By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
When the Godwins moved to the Charleston area, their real estate agent showed them new lots off Dual Lane Road.
Bill Godwin and his Marsha Godwin were impressed. He remembers all the “big oak trees.” The community’s directional landmark was a fast food eatery. The property was near where he worked at the Naval Supply Center and where she was employed as a school teacher in Charleston Heights.
The couple bought a lot at 2 Genoa Court. The neighborhood had just been launched. “In fact, my street wasn’t even open,” he says.
The year was 1970.
A few things have changed since then. Their street opened quickly and the Godwins built their home, raising four children who are now all grown.
Dual Lane Road became Rivers Avenue. A nearby shopping center and drive-in movie theater was plowed under to make way for Northwoods Mall. Charleston Heights would become North Charleston in Charleston County and Hanahan in Berkeley County.
“I guess we had lived here two years. Hanahan wanted to annex us. We voted to be annexed for police and fire service,” he says.
The neighborhood, Otranto, would branch out to include about 300 homes. A quick-serve restaurant is still on the corner of what would become Otranto Boulevard. Heading south, newer neighborhoods Eagle Landing and later Indigo Reserve, both in Hanahan, would open. A connecting road was built into Eagle Landing. “We call it the back way into Hanahan,” Godwin says.
“We like Hanahan,” he says, adding that Otranto has been “a nice community to live in.” It’s “convenient.” The couple’s children attended Hanahan public schools and all graduated from college. They would become an airline pilot, teacher, pharmaceutical rep and salesperson.
Now more than 40 years old, the neighborhood “has held up very well,” says Godwin, whose wife is deceased. “There are very few homes for sale. When they go on the market, they sell in a hurry,” he says.
The Genoa Street house is two blocks from Goose Creek Reservoir, a 600-acre self-contained lake. Godwin says he avoids the water: “I let other people go down there with the alligators.”
Otranto, neighboring Eagle Landing raised in the 1990s and decade-old Indigo Island Reserve, a long street that backs up to the reservoir, grew quietly over the years. They’re being rediscovered as prospective buyers from nearby businesses such as Boeing look for high-end places that aren’t far away. The communities also are close to shopping and medical facilities such as Trident Medical Center.
“It’s really serene,” says John Payne, veteran agent with Carolina One Real Estate. “I grew up on the lake,” in Yeamans Park to the south.
The Realtor is listing a house in Otranto for $625,000. The sprawling residence at 2 Michelle Manor backs up to the reservoir. The owner, he says, has a “110 foot engineered seawall, boardwalk and decking.”
According to Payne, “there’s lots of good fishing and kayaking on the lake.”
Otranto, Eagle Landing, Indigo Island Reserve and a few smaller adjoining enclaves are in choice locations, a mile or so from Northwoods Mall and Interstate 26.
“It’s an old plantation,” Payne says. “The old oaks with moss are beautiful.”
To reach Otranto and environs from downtown Charleston, head west on I-26. Travel about 10 miles to exit 209A, which is U.S. Highway 52. The exit ties into Rivers Avenue. Follow Rivers past the row of auto dealerships. Turn right on Otranto Boulevard. Ahead is the neighborhood. To reach Eagle Landing, take Roma Road heading south from Otranto. Indigo Island Reserve, meanwhile, is a left turn off Northbrook Boulevard to Reserve Parkway. An alternate route is to veer right from Highway 52 to Rivers Avenue and make a left on Eagle Landing Drive across from the mall. Turn right on Reserve Parkway to get to Indigo Island Reserve.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or email@example.com.
OTRANTO AND NEIGHBORS AT A GLANCE:
Number of homes: 500
Square footage: 1,052-6,100
Look & feel: Live oak trees are a notable feature of Otranto after turning off of Rivers Avenue into the neighborhood. Oaks overhang a number streets. Otranto is a family neighborhood where children run through sprinklers, ride bikes or head to the Goose Creek Reservoir to fish. Most of the brick and fiber-cement sided houses date to the 1970s and 1980s. Eagle Landing to the south is more open and includes vacant land from a former golf course. The residences were built in the 1990s. Indigo Island Reserve is across a marsh; many of the high-end houses overlook the lake. The homes are no more than a decade old. Otranto showcases condo properties with units for less than $100,000.
Homes on market: 22
List prices: $37,000-$1.2 million
Schools: Hanahan Elementary, Middle, High schools
Fun facts: Otranto is named for a region of Italy on the Adriatic Sea and street names such as Basilica, Roma, Monte Sano and Genoa are in keeping with the Italian theme; Eagle Landing’s one-time golf course experimented with Jack Nicklaus’ lighter Cayman Island golf ball designed to fly shorter so that courses could be built in tighter, more urban spaces.