. Take a right on Cypress Gardens Road and travel about three miles to Spring Grove Plantation on the right. Turn left on Pimlico Boulevard and continue two miles to reach Pimlico on the left. Entry roads include British Drive, Churchill Road and Albert Storm Avenue.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• SPRING GROVE, PIMLICO AT A GLANCE •
Location: Moncks Corner area
Number of homes: Pimlico (300 or more); Spring Grove (1,000 planned)
Square footage: Pimlico, 1,000-3,000-plus; Spring Grove, 1,368-4,000
Look & feel: Located off Cypress Gardens Road, Spring Grove Plantation displays the manner of a master planned community. Neighborhood layouts are organized, with sidewalks lining wide streets. A half-dozen builders lend diversity to the one-and-two story neighborhood designs. The community is geared to families, offering a swimming pool, sports fields and playground. Pimlico is to the east on Pimlico Boulevard. Brick and some wood and fiber-cement sided houses are on one-third to two-third acre lots. Many homes rim Lake Hastie, in the middle of the neighborhood, or on the west branch of the Cooper River, which is on the eastern edge. The subdivision has more of a casual, woodsy look with many 20-to-30-year-old houses and no sidewalks or cul de sacs. Piers go out into the lake and river, and boats are fairly common on driveways or tied up on docks.
Homes on market: Pimlico, 20; Spring Grove, 30
List prices: Pimlico, $115,000-$399,900; Spring Grove, $148,000-$291,000
Schools: Henry E. Bonner, Whitesville elementary, Berkeley Middle, Berkeley High
Fun facts: Pimlico, name of Native American origin, stems from Pimlico Plantation, which was seized after the American Revolution due to Tory ownership; the first three builders in Spring Grove were regional companies.
Large bedrooms are a spotlight of the Jackson sales model from Beazer at Cypress Manor, a new neighborhood in Spring Grove Plantation (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
The Spring Grove swimming pool, which includes a cabana, serves the entire community off Cypress Gardens Road (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
This home in Barony at Spring Grove Plantation touts fiber-cement siding with brick accents (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
An entrance sign to Pimlico Plantation notes that the property dates to 1752 (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
Tall oaks overhang a brick home in Pimlico, located about two miles northeast of Spring Grove (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
Maroon shutters mark this house at Cypress Manor (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
The Abbey from Lennar offers a mix of one- and two-story homes at Spring Grove Plantation (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
Planter’s Trace is one of more than a half-dozen enclaves in Spring Grove (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
Tall grass grows along Lake Hastie at Pimlico, which also borders on the west branch of the Cooper River (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
A brick and white-framed residence is on a large lot at Pimlico in rural Berkeley County (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
This bathroom in the Beazer sales model at Cypress Manor in Spring Grove showcases a large counter and wooden cabinets (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
A variety of homes are in Barony, a newer subdivision within Spring Grove Plantation a few miles north of Goose Creek (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
A frisky cat walks along the driveway of this home at Carriage Run, located in Spring Grove Plantation (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
A two-level house in naturally styled Pimlico neighborhood is modeled like a cabin in the woods (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×