Lowcountry residents are bicycling and walking instead of driving more these days, and master-planned communities such as Mixson at Park Circle are catching on.

As a neighborhood designed for those who like to turn off the engine once in a while, Mixson boasts an array of walking trails and bike paths and plenty of gathering spaces for residents to meet, greet and hang out.

If you do happen to leave, you'll have easy access to other areas around greater Charleston. According to Harvey Wadsworth, vice president of development and construction for Jamestown Development, the Mixson community was purposely planned for the Park Circle area of North Charleston in order to be convenient to all things Lowcountry.

"An attractive aspect of living within the Mixson community is its position within the Charleston region," Wadsworth says. "It's centrally located to the Charleston airport, the peninsula and East Cooper."

The Flats at Mixson are a group of luxury rentals located at the Mixson community. But, as Wadsworth points out, it's tough to separate the Flats from the neighborhood as a whole, which includes rentals, single family homes and townhomes. Essentially, people lease at the Flats for the same reason as any home at Mixson - to gain access to all that is great about the community and its lifestyle. Besides being a mile from the hip hangout of Park Circle, Mixson is swiftly becoming more and more self-sufficient, with everything from its own market to restaurants and florists and even a salon. Events such as wine tastings, festivals and live music help to boost the camaraderie among those who enjoy life at Mixson.

"We wanted to design a neighborhood that is walking and biking friendly, and we made sure the residents won't have to leave in order to find a jug of milk," Wadsworth points out. The Mixson Market takes care of residents' needs and wants, with upscale prepared foods, wines, craft beer, gift items and even basic groceries such as produce, milk and eggs. Residents can also enjoy a bite at Basico, which is the neighborhood's first restaurant, an authentic taqueria. Wadsworth says there's more to come; The community is growing every day.

But whatever residents and guests find within the Mixson community, it's likely to be an independent business. Wadsworth stressed that he and the developers are enthusiastic about bringing unique establishments to the area rather than big-box stores.

When it comes to living in the Flats at Mixson, the friendliness of the complex is reason enough. Renters will enjoy the opportunity to share community balconies with ping-pong tables, porch swings and other fun stuff to promote neighbors meeting each other. There are also amenities for the dog lovers and their furry companions, including a dog washing area and dog park.

The 13 floor plans range in size from 538 square feet for a single bed and bath, to more than 1,200 square feet for two beds and baths. Prices are from $980 to $1,545 a month. Apartment homes consist of one-story and townhome designs, and all include touches such as plank flooring, tiled showers, quartz countertops and even washers and dryers.

But perhaps the most luxurious opportunity for new residents signing a lease at the Flats at Mixson is becoming a member of the Mixson Bath and Racquet Club, which is "exactly what it sounds like," according to Wadsworth. Members of the club have access to a swimming pool - with food and beverage service on the pool deck - and athletics such as bocce ball, badminton, yoga classes and more. If you're already thinking this sounds like a great place to have a party, you're correct - Wadsworth affirms that the Bath and Racquet Club frequently hosts large gatherings and even weddings.

"The Flats has its own saltwater swimming pool and fitness center, but the Bath and Racquet Club is an additional option for residents," Wadsworth says.

The folks at Jamestown Development have strived to create an environmentally friendly complex for both the Flats and for Mixson as a whole. The Flats, for example, is equipped with earth-conscious extras such as tank-less water heaters and white roofs to reflect sunlight and keep energy costs down.

"We try to include sustainability into each aspect of the community," Wadsworth says. "We're also encouraging community gardening, and we've even partnered with GrowFood Carolina to bring a farmer's market to the community on Saturdays."

To find out more about the Flats at Mixson, visit www.flatsatmixson.com, call 877-564-8847 or email FlatsAtMixson@greystar.com.

Denise K. James is a freelance writer who lives in Charleston.