Charleston County skatepark may be in Neck Area by next summer

Charleston County parks officials have approved a deal to open a new skatepark in the Charleston Neck Area, with plans to get skateboarders jumping, flipping and rolling as soon as next summer.

The site, at 1593 Oceanic St., is not far from the parcel of land that appeared to be the top choice a month ago. That deal fell apart during negotiations.

The new address is larger (3.3 acres of high ground, as opposed to 1.2 acres) and comes cheaper, bringing a purchase price of $850,000 as opposed to $1.1 million.

“We got three times the land and paid only $850,000 for it,” Tom O’Rourke, executive director of the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, said Tuesday in announcing the deal.

Design efforts already are underway to create a challenging course that’s expected to include a mix of bowls, half-pipes, ramps, jumps and other skateboard challenges.

The same course designer is on board who was looking at the previous sites the parks commission was considering — the nationally recognized Team Pain group.

O’Rourke has long contended that the area is ripe for an influx of recreational offerings. The failed Magnolia development property, with its so-called “bridge to nowhere,” is nearby, and O’Rourke has envisioned parts of the site being incorporated into PRC’s mission as potential walking or riding paths.

The park site is additionally surrounded by some 23 acres of marsh. It also is bordered by Interstate 26. The anticipated closing date is in approximately 90 days.

Construction will be led by Hightower Construction, which also has done work for Boeing, the city of Charleston and Charleston County, parks officials said.

When completed, the goal is to bill the site as a park of “regional quality” size, in the hope that it will attract skateboarders from outside the state.

Regional-quality-sized skateparks are categorized as the largest park sites, reaching 25,000-square-feet or more, which could potentially host groups, competitions and other activities, parks officials said.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.

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