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New, upscale Morris Street neighborhood promotes planned city park, recovered former church chapel

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New, upscale Morris Street neighborhood promotes planned city park, recovered former church chapel

The first girders are rising on homes, duplexs and triplexs at The Gathering at Morris Square. The new neighborhood is off Morris Street. Leroy Burnell/staff 1/22/2014

At least in the sign renderings, a new neighborhood on upper-peninsular Morris Street looks idyllic.

There's the horseshoe-shaped group of traditional homes bordering grassy parklands where children play; a once worse-for-wear structure renovated as a community hall under the shade of a towering oak.

While drawings tend to take the glass-half-full approach, the sketches and plans for The Gathering at Morris Square make a solid claim for the real world.


. The neighborhood, located at Dereef Park, will contain 33 upscale residences built along streets that connect in a U shape. They'll include detached homes and a smattering of attached duplexes and triplexes constructed back from Morris Street.

. Eight floor plans are offered for the 1,207-2,029 square foot residences encompassing three to four bedrooms, two full baths and a half-bath. There will be cement plank exteriors, metal roofs and two off-street parking places per household.

. Homes will be priced from $405,000 to $670,000, according to a price sheet on the listing agent's website.

. Developers relocated the United Missionary Chapel to the front of the property to make way for homes while agreeing to renovate the wood-frame chapel as a community building.

. The backers also plan to reshape the remaining open land at Dereef Park, about 1.75 acres, into a community play park. Then they will deed the park and renovated former chapel to the city of Charleston.

"Clearly, it will look nice," says Cuyler Applegate, Realtor with Charleston-based Applegate Real Estate who's the neighborhood's exclusive listing agent.

"I think it's a great example of infill redevelopment," says Chris Phillips, of The Gathering at Morris Square LLC development group. "It's finally moving forward."

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Reavis Comer Development also is involved, and Associated Developers will be the community manager.

Phillips says the neighborhood comes along at an opportune time, as many sectors of nearby upper King Street and surroundings are being redeveloped.

Backers have been actively promoting The Gathering at Morris Square, which has been more than a year in the making. Applegate describes the development on his real estate website as an "exciting new urban neighborhood in a prime downtown Charleston location."

He notes how the neighborhood's inspiration stemmed from "our city's hidden gardens, small alleys and courtyards, brick paths and covered passages." The new homes, meanwhile, will combine "classic Charleston architecture with modern design."

The Gathering at Morris Square "is just four blocks from the Upper King Street design district, many of Charleston's best restaurants, MUSC, the College of Charleston and the Charleston School of Law," according to Applegate.

The first of the 33 single-family homes should be completed by late spring or early summer, Phillips says.

Initial plans had called for the property to be the second phase of Morris Square, a "new urban" townhome and condo community across the street. But the original developers didn't advance with the plans and eventually sold the property to Phillips' group.

At this point, The Gathering at Morris Square is in its construction infancy. Builders recently laid out the first foundations, and girders rose this week on one of the residences. Framing was to start any day. Going forward, "There will be a lot of visual evidence," Phillips says.

The Gathering at Morris Square sits between Felix and Smith streets at Dereef Court. To get there heading south, take King Street past Cannon Street and make a right on Morris Street. Go three blocks, crossing Coming Street. On the right is The Gathering at Morris Square.

For more information, visit

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or

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