By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
A popular conception of community homebuilders is they only build big subdivisions, raising many dozens of houses in staged phases and named enclaves.
That’s no doubt the case. But the larger builders also from time to time frame a subdivision that’s moderate sized, taking in a handful of streets and built in one fell swoop.
A signature case now would be Woodlands, a 58-home neighborhood off S.C. Highway 61 between Magwood and Dogwood roads.
“I would say the size of the community is very quaint,” notes Shane Ford, of Carolina One New Homes and community manager at the Woodlands for builder Mungo Homes.
The sales team sold 33 houses from its launch in January, while the builder framed 24 homes during that time, Ford says. The neighborhood sales model opened April 18.
“My two biggest things are location and value,” he says. “Location is going to be huge.” Woodlands sits two miles from Glenn McConnell Parkway and three miles from the Interstate 526 interchange. Roper St. Francis Hospital and various shopping plazas and dining places are within a couple of miles or so.
Home values, meanwhile, aim to be affordable with starting prices below $200,000. Buyers receive plenty of selections. Columbia-based Mungo showcases 14 floor plans — all two story designs with a few third floor options — from 1,368 to 2,751 square feet and priced from $177,900 to $230,900. “That’s quite a range,” Ford says.
Magnolia Singles models consist of the Stevenson, Fulton, Dixon, Underwood, Townsend, Milford, Hanover, Henderson, Julian and Remington. Renaissance Singles floor plans, meanwhile, take in the Alexandria, Covington, Georgetown and Hopewell. Detached garages and double porches, both of which are available, exude Lowcountry charm, he says. The sales model employs the Alexandria design complete with third level addition.
Ford focuses in on the types of shoppers looking at Woodlands. “My buyer is a young professional,” primarily working downtown or West Ashley, he says. Employers include Roper, MUSC, Boeing, Charleston Air Force Base, SPAWAR and Blackbaud to name a few.
Woodlands tracks along two streets, Maybelles Lane which is already building up and a second road preparing for future growth. Because of its smaller size, the neighborhood didn’t land a swimming pool or clubhouse. But the community boasts sidewalks on both sides of the streets and ties into walking and biking trails to sprawling West Ashley Park.
Also, the city of Charleston owns five acres just north of Woodlands that’s been proposed for a moderate-sized park, Ford says.
At Woodlands, Mungo Homes promotes its hauSmart program, in which various energy conservation perks come standard. The residences earn Home Energy Rating System (HERS) scores to detail potential savings on power bills. On average, the Woodlands homes are 30-35 percent more efficient than a brand new home built to code today, Ford says.
Homeowners, meanwhile, wind up with upscale features twith Mungo hat might be options with competing builders. The spiffs include separate tubs and showers, tankless water heaters in natural gas communities such as Woodlands and electronic ports to plug and play smart phones and other devices piped through speakers in the house.
Popular upgrades consist of stainless steel kitchen appliances for an extra $756, hardwood floors, second floor washer and dryer and tray ceilings in the master bedroom.
Woodlands could be called an “infill neighborhood,” taking advantage of open spaces within existing subdivisions. “I love these little projects,” Ford says. “You are able to see them through.” Since in-fill developments are close to established neighborhoods, they tend to grasp locations proximate to stores and parks rather than out in more rural areas.
Ford says potential buyers appreciate Mungo Homes’ corporate history. Founded in 1954, the family-owned company opened in the Charleston market in the early 2000s as Harbor Homes before ditching the Harbor name in favor of Mungo last year. Builder Magazine recognized Mungo as national Builder of the Year in 2012.
“We’re excited about what’s going on out here,” Ford says.
To reach Woodlands from downtown Charleston, head west across the Ashley River Bridge, then veer right on St. Andrews Boulevard (Highway 61). Stay on Highway 61 as it becomes Ashley River Road, then keep left to Glenn McConnell Parkway. Proceed two miles and turn right on Magwood Drive. Take the second left on Ashley Crossing Drive. Follow the drive across Dogwood Road, where it becomes Sunnyvale Avenue. Ahead is the Woodlands.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WOODLANDS AT A GLANCE
Location: West Ashley
Number of homes: 58 (when built out)
Square footage: 1,368-2,751
Look & feel: The new neighborhood will flow along two streets, one that’s mostly built out and a largely parallel road that’s yet to see its first house. Sporting two story homes with plenty of bedrooms, Woodlands expects to emerge as a family-oriented community. The city of Charleston is looking to open a park next door.
Homes on market: 3 (on MLS)
List prices: $177,900-$230,900 and up
Schools: Springfield Elementary, West Ashley Middle, West Ashley High
Fun facts: Mungo Homes entered the Lowcountry market as Harbor Homes in the early 2000s and only dropped the title last year; the neighborhood gets its name because it edges Woodland Road.
Many homes in Woodlands sport attached two-car garages (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
Hardwood floors are available in Mungo Homes dwellings at Woodlands off S.C. Highway 61 (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
Tray ceilings in the master bedroom, shown here in the Alexandria sales model, are optional features of the Woodlands homes (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
A tall tree branches out next to this house with craftsman accents at Woodlands (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
Brick accents are not uncommon with the Woodlands residences (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
A porch is off the bedroom in this house from Mungo Homes (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
Separate showers and soaking tubs can be included as extras in the new West Ashley houses (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
A full sofa and rug fit comfortably in the living room of the Alexandria floor plan (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
Wainscoting and a ceiling fan set off this bedroom-office in the 2,178-square-foot Woodlands model (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
The optional third level can be made into a recreation room or media center (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
A house under construction stands next to a completed home at Woodlands. All told, 24 homes have been built in the Mungo Homes community (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×
The builder has marked lots on a second street that wraps around the new neighborhood (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).×