By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
You’d be hard pressed to argue that Hamlin Plantation — just east of Rifle Range Road — is off the beaten path.
But the emerging Mount Pleasant neighborhood, just 15 years old, is at least a little insulated from the region’s sometimes hectic environs.
Residents remark about how quiet it is, what with Hamlin Sound on the east and moderate but hardly bumper-to-bumper traffic approaching the subdivision from the west.
Once inside Hamlin Plantation, the neighborhood spreads out in four directions so residents can move even farther away from the hustle and endure just an occasional bustle.
There are four existing enclaves: Waverly, The Sound, The Village and Madison. They are enough distinct that each hamlet has a representative on the Hamlin Plantation advisory board. At the same time, a new community of townhomes, One Hamlin Place, has opened.
Orchestrating these neighborhood growth patterns is John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods. The Atlanta-based builder was an original contractor when Hamlin Plantation broke ground in 1997 and has been there since then.
Jennifer Nilsson, vice-president of marketing, cites four attractions that Wieland touts in its promotions at Hamlin Plantation: natural surroundings, resort-style amenities, quaint streetscapes and “friendly” front porches.
While peaceful, the neighborhood has its share of active attractions such as many miles of walking and jogging trails.
“This private haven,” Nilsson says, overlooks marsh, palmettos, oaks and other “breathtaking natural surroundings” while simultaneously offering a complement of indoor and outdoor amenities.
Most notable is The Club at Hamlin Plantation, distinguished by a two-story plantation style clubhouse. The complex also showcases a swimming pool, sporting a waterslide and wading pool, that’s large enough for aquatic competitions. Nearby are five lighted tennis courts, a fitness center and children’s playground. Boat storage is also available.
Wieland, meanwhile, has kept pace with demand by constructing new homes and unveiling additional residential sections.
• New homes in Waverly at Hamlin Plantation. The residences range in size from 2,650 to 3,825 square feet and include first floor “owners suites,” third levels and large porches. Buyers can choose existing Wieland floor plans, visit the builder’s Home Design Studio for personal touches or customize from the ground up. Available are marsh view and interior wooded homesites. The homes are priced from the mid $400,000s to the $600,000s.
• Luxury townhomes underway at One Hamlin Place. Nilsson says that buyers can enjoy the high-end features of single-family houses without the hassles of yard care. The two-story attached residences are 2,925-square-feet and larger and priced in the upper $300,000s. Among the perks are roomy kitchens, formal dining rooms and master suites with spa baths and screened porches. Alleys run behind the townhouses, which offer three-car, drive-under garages. Elevators are an option.
Even in its removed setting, Hamlin Plantation is not far from recreation and entertainment places. The Isle of Palms connector to the beach is a few miles south as are Mount Pleasant shops and restaurants.
The community has gradually matured as a convivial neighborhood with residents hosting dress-up Oscar parties and Waverly launching a garden club in 2009. There’s even an website called ILoveHamlinPlantation.com.
Mary Bowers, president of the Waverly Garden Club, posts a newsletter online.
“In the spring the plants flourish, but by the middle of June they really start to wane. So with this being said, try not to fret. Remember we chose to live in this beautiful subtropical summer climate.”
On the ILoveHamlin website, one article focuses on residents and why they moved to Hamlin Plantation.
Wife and husband Fran and Jim Taggert relocated from downtown Charleston because of the traffic and tourists.
“We looked at a lot of things until we found this great neighborhood,” she says in the story. “We love it because it’s so quiet. We don’t miss downtown.”
To reach Hamlin Plantation from downtown Charleston, travel north over the Ravenel Bridge and continue in the left lanes onto Johnnie Dodds Boulevard (U.S. Highway 17 North). Proceed to the Isle of Palms connector and turn right. Make a left at the traffic light on Rifle Range Road and travel three miles. Shortly after crossing Hamlin Road, make a right on Old Marsh Parkway into the community.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org
HAMLIN PLANTATION AT A GLANCE
Location: Mount Pleasant
Number of homes: 500-plus
Square footage: 1,225-5,200
Look and feel: Two-story Lowcountry style homes with columns, large porches and moderate-sized lots dot the winding streets. The community is separated into four distinct enclaves, each with their own entry monuments. Yards are well kept; palmettos and water oaks are among the indigenous trees. Toward the back of the neighborhood are houses that look out to Hamlin Sound. Residents include a mix of families with younger children and/or teens; empty nesters; and retirees.
Homes on market: 48
List prices: $158,500-$1,295,000
Schools: Jennie Moore Elementary, Laing Middle, Wando High
Fun facts: Hamlin Plantation was actually developed on the site of another large 18th century estate, Youghall Plantation; a Hamlin Plantation men’s tennis team in 2006 made it to the division finals in Palm Springs, Calif., of the city leagues’ tennis championship.