Four-story buildings with multi-colored siding made Palmetto Place's condominiums stand out when they were first erected in the mid-2000s.
The 72 residences were marketed at what seemed, in the up tempo housing business of the time, to be reasonable prices in the $140,000s to $190,000s. They were upscale and secure, with gated entries, push button codes to buildings, a swimming pool, deck and cabana, fire pit, playground, "bark park" and garages.
Located at Clements Ferry and Jack Primus roads, Palmetto Place also was one of the few condo developments in the swath of Berkeley County just beyond Daniel Island.
What developers didn't count on was the national housing crisis in 2008 and slowdown for the next four years. Just 21 of the units, or less than one-third, sold from the time the condo village opened. To stabilize occupancy, managers sought to lease up the properties while curtailing sales promotions.
More than five years later, the condo market seems ready to rebound. In October, XCelsior Ventures LLC acquired the 51 condos at Palmetto Place that hadn't been sold to individuals, along with 8.3 acres of land for future development.
"They saw this growth opportunity in the Charleston area to re-introduce to the market the high quality, affordable housing Palmetto Place provides," according to a release from XCelsior and Carolina One New Homes - which is handling sales and marketing.
With little fanfare, the new group has been busy refurbishing condos as tenants' leases expire. The one-, two- and three bedroom home-style units on one floor appear in five designs sized from 975 to 1,358 square feet and priced at $114,900 for a one bedroom condo to $151,900 for a three bedroom. The two-bedroom units are priced at $139,900. Floor plans consist of the Azalea, Oleander, Camellia, Gardenia and Magnolia designs.
Depending on sales of the existing condos, XCelsior intends to build another 110 condos in up to five buildings.
"We're excited about the project. It's the right time to ramp it up," says Jon Foege, vice president of sales for the new owner.
There are a myriad of possible condo buyers. "They would be your empty nesters, first-time home buyers, young professionals who don't want (to deal with) maintenance," says Debi DeCusatis, on-site sales agent with Carolina One New Homes.
A newly structured financial option should help get the ball rolling. South Carolina Federal Credit Union says it will offer 95 percent loan-to-value financing on Palmetto Place purchases, thereby reducing the down payment and closing costs.
More good news: Village backers cite a recent Charleston Trident Association of Realtors housing report that offers glowing numbers on condo development.
Among the findings:
. Condominiums show the largest median price gains for residential properties sold in Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston counties. From February 2013 to January 2014, condo prices rose 11.6 percent.
. Condo sales, meanwhile, surged 21.2 percent in the $100,000 to $150,000 price range during the February 2013 to January time frame. By comparison, single-family home sales rose 13.3 percent in the same time period.
Another perk for Palmetto Place is the mid-rise development isn't far from large employers and is almost next door to a few companies on Clements Ferry Road.
"This is a perfect location for those working in the area: Boeing, Benefit Focus, Blackbaud, Gildan, Sparc, to name a few," according to the marketing team's information sheet, which also cites potential jobs for local teachers and at Charleston Regional Business Park.
Palmetto Place also stands to benefit from what's being planned around it. Most dramatically, the property sits less than a mile west of Cainhoy Plantation, a planned urban development in Berkeley County the physical size of Daniel Island and designed with a town square and hundreds of homes as well as schools, retail and commercial developments, restaurants, shops and green space.
Foege believes Palmetto Place can take advantage of its proximity to the master planned community, as well as the area-wide jump in condo sales and prices.
"I think we'll knock it out of the park," he says.
The condo neighborhood stands toward the middle of Clements Ferry Road. Traveling north, take Interstate 526 to the Clements Ferry Road North exit. Travel less than four miles. On the left at Jack Primus Road is Palmetto Place.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A playset stands near the pool and cabana at Palmetto Place, which has 72 residences. New owner XCelsior Ventures bought 51 of the units to convert to condos for sale. The rest are individually owned from when the complex originally opened in the mid 2000s (Jim Parker/Staff 3-10-2014).×
The two-bedroom Gardenia model is one of two sales models at Palmetto Place in Berkeley County (Jim Parker/Staff 3-10-2014).×
This breakfast room flows into the kitchen in the Gardenia design at Palmetto Place. The two-bedroom units sell for around $140,000 (Jim Parker/Staff 3-10-2014).×
The Gardenia floor plan at Palmetto Place includes a long living room with engineered wood floors (Jim Parker/Staff 3-10-2014).×
This single-vanity bathroom is in the Gardenia floor plan at Palmetto Place (Jim Parker/Staff 3-10-2014).×
Palmetto Place amenities include a bark park near the front of the neighborhood (Jim Parker/Staff 3-10-2014).×
The development showcases 16 garages in two sets of buildings. They cost $10,000 apiece (Jim Parker/Staff 3-10-2014).×
Plans call for eventually building a second phase at Palmetto Place with 110 more condos (Jim Parker/Staff 3-10-2014).×
The Oleander, a prominent sales model at Palmetto Place condos, has stainless steel appliances in the kitchen (Jim Parker/Staff 3-10-2014).×
The Oleander floor plan sports a dining room-breakfast nook off the kitchen (Jim Parker/Staff 3-10-2014).×
The master bedroom in the Oleander model at Palmetto Place is sizable. Palmetto Place will have one-, two- and three-bedroom condos priced from $114,900 to $151,900 (Jim Parker/Staff 3-10-2014).×
A sit-down shower marks this bathroom in the Oleander design at Palmetto Place condominiums, located at Clements Ferry and Jack Primus roads in Berkeley County (Jim Parker/Staff 3-10-2014).×